Saturday, February 18, 2012
'Nobody knows anything...the single most important fact, perhaps, of the entire movie industry'
- 2 time Oscar winning screenwriter William Goldman, 'Adventures in the Screen Trade' (1983)
I got a free invite, and there was free beer. Just to give you some context.
It's amazing how free beer and wine can draw in a room full of creatives. Alcoholism or poverty?
In any case, a startup company, Pozible, hosted an event on 'crowdfunding' this week. Pozible, as it turns out, is a website that helps you run a 'crowdfunding' campaign.
For the unitiated, 'crowdfunding' is an idea 3 to 4 years old. Essentially, it is about offering rewards to people to get them to donate cash to your creative project. The cash you receive is then used to actually make the film/song/book, etc. The donator then receives their promised reward (e.g. a DVD copy of the completed film) when the creative work is completed.
For people in the USA, they have an almost identical website called 'Kickstarter'. Both websites do basically the same thing, but Pozible is better for those of us based in Australia and the Asia-Pacific.
But why is this relevant to you?
Well, 'crowdfunding' is the result of the wave of technology and social media changing all of our lives, enabling us in ways we thought previously impossible. Dreams are there for the taking, for the patient and impatient alike. There is no immunity to the future, only adaptation.
Think of a world without Facebook. Without Google!
Tough isn't it?
And that is the world that is evolving. Connected. Full of opportunity.
But with these opportunities comes a new form of uncertainty. The old rules are cast aside. How do we make the new world work?
To help answer this question, the Pozible team asked several people to talk about their successful (i.e. achieved their $ funding goal) funding campaigns. As they spoke, what became clear to me was, not for lack of effort, talent and intelligence, that these people were not really sure what it was that made their funding campaigns successful. Their success still had all the hallmarks of lightning in a bottle.
Is there a moral to this? In a manner of speaking, yes.
The Pozible guys are savvy. Their website has enabled creatives to raise, collectively, over $1 Million in funding for a large number of projects that would not have happened otherwise. In my view, they are a force for good.
But William Goldman's words remain valid.
Technology is opening up new frontiers. In the end, however, nobody really knows whether something will be a success or not.
So, be aware and open to wonderful new opportunities like Pozible, but never lose sight of the fact that your greatest opportunity is when a project is yours alone to craft and polish.
Make great work and the crowd will come.
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