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…
A micro-funding platform for creative projects – anything from films and music releases to iphone apps.
Tech-oriented crowdsourcing for startups.
- Pepsi Refresh Project
Corporate grants of various sizes for grassroots humanitarian projects.
- Brighter Planet Project Fund
Small grants for environmental projects.
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.