A New American Dream: Call It Crowd Power

Written by David Michaelis

Crowdfunding is turning the traditional economics of building a startup on its head. Check out our analysis — and the Crowd Power infographic — for ideas.

aNewDomain.net — Ten billion dollars is the latest estimate for the value and power of global crowdfunding. Check out the Crowd Power infographic, below. In the past five years the crowdfunding industry has undergone remarkable growth. That $10 billion has gone towards funding startups and small businesses. And there’s a myriad of platforms available today that will help your idea share in the wealth.

On a wide scale, crowd power and crowd wisdom get you instant feedback on whether you’re project has a real shot at success — or whether you’re just in blue-sky mode. Check out the Crowd Power infographic below. Scroll below the fold for more analysis.

Crowd Power: What Is Crowdfunding? [INFOGRAPHIC]

The crowdfunding industry’s exceptional growth is not likely to slow down anytime soon. It’s expected to grow by 92 percent this year alone.

That’s explosive growth. And it’s part of  an Internet-central bottom-up movement that disrupts classic business pathways like no tomorrow. Crowdfunding helps make many new ideas applicable in the market place.

As Devin Thorpe of Forbes put it: “Crowdfunding is going mainstream.”

Democratic Capitalism In Action

We live in a culture that emphasizes hierarchy, heroes and leaders – often at the expense of our own sense of self-worth or confidence. Just seven years ago the term crowdsourcing was coined by Jeff Howe. In a 2006 article in Wired, he used the term to describe the growing trend of seeking knowledge and creativity from the general public as opposed to using financial, marketing and startup gurus.

The concept of crowdsourcing flips hierarchy on its head, transforming ordinary people into active participants in the creation of culture, art, and even public policy. It creates a role for individuals and small companies to play in fields once exclusive to just a small few.

Private companies are beginning to see the power of crowdsourcing as they use these platforms to reach out to employees and customers for feedback and fresh ideas.

It makes sense. The most-innovative ideas don’t always, or even usually, come from the guys sitting in a board room. People who actually use and sell a company’s products have valuable hands-on experience and future-facing outlooks based on their experience.

Says Indiegogo founder Slava Rubin:

(Last year) was a banner year for crowdfunding as we saw the world grow increasingly comfortable voting with their dollar to fund what matters to them. At Indiegogo, the number of campaigns on our platform grew across industries and geographies. Since equity crowdfunding hit the national agenda two years ago, Indiegogo has grown by more than 1000 percent, clearly demonstrating that democratizing funding is a great thing for our economy.”

Consider that for every $37,702 invested in startups, one new job is created. Using that math, it’s possible to estimate that crowdfunding in 2014 will produce about 270,000 new jobs in the United States alone.

This also means that, if the growth rate remains the same, by 2020 crowdfunding will have created more than 2 million new jobs. The overall economic value of the industry is expected to reach approximately $3.2 trillion by 2020, ceteris paribus.

Whether these numbers will be the reality in the near term depends on the actors and stakeholders who, right now, have the power and voice to shape the existing and future market. It’s well worth considering how to leverage crowdfunding for your business.

For aNewDomain.net, I’m David Michaelis.

Based in Australia, David Michaelis is a world-renowned international journalist and founder of Link Tv. At aNewDomain.net, he covers the global beat, focusing on politics and other international topics of note for our readers in a variety of forums. Email him atDavidMc@aNewDomain.net.

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