Recently I am engaging more and more in practices and theory about venture capital and I’m learning about the different kinds of crowdfunding. I feel crowdfunding is really a great way to turn great ideas into actual products or service offerings. Whether crowdfunding is used as micro loan to distribute capital for entrepreneurs who need a funding to overcome an issue like how you can do on Kiva – or if you want to back a project by committing to buy the product upon completion by paying for it upfront, like on Kickstarter – crowdfunding enables great opportunities for investors, buyers and entrepreneurs alike.
About Crowdfunding and Venture Capital
For a couple of years I am also investing venture capital in crowdfunding projects with the objective of supporting a startup with product development and release in order to be paid back after a couple of years with (hopefully) a little bit of profit. Unlike support you give on Kickstarter, like this you don’t buy a product but just invest in the company itself. On venture capital however there is always the risk of losing the investment entirely – so use only money that you don’t need if it’s a risky case.
“Many hands make light work”
– John Heywood
Having a stroll earlier today I thought of the time when the manga / anime Dragon Ball was around and I found that crowdfunding is a little bit like one of the Hero’s ultimate attacks. Dragon Ball is a fantasy story that you could consider to happen in a world that is unlike ours. It’s not quite in the future and it’s not really in the past either even though throughout the story you feel elements of both and primarily focuses on martial arts with superhuman powers. The manga (Japanese type of comic) by Akira Toriyama appeared weekly in a magazine from 1984 until 1995 and the anime (Japanese type of animation) still has a rerun here and there on TV.
What About Dragon Ball and Crowdfunding Now?
Let me explain it. The hero of Dragon Ball is Son Goku who fights to defend their world from all kinds of invaders and enemies throughout the plot. In one of the final battles Son Goku was almost defeated and having trouble to keep up with his opponent and the world’s end was near.
Through telepathic skills Son Goku called upon all living beings on the planet to lend him their power by raising their arms to the sky. So he created the Genki Dama, a spiritual sphere that is charged by the energy of all living beings, which grew so much in size and power, that it defeated the enemy and the world was saved. A great example and a good moral if you ask me.
What Does That Teach Us?
Even though Son Goku was the strongest warrior, he was facing a challenge that he could not overcome on his own. But he crowd-sourced the energy from many to overcome the strength of the enemy. Similar to a crowdfunding campaign, many people can tackle an issue or support a project, even if the single amount is not much. A little help multiplied countless times still puts you into a state where you can achieve your goals.
So whether you are engaging in a social project, if you are helping out in your community or if you support companies via the internet by giving them money when you believe in the cause – this can all work out if you work together.
I hope you liked the rather geeky comparison and feel more positive about crowdsourcing and crowdfunding now. It is a great way of getting things done and the internet helps us to engage globally and beyond your geographical realm. If you are intrigued by the mentions of Son Goku and the Dragon Ball story you should consider reading the manga perhaps. It’s certainly a classic and will keep you hooked for a while, if you never checked it before.
YouTube: Clip on the mentioned fight (spoiler)
Photo credit: Akira Toriyama