Crowdfunding is a relatively novel way for startups and entrepreneurs to raise money to support their fledgling companies - and sometimes it actually works.
Like most online endeavours, it isn't particularly hard to set up a crowdfunding campaign and start raising small bits of capital from thousands of individuals who find your idea intriguing.
It isn't hard to set up, but it is very hard to raise significant amounts of cash. The truth of the matter is that most people who try crowdfunding don't succeed. For every success story, there are a thousand failures.
You can browse through any number of ideas on two of the better known crowdfunding sites:
You'll notice that a few have raised a fair amount of capital, but most are struggling to make more than a few dollars. So what is it about the ones that succeed that turn them into multi-million dollar smash-hits?
- Compelling idea: Things that people immediately go "that's cool"
- Great perks: Offering contributors perks that are fun, valuable, unusual, etc
- Existing fan base: Doesn't hurt to have a few thousand people in your corner to start with
- Well presented & professional: Let's face it, we're generally not going to invest in something that looks like a dog's breakfast (unless it's actually a new type of dog's breakfast)
There's more to this list, but really, if you are planning on trying out crowdfunding to raise money for one of your own ideas, then the best thing to do is look at the top earning campaigns and work out what they did right.
So, with further delay, here are the best performing crowdfunding campaigns to date...
1. Coolest cooler
2. Ubuntu edge
3. Pebble: ePaper watch
4. Ouya: Game console
5. Pono music
I guess there's one additional attribute of the most funded campaigns that we could add to our list, and that is:
- Choose the right crowdfunding platform: Kickstarter has 4 out of the top 5 campaigns, and 8 out of the top 10
So, looking at the top 5 business ideas that have, or are, being turned into a reality through crowdfunding, what is that you think makes them stand out from the thousands of other campaigns that aren't as successful?
Share your tips and experiences in the comments.