Ideas Worth Funding, A Public Proposal
Crowdfunding is about to become a hell of a lot more noisy. We should do something about it.
Very early on in our humanity we recognized that we can accomplish more together. We recognized that we cannot bring forth much value through our own, limited resources and abilities. Any valuable enterprise takes a common effort, a collective, a team. Pooling resources is not new, what’s new is the interface.
But groups do not form easily. They form through effort, communication, cajoling, convincing, selling. Individuals need to be brought over the bridge from hesitation and doubt to belief and willingness to participate. This is the first stage or perhaps pre-stage of any group effort. Without the team forming and the resources coming together the dream of what that group might have done dies with it.
We use different forms of communication to cajole and bring two or more parties together. But in their most pure form they are a proposal. One is saying to Others “Lets do this.” and the other must respond. Most often we are alone in the beginning. We alone have an idea, a project, a proposal of some kind that in the beginning has no followers. All new things start at this point. We must summon up the courage to create a vision and share that vision.
But often that is not enough. We might not have the right tribe that understands what we are trying to do. We do not have the right channel to connect with the people who would see the possibilities that we see and so the idea dies before it is born.
But the internet has changed that. It has provided us with the ability to access, communicate and cajole an audience the size of which kings of empires could not have imagined. As it has evolved different platforms have emerged to enable us to support the projects we believe in. We have even seen laws being changed to encourage this new source of funding.
But here’s the catch.
The proliferation,accessibility and openness of these platforms have minimized their effectiveness. The ability for anyone to create a campaign has diminished the gravitas we place on them as we scroll past them in our feed.
As everyone gains access to the ability to panhandle on a massive scale we will develop the ability to ignore it on a massive scale.
But what if we could do something about this?
Imagine for a moment something almost sacrilegious. Imagine a crowdfunding platform that was not democratic. A platform that was not open to all. A platform that vetted the submissions and projects and built trust and credibility by only hosting and sharing the ideas that were trustworthy and ambitious enough. In effect this platform would be a publicly funded foundation. This foundation could act as a curator and collector of humanity’s most idealistic most audacious proposals. The projects and proposals that dare to dream beyond the believable. By consciously and deliberately building a platform that is exclusive and difficult to get onto the platform will have more weight and respect in the public eye. By developing and managing the process and requirements to get featured on the platform an authentic brand will be emerge that will significantly raise value of each particular proposal.
What I am proposing here is not a radical innovation. I am not in any way proposing to build the next billion dollar company or something to that effect. But I do have a strong intuition that the consequences of such a platform can be of monumental value to society.
Crowdfunding can be beautiful and idealistic.
But it’s going to suffocate in its own noise if we do not develop a way to evaluate what projects are worth funding.
If we do create such a space we can become the space where the greatest thinkers, and creators of all kinds can feel safe and fearless in imagining new possibilities and gaining our support precisely because they dare to do so.
And now for the ask. Lets do this. Lets build this together. Lets make this into a reality. I cannot build this alone nor do I want to.
Let this post serve as a meta proposal. If you’re out there and you would like to make this into a reality together then lets talk.
If you would like to help, simply get in touch (email@example.com). Or, if you’re just a human on the internet who likes being kind share this and be a part helping it spread.