The new entrepreneurs are thinking small.

One of my recent side projects has been the design of an environmental iPhone app called GreenBug. My overarching goal is to enlist  game-like interfaces in the service of behavior change… an idea I’ve been thinking about as going green through crowdsourcing.

Coincidentally, I’ve discovered that I am part of a much larger trend. Crowdsourcing really is all the rage these days, especially when it comes to entrepreneurship.  Micro-lending, which started out as a tool to spur entrepreneurship in people living in poverty, is transforming itself into a tool for funding ideas everywhere.  Entrepreneurs have discovered that instead of going for large-scale VC funding, they can bootstrap their projects by asking a lot of people for a little bit of money. Since the iPhone app revolution began, we have learned to spend money 99 cents at  a time.  Now we are learning to earn it the same way.

Some examples of the brave new world…

So far, my project on Kickstarter hasn’t gained much momentum, but that’s OK.  Like in the real world, a project needs a lot of attention to pass a critical mass.  I will build my app no matter what happens, and the exercise of having to sell your idea to a bunch of (literally) virtual strangers is worth the effort for every wannabe entrepreneur.