[okfn-discuss] New crowdfunding system in the works exclusively for Free/Libre/Open resources
wolftune at gmail.com
Sat Dec 8 15:03:41 UTC 2012
I appreciate your concerns and feedback. Yes, the idea is novel and you
might be concerned, but I am confident that we have addressed the issues,
and it is purely a marketing issue. Ok, actually there are details yet to
determine, but they won't impact the basic stability of the idea.
There's nothing to be scared about. Donors choose to put money into the
system overall. The system won't have unlimited access to your bank account
or credit cards. If you don't put enough money in to meet the increased
pledge amount, then your pledge will be marked "unfunded" and that also
means it will reduce everyone else's pledge. You will be failing to uphold
your pledge, but you won't be paying more than you can.
Furthermore, I want to implement some sort of share-split to allow the
minimum pledge to drop down after pledges get up to certain levels.
As to contributor communities, there are already good platforms. We want to
emphasize and encourage creative contribution. That will be a clear element
in the system. I want to write up a formal honor system that requires (just
based on honor) that everyone put in contributions in the best ways they
But, as you say, this is marketing challenge. But I think with little comic
strips, videos, graphs, and concrete examples, the challenge can be met.
This would have been impossible 5 years ago before Kickstarter. There are
tons of precedences that we need to make it clear that this will work, but
we're not just then doing the status quo, we're pushing for a further
ambitious reform of the way people think. It is indeed a leap, but I think
it will be just as easy to accept after it is going as Kickstarter or
Wikipedia are understandable today. Few would have accepted those ideas as
viable originally before they were shown to actually work in reality.
On Sat, Dec 8, 2012 at 2:03 AM, John Baxter <john.slade.baxter at gmail.com>wrote:
> I agree with others' concerns that the funding model seems very
> complicated / scary. I also don't get why. Selling it to this mailing
> list should be much easier than selling it to the public, and that hurdle
> still seems far too high.
> I assume you're friendly with Michel Bauwens (@mbauwens) and the
> My main query would be whether you could start with a platform for
> contributor communities, and monetise as a secondary element - rather than
> crowdfunding platforms as your starting point. The biggest challenge with
> crowdfunding AFAIK is that entrants can't meet the challenge of forming
> their own 'tribes'. Also with 'open' projects, where potential to
> contribute is far more than just money, it would seem to make sense on
> focusing on a platform to support that community overall, first and
> foremost, and financial contribution second.
> But then I don't understand fully what model you're describing, and how
> the 'ongoing' element works. So perhaps the thoughts are not relevant.
> *John Baxter*
> NB. I process my inbox once daily. Tweet, or include 'urgent' somewhere in
> your subject line to get my attention more quickly.
> On Sat, Dec 8, 2012 at 12:14 PM, Aaron Wolf <wolftune at gmail.com> wrote:
>> Luis, thanks for the feedback. Making everything clear is a challenge,
>> but definitely possible.
>> Here's the deal: you contribute to an account in the system (sort of like
>> escrow), then your pledge basically says that you are withholding your
>> donations until others chip in too (and further, that you'll contribute
>> more to the particular projects that others also support). That's it.
>> Pretty simple.
>> Ok, so how much will they end up contributing to a project? We don't want
>> to introduce artificial statements about this. When people even set prices
>> on things it is a guess based on scale and other factors. The community
>> will determine what happens and we aren't going to regulate it. We can
>> provide historical examples after we have a couple successful projects.
>> Finally, about whether people will choose to give… here's the trick:
>> there's NO reason to hesitate. You won't be forced to donate any more than
>> you put in your account to start (although there may be social pressure to
>> add more if everyone else is). It will cost you basically nothing unless
>> everyone else chips in. So if you want the project to succeed, you'll be
>> happy to do your part, and if it isn't working out then it won't cost you
>> basically anything. No risk. No reason not to go and pledge, assuming you
>> like the project.
>> Aaron Wolf
>> On Fri, Dec 7, 2012 at 8:18 PM, Luis Villa <luis at tieguy.org> wrote:
>>> My instinct is that if you can't explain how much people will be
>>> expected to give (or even, in a sentence, what model might determine
>>> how much they will give), they won't give at all. So I'd urge you to
>>> simplify the model. But I wish you luck either way :)
>>> On Fri, Dec 7, 2012 at 4:37 PM, Aaron Wolf <wolftune at gmail.com> wrote:
>>> > Hi Thomas,
>>> > Thanks for the interest.
>>> > I'm actually not sure the best way to describe our concept in fewest
>>> > but it isn't actually exponential, more like quadratic. The growth is
>>> > linear in that donors later down the line don't have a bigger impact
>>> > the initial ones, i.e. it isn't actually exponential.
>>> > But the concept is similar. We want the support to grow, much like how
>>> > auction values can grow beyond what people initially bid after they see
>>> > others bid more, but in our case everyone chips in, they are just more
>>> > willing to do so as they see that others are doing the same.
>>> > So, to answer your question: there is NO maximum truly. But there IS
>>> > control. Donors will fund an account which they control still, and so
>>> > cannot take more money from donors than the amount they put into their
>>> > account. But we do want there to be some pressure to add to the
>>> account and
>>> > not fall through on their pledge. We have ideas about optional ways to
>>> > or reduce donations when the amounts get higher, but that is a
>>> > problem to have.
>>> > I would love to get more feedback or involvement from you after you've
>>> > looked over our proposals.
>>> > Here's an invite code for you:
>>> > http://snowdrift.coop/invitation/9514777464dbaecb
>>> > Cheers!
>>> > --
>>> > Aaron Wolf
>>> > wolftune.com
>>> > On Fri, Dec 7, 2012 at 5:18 PM, Thomas Kluyver <
>>> thomas.kluyver at cantab.net>
>>> > wrote:
>>> >> Hi Aaron,
>>> >> This sounds really interesting, I look forward to seeing the results.
>>> >> On 7 December 2012 20:46, Aaron Wolf <wolftune at gmail.com> wrote:
>>> >>> 3. We have designed a novel mechanism to address the problems with
>>> >>> encouraging as many people as possible to join the community. A
>>> >>> explanation is: each pledge starts near zero and increases only when
>>> >>> people pledge as well. Essentially, each donation is contingent on
>>> >>> else donating; like matching funds but achieved geometrically across
>>> >>> everyone in the system, growing further with each new donor.
>>> >> Just to check, I assume there will be a way for individual donors to
>>> >> their donation? This sort of exponential increase sounds a bit scary
>>> from a
>>> >> donor point of view.
>>> >> Best wishes,
>>> >> Thomas
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