Given what we said about coopetition in our last blog post, in a cooperative model each campaign could individually decide to assist another campaign for their mutual economic benefit.
It may seem contradictory to suggest that a critical mass of crowdfunding campaigns can result in cooperation that benefits everyone instead of competition that delivers a zero-sum success-failure ratio. But it’s not a contradiction.
With a few tweaks, crowdfunding could be transformed into a phenomenon in which the goodwill and assistance of others are mobilized in mutually supportive ways while still benefiting each individual within a competitive environment. It would be ideal if there were a crowdfunding platform that allows us to operate independently of mega-sites – with their inherent competitiveness – but which lets us plug into a community of like-minded, cooperative venturers who can help us and who can be helped by us.
This can take the form of sharing backers with another campaign, creating synergies between products that are complementary to each other (example: a new phone and a new type of wireless charger). It could take the form of a backer, who has racked up loyalty points supporting one campaign, donating those points to another campaign.
The cooperative model is also about the sharing of profits where the campaigners compete separately for backers and pledges but can find mechanisms to share in revenue generated from a variety of other sources. And it’s where members get to decide through their own actions which crowdfunding projects, other than their own, they wish to support – it’s about being dedicated to the value of creating a crowdfunding industry where the majority of campaigns succeed as opposed to today, where a large majority do not.
Successive blog posts in this series explore how that could work.