19A couple years ago, while researching information for a US-based conference, we discovered a growing trend away from traditional funding options such as banks and savings options to the use of crowd-sourcing. Since then we have seen everything from micro-breweries to magazines launched. Here in Trinidad, Middle Face Marketing, powered by the indomitable Mel Gabriel, will look to this option to continue the stellar work with leading fashion magazine, Trinidad LookBook.

The option is one that we have continued to consider into our full move into the publishing space as well. But how viable is it? Well there are stunning examples of the success that crowd-funding can have – but for every outstanding success, there are countless failures, which are not always a result of a bad idea.

At the heart of crowd-sourcing on Kickstarter is the often overlooked aspect of marketing: emotion. People want to feel a part of something, something bigger than themselves and this emotional connection leads to donations ranging from US$1 all the way to US$10,000. Even more so, you are offering people the chance to be a part of a product that can change lives. But on a simpler level, people donate to see a product that they want come to life. Take Bluff Pants for example, highly wearable office pants that do not need to be constantly ironed or washed as often as regular pants due to their polyester fabric. An asking pledge of US$13,500 has attracted US$128,000 in funding. Hell yes, we would like to spend less time ironing our pants too. That’s why sometimes we just dont wear any to the office! (really casual friday!)

Or perhaps the timely photography coffee table book that takes a look at what happens to Olympic cities once the dust has cleared. The asking pledge was achieved at 147% of its rate. What would happen if Apple was to offer an early release of a new product or iPhone to persons pledging to assist in the cost and dare we say design of the product?

Truth is, social media has revolutionised the abilities of new entrepreneurs to fulfill their dreams. What would you like to Kickstart?

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