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DIY Crowdfunding – Running Your Own Campaign

08.25.2013
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In recent days Indiegogo have been indulging in a bit of mischievous disinformation. Their announcement that the Ubuntu Edge campaign had “broken the world record” by surpassing the Pebble Watch project on its rival Kickstarter is not entirely accurate. Firstly the Ubuntu Edge project did not complete successfully (as we predicted), so whilst there was a promise of a lot of cash none of it will be redeemed as the project did not reach its target.

If we are simply looking at funds pledged from crowdfunding then surely Star Citizen has a legitimate claim to be “World Champion” with some $16 million already pledged and counting.

What is particularly interesting about this project is that whilst the initial Start Citizen campaign was on Kickstarter – the bulk of the funding is being raised by a DIY crowdfunding campaign. In this case using the Ignition Deck WordPress plugin before finally building their own platform to integrate into the game.

The appetite for DIY crowdfunding seems to be growing. Driven partly by the increasing acceptability of crowdfunding and so an ever increasing pool of knowledgeable crowdfunders out there, it is also a function of organisations with well established social and relationship capital recognising that they don’t necessarily rely on one of the bigger platforms to bring traffic or credibility to their campaign and, of course, the associated additional costs.

As larger platforms become ever more crowded with projects, the visibility and discoverability benefits of being on them arguably progressively erodes.

Similarly as these same platforms develop ever more complex and restrictive rules around how a campaign should be conducted, what is permitted, and which projects are accepted, the attractiveness of being able to run your own campaign on your own terms grows. Witness the Lockitron story where a group, frustrated at the rejection of the project by Kickstarter, launch their own campaign and raised over $2 Million in pre orders.

To meet this evolving group of self starters there is an increasing range of products and offerings available. The would be DIY crowdfunder has a range of options including the Selfstarter software developed by Lockitron for their campaign – that is now available for free – along with many others on Github.

Plugins like Ignition deck and Astoundify are increasingly popular extensions for wordpress and whitelabel offerings from groups like Crowdvalley, Starteed and Apicista offer the chance a variety of options from hosted and embedded campaigns, to single campaign management platforms all the way to providing the capacity to set up  your own crowdfunding platform.

To enhance this  various fulfilment and associated services are developing offering affiliated and associated functions to make the process of raising funds through crowdfunding easier and smoother still, and a more sustainable model. This would include platforms like the Celery preordering system, and one ecommerce function we have featured here in the past TinyLight Bulbs, to name just two.

We used to talk about crowdfunding being the democratisation of capital, and the DIY model is perhaps the ultimate expression of that ambition, lowering barriers to the point of their being all but absent.

Does this mean Kickstarter or Indiegogo will be disappearing soon? Not a bit of it, but it is a growing trend and another example of the constantly evolving crowdfunding sector.

We will shortly be releasing a report on DIY crowdfunding and if you want to be made aware of when that is available just contact us.

And if you are thinking of crowdfunding some finance for your project, would you consider the DIY approach?

Published at DZone with permission of Daniela Castrataro, author and DZone MVB.

(Note: Opinions expressed in this article and its replies are the opinions of their respective authors and not those of DZone, Inc.)