Internet is, in its nature, a collective spirit. The network has a central axis, no absolute master. It is a network of interconnected networks that provide information and communication to those who are connected to it.
And although there have been many efforts to make the gold mine of a few users have always found ways to reclaim their property. If computers are social Internet, which are connected to them also.
One way in which this interaction has become evident is through joint financing sites that allow independent developers, programmers and entrepreneurs enthusiastic alternative to the mass appeal cybernetics to realize their dreams.
But how does this model?
In general we are talking about websites where creators publish a project idea or plan to make, be it a movie, a video game or product. In your page specify the amount of money required to make it happen and appeal to people to contribute a portion of the investment which can range from a few dollars to thousands.
In exchange for the investment projects often offer something their supporters (known in the jargon as backers of these services), from a credit in a movie or a shirt up shares in the project, depending on the amount invested in it.
Each of the ideas set a time limit to reach the funding-from a few days to a few months, and depending on the rules of the site, the project can stay penniless if desired is not enough money on time or raise it it collects when time has reached its limit.
Some services take a commission from the proceeds, others are funded by advertising and others take a slice of the project.
At the time of this writing there are at least 33 sites on the Internet dedicated joint financing to facilitate the collection of funds for independent projects.
One of the most nominated is Kickstarter (www.kickstarter.com) ensures that this August has launched more than 68,000 projects, raising more than $ 275 million with a success rate of 44%.
The site allows anyone in the world to contribute money to a project, usually through PayPal, although at the beginning only allowed U.S. creators publish their projects. This changed recently extending it to the UK and with an eye on include other countries soon.
The most successful project called Pebble their stay: E-Paper Watch and it is a “smart watch” that has apps and can connect to an iPhone or Android devices. The project was U.S. $ 10 million with the support of over 68,000 “backers” in May this year, making it the idea that more money has been raised on the site.
But Kickstarter is not alone. Internet around added to the list of most visited sites in this area to places like Razoo (www.razoo.com) Pozible (www.pozible.com) or FundaGeek (www.fundageek.com).
Beyond everyone’s preference for one or another of these sites, all tend to point to the same advantages and disadvantages.
Projects that are on these sites reach more exposure than they would if they were trying to achieve on their own funds. The famous smart watch, for example, did not reach the necessary resources with private investors.He managed the Joint Financing and $ 10 million.
Another advantage of this type of initiative is that by not relying on a single investor or group of capitalists, the project can maintain their independence. All you have to do is to fulfill its mission and provide what it promised to “backers” in exchange for funding. It is true that many take seriously the feedback from their supporters, but overall the project owners maintain control over it … and money.
Many of the sites that have been funded through this kind of business models have been successful. Documentaries such as “Incident in New Baghdad” or “Sun Come Up” were nominated for Oscars. Similar stories have happened with musical ideas.
Another positive point is that the “backers” are involved in projects that would not otherwise have contributed part albeit with a fraction of the funding. The idea of joint financing also means collective participation.
The project quality is not guaranteed. That’s one of the greatest difficulties of the projects that are in these pages. Even the services themselves do not ensure that projects are completed and in effect has happened that people have given financial support to some of them who have not been, or have proved to be a fraud copying designs, images and ideas from elsewhere.
But the creators also risk being duped. To publicly present their ideas to raise funds, they risk being stolen others displaying their intellectual property.
Additionally, the legal framework of each country can be a nightmare. In countries like the U.S. or UK law requires that if you ask for money in exchange for shares, the project and its transactions must be registered with the Securities Commission.
That is perhaps one reason why some of these services have expanded to other countries where financial rules may not be as clear.
To summarize, it is clear that the joint financing has its bright side and its dark side. But beyond the view that such services can wake is clear that represent one thing: the Internet is a community.
The oracles of the past were at the top of the mountains, today are only one click away.