We live in a golden age in which technology is probably the biggest contributor to shaping so many aspects of our lives. Due to advances in technology, we have been able to enjoy this continued loop of development due to development. The concept of crowdfunding has been one of the advancements that will propel us to greater advancements.
We all have been there, the constant market testing of prototypes, the numerous renderings with different engineers, and the long wait of finding the right suppliers who can do the job. And when you finally do make it to that point, now you have to budget to test the market, meanwhile still praying that the feedback will be good enough so that the entire process doesn’t start over again.
With the introduction of platforms like Kickstarter and Indiegogo, in which one of their main goals is to allow campaign owners to gain market feedback early on, has completed revamped product development pans out. What that means is that a mere prototype can help you gauge the market. With such potential, it lowers the budget required for product development especially at the idea stage. Companies and entrepreneurs can spend a few thousand dollars to prototype it, make the video, market the launch, and see how it pans out. If it gets funded, great! If not, eh, just a few hundred or thousand dollars compared to the tens and hundreds of thousands that may have been required to get to that stage before.
Crowdfunding has become a phenomenon and a means of market testing for not just freelancers and entrepreneurs, but rather for big companies to seem small, and gain enough market data prior to launching. What that means is there is now a place for people to gauge whether if their dream actually has enough traction to turn it into a business, or generate enough interest to develop the idea further.
Gone are the days of traditional methods of marketing through focus groups, volunteer signups and trials on people. With the ease of crowdfunding, it is now work on the launch, post a campaign, test the product and continue to grow from there. This shortening of steps allows more people than the big players to launch an idea, which increases the amount of innovation we could possibly have.
What is remarkable about this phenomenon is the fact that it lowered the barrier of entry for hardware development. Now any person with an idea can go ahead and develop such campaign and hope to become the next hardware phenomenon. If you ask me, that is pretty damn awesome.
Our society is powered by innovation, and with a platform that not just facilitates, but promote such innovation in our younger generations, it will be no time before the robot dominated utopia of a land we often depict in the movies.
Brandon is the director of business development at LYNKD Enterprise Solutions — UBQ International, a supply chain consultancy company tailored for crowdfunding campaigns and start-ups.