Crowdfunding Elementen (Dutch)

November 14, 2011 § 4 Comments

I normally blog in English but I’m making an exception for viewers of my presentation last week at the Challengers Day in Amsterdam. An English translation of the presentation will follow shortly!

Een samenvatting

Crowdfunding is hot. In Nederland zijn dit jaar meer dan tachtig projecten medegefinancierd door crowdfunding. Samen goed voor 750.000 euro. Wereldwijd is middels dit fenomeen al meer dan 300 miljoen dollar opgehaald.

Maar wat is crowdfunding precies? Wat kunnen we leren van deze trend? En hoe kun je door dit fenomeen in te zetten meer uit je marketingbudget halen?

Pim Betist behandelt in zijn lezing de basis elementen van crowdfunding, aan de hand van herkenbare praktijkvoorbeelden. Hoe maak je van jouw klant een evangelist? En, hoe zet je crowdfunding in om jouw marketingboodschap onder de huid van je klant te krijgen? Na de lezing is duidelijk hoe je op innovatieve manier het merkbewustzijn bij jouw doelgroep verhoogt.

Zorg voor balans 

Pim gaat in op de vier elementen van crowdfunding

  • Vertrouwen
  • Kwaliteit
  • Potentie
  • Begrip

Kwaliteit en potentie worden verzekerd op het moment dat je een juiste balans weet te vinden tussen de kracht van de massa en een hoog entertainment gehalte. Te veel massa zorgt voor inferieure kwaliteit, terwijl een te sterke kwaliteitsfilter de fun factor teniet doet.

Ieder crowdfunding concept heeft te maken met drie belanghebbenden.

  • de dienstverlener
  • de geld behoeftige
  • de investeerder/ donateur

In de ontwikkeling van het concept moet een afweging gemaakt worden tussen rekening houden met alle belangen van de verschillende stakeholders en een duidelijk en simpel concept dat bij iedereen begrip en vertrouwen opwekt.

Het maken van een keuze tussen faciliteren en waarde toevoegen als crowdfunding dienstverlener is cruciaal. Platformen die deze keuze niet maken hebben een grote kans op een te zware overhead en ontevreden klanten. Als men er voor kiest om waarde toe te voegen moet ook het business model hierop aan worden gepast. Kiest men ervoor om te faciliteren dan moet dit zo helder mogelijk worden gecommuniceerd zodat er geen valse verwachtingen ontstaan.

“Failing to prepare is preparing to fail”, Benjamin Franklin

Bij het starten van een crowdfunding project is het belangrijk om een inschatting te maken van de hoeveelheid tijd die toegewezen wordt aan elke fase. In de ideale situatie wordt de tijd als volgt verdeeld.

  1. voorbereiding 40%
  2. crowdfunding 20%
  3. uitvoering 40%

Fase 1 is cruciaal. De promotionele content moet voorbereid zijn en er moet een duidelijke planning zijn voor fase 2. In deze fase wordt spijkers met koppen geslagen. Hoe langer het project duurt om volledig gefinancierd te geraken, hoe meer het vertrouwen van de potentiële investeerder daalt. Fase 3 is belangrijk voor de continuïteit van het platform. Beloftes moeten nagekomen worden. Anders zal het succes kortstondig zijn.

Praktijkvoorbeeld: Africa Unsigned

Met het nieuwe bedrijf van Pim Betist als voorbeeld wordt uitgelegd hoe de crowdfunding elementen tot een werkend concept zijn gebracht.

Afrika barst van onbenut potentieel, zeker op het gebied van muziek. De infrastructuur ontbreekt, maar de muziek die het continent biedt is divers en vernieuwend. Bovendien ontstaat er een steeds grotere middenklasse in Afrika en groeit het gebruik van de mobiele telefoon/internet exponentieel. Op bepaalde vlakken haalt Afrika Europa zelfs in. Zo zijn er Kenia alleen al 14 miljoen gebruikers van mobiel betalingssysteem MPESA. Met Africa Unsigned speelt Betist in op deze kansen middels crowdfunding.

Om de kwaliteit op het platform te garanderen introduceerde Betist een muziekpanel bestaande uit bekende experts als Tony Allen (Fela Kuti) en Damon Albarn (Gorillaz & Blur). In een samenwerking met Giel Beelen is de balans gevonden tussen de Wisdom of Crowds en entertainment.  In de ochtendshow van Giel Beelen werden kort door het muziekpanel voorgeselecteerde tracks gespeeld. Het luisterpubliek stemde op een speciale website op haar favoriete track. De band met de meeste stemmen won een samenwerking met DJ Gregor Salto. Mokoomba, de winnende band, afkomstig uit Zimbabwe, stapte voor het eerst in het vliegtuig om met DJ Gregor Salto in Nederland de studio in te duiken. De samenwerking werd vastgelegd in een videoclip die inmiddels meer dan 250.000 keer online bekeken is. De band haalde vervolgens via Africa Unsigned voldoende budget op om een mini album uit te brengen. Deze EP is deze zomer gelanceerd met een flashmob in het centrum van Amsterdam.

Een belangrijke uitdaging in crowdfunding is dat het fenomeen het beste werkt in niche en opkomende markten. Het boek “The Long Tail” geschreven door Chris Anderson beschrijft hoe we van deze uitdaging een kans kunnen maken. Betist benadrukt dat het vinden van een juiste balans tussen trekken (Wisdom of Crowds) en duwen (Entertainment/massa bereiken) cruciaal is om The Long Tail voor je te laten werken.

Betist eindigt zijn presentatie met de Maslow theorie. Hij legt middels deze theorie uit dat een combinatie tussen financieel en emotioneel rendement de sterkste drijfveren bieden om geld te investeren. De reden die hier aan ten grondslag ligt is te verklaren middels de  de derde en vierde laag van de piramide van Maslow. De mens heeft behoefte aan liefde, en wil bij een groep horen waarmee hij of zij zich kan identificeren. Participatie biedt de potentiële investeerder de mogelijkheid onderdeel te worden van een community die ergens voor staat. Dit speelt direct in op het zelfvertrouwen en de status van de investeerder.

Crowdfunding, a once in a lifetime opportunity

October 30, 2011 § 2 Comments

This is the third year in a row for me to do a panel discussion at Womex, the world’s largest world music conference. Musician and cultural activist Alan Bern was also on the panel. He is director of a band called The Other Europeans who were selected from over 700 bands to showcase their CD at Womex. This was as much a challenge as an opportunity for him and his band.The Other Europeans

 

He needed more than 10.000 dollars to fly his 14 member band to Copenhagen. Alan chose to use crowdfunding as a way to raise the budget. He successfully did so on Kickstarter in 43 days and shared some interesting stats and lessons with us.

Alan did 3 postings, with audio and video, spaced in approx. 3 weeks. He reached out to his first circle of friends and fans via e-mail (450), facebook (1075) the band’s fanpage on Facebook (531) and another music fanpage (500).
Each posting caused a wave of backers totaling in 138 backers accounting for 10,971 dollars.

More than three quarters of his backers invested 50 dollars or less for which they received rewards like signed CDs and DVDs. These smaller backers, Alan explained, were very keen on this reward scheme. The bigger backers didn’t care about the rewards. They just cared about supporting the initiative.

In total Alan reached out to around 2500 contacts. There must be some overlap between the different media he used (e-mail, facebook, etc) but it gives us a ball park figure to work with. 138 people actually went ahead and backed the project. This represents just 5% of Alan’s network and the actual figure is less than that, because not all backers came from Alan’s network. The first wave of backers did, but the second and third were friends of friends.

Alan’s experience once again points out to me the significance of having the ability to get that first movement going. Without this group of “first believers” the other backers would have never jumped on board. Alan made clear to his friends and relatives that this project is a once in a lifetime opportunity for him and the band. He succeeded in getting that message out, and that was the key to the crowdfunding success of The Other Europeans. He never made the assumption that thousands of people were sitting by their computers waiting with their credit cards to support him and his band. He went all in. The only way to grab a once in a lifetime opportunity.

Fail to succeed: even in crowdfunding

September 22, 2011 § Leave a comment

Have you seen that Nike commercial where Michael Jordan tells you why he succeeded? The ultimate point is that one has to fail numerous times on order to finally succeed. This fact is hard to dispute as I have not yet met an accomplished person who managed to succeed in everything (s)he did over and over and over again.

As the story goes, a failure to protect his bike from theft pushed Mohammad Ali into boxing.

Mohandas Ghandi failed to secure his already-paid first class seat in South Africa and was subsequently thrown off the train. This “minor” incident ultimately paved a way to Ghandi overthrowing British rule in India.

A recent study by MIT suggests that allowing scientists to fail also increases their chances to come up with breakthrough scientific discoveries.

The list can go on indefinitely, the main point is clear – one should fail and be allowed to fail in order to succeed.

Now, wouldn’t you agree that same rule holds for crowdfunding? Of all the new platforms and initiatives that are appearing today, many will fail. I hope that some of those that fail will learn their lot and will find strength and desire to make their next initiatives successful. Experience of failure is what crowdfunding lacks today.

Crowdfunding is a hype – Sprout

September 21, 2011 § Leave a comment

My quarterly column for an online Dutch entrepreneurial magazine Sprout was published. Below is an English translation.

Sometime ago I was invited to participate at a round-table discussion on crwodfunding. The organizer was a crowdfunding entrepreneur I had never heard of before, but I figured the main players in the industry would be there, so I attended. Five years ago the world had no idea what crowdfunding was, today – the plate is is filled to the brim with entrepreneurs venturing into crowdfunding.

Dutch media continues to increase its focus on crowdfunding, and the overall attention the term receives, makes it appear more than it really is. If the law of attraction holds, we can expect the crowdfunding market to grow from all this coverage. However what is necessary for crowdfunding, more than media space, is success.

This year alone, more than eighty Dutch projects have been cofinanced through crowdfunding. Dutch cultural foundations are looking into ways to break bread and so begin sponsoring developments of crowdfunding platforms, similar to Amsterdam-based Voordekunst.nl. Voordekunst is an Amsterdam only initiative, while its clone that is currently under development will attempt to occupy the whole national market. What success factors are required for such an initiative to make it big?

According to the initiator of the round-table, storytelling and communication are the most critical success factors for crowdfunding. This “knowledge” is primarily based on publically available information about the American initiative Kickstarter. Bunch of hot air that is, if you ask me. When you only focus on bringing in funds that aren’t well spent, your success is bound to be short-lived.

Another expert advice recently published in a NOS.nl article steers entrepreneurs towards initiating funding of playgrounds. These ideas are a sugar cake for officials that hand out subsidies. Needs for playgrounds are highest in most deprived areas with neighborhood residents that are the hardest to reach through social media. Indeed, they are the best served by such initiatives, but are least of all able to invest. And when those playgrounds have been built, who will maintain them? Are we going to crowdfund that too?

Start small and offer quality

My advice to anyone interested in initializing crowdfunding is – start small and offer quality. Forget the success factors lists and make sure that you get the core of your concept right. Work with people related to your concept with good faith. Then growth will come itself. Make development of your core concept a clear guideline. Do you want to add value to project owners or do you limit yourself to facilitating? This is an important choice that is often overlooked, resulting in high overhead and a disgruntled community.

I have a request for the Voordekunst-number-two people. use your available budget for research and find out how to turn this Amsterdam initiative into a European success. We will be proud of our innovative Dutch discovery and maybe event have a shot at Kickstarter’s success.

Pim Betist spreekt op het congres voor Consumententrends

July 28, 2011 § Leave a comment

Consumententrends 11 en 12 oktober 2011
Op 11 en 12 oktober vindt Consumententrends voor de 16e keer plaats. Wij zijn erbij en hopen je te mogen verwelkomen bij het landelijke trendcongres voor inspiratie, inzicht en innovatie. Pim Betist spreekt over nieuwe consumer-driven businessmodellen. Klik hier voor de brochure met het volledige programma.

 

De consument is aan de macht!
De opkomst van internet & social media heeft een revolutionaire verandering gecreëerd. De consument is overduidelijk aan de macht en krijgt een andere rol in de samenleving en in het businessmodel van elke organisatie. Tijdens het tweedaagse congres komen dé trends aan bod die jouw business gaan bepalen.


Farid Tabarki spreekt over de nieuwe trends in de tijdsgeest & samenleving, Jim Stolze gaat in op de verschuiving van producteconomie naar aandachtseconomie en Henry Mason deelt de ’12 trends that will kick ass in 2012’ met je. Op dag twee meer over de vertaling van trends naar innovatie en new business, een interactief middagprogramma waarbij je de toonaangevende consumententrends hoort voor jouw branche en een inspirerende afsluiting: Ga vreemd! Een wereldreis langs succesvolle innovatieve concepten wereldwijd door Rob Adams. Bekijk het
volledige programma.

Relatiekorting 20%
Graag bied ik je de mogelijkheid het congres bij te wonen met een korting van 20% bij inschrijving voor één of beide dagen. Vermeld bij je aanmelding de kortingscode 777PimB om in aanmerking te komen voor de korting. De korting wordt niet met terugwerkende kracht verwerkt. Bij deelname aan beide dagen ontvang je een gratis hotelovernachting in het 4-sterren hotel & Wellness resort Sanadome, bovendien biedt Euroforum je een gratis beauty & wellness arrangement als je je voor 31 juli 2011 aanmeldt.

Meer informatie
Heb je nog vragen of wil je je inschrijven. Neem dan contact op met Euroforum: Leanne Visser via 040  297 2793 of
l.visser@euroforum.nl. We hopen je te zien op 11 en 12 oktober. Plaats: Wellness Conference Center Sanadome in Nijmegen.

Russians are crowdfunding a battle against corruption

July 26, 2011 § Leave a comment

From our Russian correspondent @dubcountry:
As crowdfunding continues to occupy niches across industries and sectors, the concept may just go a long way. A very peculiar initiative I recently discovered comes from a  Russian lawyer and an increasingly popular political activist, Alexey Navalny. Mr Navalny is known for his anti-corruption efforts and a struggle against fraudulent government-affiliated Russian businesses.
Navalny’s  recent project RosPil aims to uncover corruption of government tenders. All government tenders are published online where anyone, be it citizens or businesses, can search through databases. The idea is great, as it assumes transparency and easy monitoring, however, according to Mr. Navalny huge numbers of tenders are still rigged. To combat fraud in governmental tenders,  Navalny asked general public to fund the RosPil project. For the money received Navalny hires top-notch legal professionals, which systematically assess government tenders, find flaws, illegalities as well as pure scams and then initiate legal proceedings. Moreover, to make sure the requests are heard and are heard on time, Navalny encourages the public to also file complaints to the prosecutors’ departments, president’s administration etc. All the documents that are filed including all subsequent correspondence with officials is published online on the RosPil website.
Initially Navalny aimed to crowdfund RUB 3 mil – RUB 5 mil (ca. EUR 75k – 125k), to be collected within the period of one year. But few weeks into the project, he has already gathered around RUB 7 mil (ca. EUR 175k) and contributions continue to flow. As stated on the official website, RosPil team has filed 39 complaints against tenders, 21 of which have been found as well-grounded by the authorities with the total worth of prevented corruption RUB 7 mil. On the scale of government spending the sum is not sky high but it’s a start.
Not wanting to dig deep into political activism (music is a merrier lot), I am still very happy to see that incarnations of cowdfunding help find solutions to problems of various caliber. In the case of RosPil, it’s strive for transparency and successful supporters’ activism are a promising start in Russia’s crowdfunded anti-corruption battle!

Ska legends, crowdfunding targets and Japanese nuclear crises: there is a connection

July 20, 2011 § Leave a comment

Back in March a promising and ambitious project appeared on Kickstarter. A DJ, radio host, producer and now film maker, Brad Klein, was looking for money to fund his lifetime dream – a great Ska documentary. It was going to be the first film ever to feature most of the still living fathers of JamaicanSka music, their performances, interviews, history and much more. Brad was attempting to make this film since early 2002 right after he organized Legends of Ska concert in Toronto, a venue acknowledged by media as the best concert of the year!

The documentary was indeed promising but the project failed to reach the $50,000 mark on Kickstarter and funds were returned to the backers. Pity! I had a chance to speak to Brad shortly after his Kickstarter project went sideways. We figured there were two main factors playing their role in project’s failure: overly ambitious target and the Japanese nuclear tragedy. Let’s start with the latter. The original campaign launched on Kickstarter on March 10, 2011. By next day, entire world was glued to TVs anxiously watching Japanese nuclear crises unfold. Foreign aid from countries and individuals poured into Japan while reducing money available for other things. Brad believes that had profound influence on his Kickstarter campaign. Being involved with Ska and the idea of making the film for almost 10 years now, Brad knows there are plenty of Ska fans in Japan and Europe. Due to the crises however those fans paid little interest to the documentary. Although it might sound a little farfetched at first it is actually quite reasonable. During major crises a lot of attention that would otherwise be dispersed over many things, is now focused on a particular event. While there is little we can do in avoiding major disasters, we can still accomplish much towards realizing our goals. In terms of crowdfunding that also means setting a target that is realistic, yet that will help you get where you want. More money is always good, and probably more money will help you make a better movie, record a grander album, better build a brand etc. But with each crowdfunding project there is a limit to how much you can get. Back on Sellaband I saw Public Enemy (among others) struggling to reach their goal. Since then I know that it is better to have less money than nothing at all. If you view crowdfunding not only as means to finance your project, but also as an effective way to market it, you will see that you need less crowd money than you think. The extra may come from angel investors, government institutions etc. Ultimately your crowdfunding campaign is great to attract money not only from the crowd. If you show markets’ trust (measured by your CF success), they will be more inclined to fund the rest of your project. Meanwhile Brad launched his second campaign on Kickstarter. He lowered the target, improved incentives and is well on the way to succeed this time. If you like Ska music, or know anyone that does, go ahead and support Brad –it might just be the best Ska documentary ever!

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