Crowdfunding Crisis #1: Lack of flexibility

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There are crowdfunding platforms
for all variety of causes.

Musicians, educational projects, non-profits, faith-based organizations, arts, medical expenses, political causes, film productions and plenty more areas of interest each have their own crowdfunding platforms.

And yet each of these incorporates one major problem or another.

There is massive proliferation of crowdfunding sites.

  • There over 450 crowdfunding platforms worldwide
  • More than 160,000 crowdfunding campaigns are launched annually
  • Over half of those campaigns fail

The failure rate is due to a confluence of realities. Among them: bad ideas, bad implementation, bad campaigns.

But some of the failures are directly attributable to the structural faults in the existing crowdfunding mega-sites. Those faults are to a large measure a result of the velocity with which the sector is expanding.

We can think back to the earlier years of the World Wide Web and the plethora of then-revolutionary but now-forgotten programs and applications, like Altavista, WordPerfect and Friendster. The massive successes of today emerged from the ferment of a maturing internet culture.

A similar transformation could be upon us, with the biggest names in crowdfunding today may be destined for an ignominious obscurity in a decade or so.

In some respects, one crowdfunding mega-site is much like the other, yet each has its unique, often arbitrary and usually arcane rules, regulations, limitations and characteristics. Finding the site that is appropriate for a particular campaign can involve a daunting learning curve – even before the demands of the campaign itself begin.

The universe of crowdfunding sites is increasingly crowded and confusing. There are equity and non-equity, debt and reward-based crowdfunding sites targeted to pretty much everything an entrepreneur can imagine.

Yet each of the crowdfunding mega-sites has its own particular, often daunting and usually arbitrary rules and disadvantages.

What they all share in common is a take-it-or-leave-it, one-size-fits-all approach. This is just weird for a market segment that is aimed squarely at the most innovative, entrepreneurial people on earth. It is not a good fit at all.

Innovators are going to demand flexibility. As long as all crowdfunding platforms offer similar cookie-cutter options, consumers will take what they can get. But when someone builds a better mousetrap, the world will abandon the crowdfunding mega-sites that now control this huge and growing sector.

Is that likely to happen? Keep reading.

46 thoughts on “Crowdfunding Crisis #1: Lack of flexibility

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