17 May 2010 ~ 3 Comments                                       

The Power of Crowdfunding: Diaspora

Whoa, Nelly! The largest Kickstarter project ever: 4 soon-to-be grads from NYU posted a project to fund their internships for the summer with a request for $10K to build the beginnings of an open-source, distributed Facebook. Man, did they get their timing right. As of right now, they have reached $177K! They have essentially raised a strong angel round, with no strings attached, no experience, and not a single line of code written. And they still have 15 days to go.

They hit this at the perfect time. Anti-Facebook sentiment over privacy issues recently hit a crescendo and they got some great press on the NY Times blog DealBook. I had the same thought as Jason Fried that these guys may, in fact, be hampered by this huge windfall. It’s too much money for 4 guys with no experience for a summer internship. Wouldn’t the money be better spent on different teams working on several pieces of the distributed social puzzle? (New term alert: “distributed social”. You heard it here first. Maybe.)

I bring this up on Co-Innovative because it demonstrates the amazing power of Kickstarter; to promote, distribute, and collect funds for a project. As I wrote back in October, Kickstarter is a killer platform. Further, a completely centralized network such as Facebook will not survive long term as they exist today, and neither will Twitter. Diaspora is a brilliant marriage of these two concepts. I’m looking forward to whatever these guys produce. Who knows, maybe in 3 years it will evolve into a Facebook killer.

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3 Responses to “The Power of Crowdfunding: Diaspora”

  1. Kay 24 May 2010 at 3:34 am Permalink

    We hope to achieve the same results at AfricaUnsigned.com.

    Founder of Sellaband, Pim Betist, has started a new crowdfunding presenting the New African Sound. With as little as 1$ you can support African artists to get a professional recording and the generated net income from the music sales is shared equally between the artists and you.

    Africa Unsigned releases African music, funded by fans. After an initial artist selection done by our African partners the final decision is taken by our music panel made up of music experts such as Baaba Maal, Tony Allen, Toumani Diabaté, Damon Albarn (Gorillaz, Blur) and so on.

    In the run up to its launch on June 24th in Amsterdam, AfricaUnsigned.com has started a campaign to kick start a community of supporters capable of creating a buzz about the project. The prize is a return flight to Africa to meet your favourite AU artist.
    For more information go to http://www.africaunsigned.com.

  2. Tom Powell 25 May 2010 at 1:41 pm Permalink

    Kay:
    Thanks for pointing me in the direction of AfricaUnsigned, I hadn’t seen that before and will check it out.

    Best of luck with the launch and be sure to come back to let us know how it goes.


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