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As feds drag feet on investment 'crowdfunding' rules, states — including Oregon — fill void

posted Dec 13, 2014, 3:38 PM by David Khorram

crowdfund tecumseh brewingIt's a made-for-Oregon story: A couple of employees at an award-winning craft brewery decide to take an entrepreneurial leap and open their own brewpub.

But Tim Schmidt and Kyle DeWitt were looking to set up shop in Tecumseh, Michigan, a community of about 8,500 an hour southwest of Detroit. They had $155,000 borrowed from friends and family and the deed to a shuttered restaurant, but no bank would lend the rest of the money they needed to start brewing.

"We were running out of money and running out of time pretty fast," DeWitt said.

Their venture turned out to be a timely one. A year ago, Michigan passed a bill that would let businesses crowdfund startup or expansion costs through small investments from a large number of investors, and Tecumseh Brewing Co. was ready to be a test case.

The rest of the brewery's capital — $175,000 — ended up coming from 21 Michigan investors, most of whom Schmidt and DeWitt had never met.

Despite approval from the U.S. Congress in 2012, federal regulators have been slow to implement nationwide investment-crowdfunding rules. So individual states are filling the vacuum, passing their own laws and rules under what had been a little-used federal exemption.


CrowdFunding Planning logo animation CrowdFunding marketing

Oregon, it appears, is next in line. The state Department of Consumer and Business Services 
has already drafted rules that could be implemented as soon as January.

There is a catch: the so-called intrastate exemption to federal securities law only allows offerings made within a state's borders, so Oregon businesses could only seek investments from Oregon residents.

And with no finalized rules from the SEC, each state is coming up with its own playbook. Fourteen states and the District of Columbia have come up with crowdfunding rules, and no two are the same. More are on the way. Like Oregon, New Mexico is still in the middle of a rulemaking process.

Under the proposed rules in Oregon, businesses could raise up to $250,000, a lower cap than in most states that have adopted crowdfunding rules. Individuals could invest up to $2,500 apiece, even if they aren't "accredited investors" — a regulatory term meaning those who meet certain wealth or income thresholds and are therefore permitted to participate in higher-risk investments.

"You can now accept investment from the 99 percent," said Amy Pearl, a co-founder of Portland business incubator Hatch and a supporter of the Oregon initiative. "This is extremely significant, not only for the raising of capital ... but also it lets investors become actual stakeholders in their own community economy, and potentially make some money."

The Michigan brewers raised $53,000 before a single large investor came forward with the remaining $122,000. The offering closed several weeks early.

Some investments were as small as $250, Dewitt said, and none of the investors live more than 25 miles away. Many attended tasting nights for prospective investors.

"Crowdfunding opened it up to people who were super excited about it, couldn't wait to get the brewery open," he said. "They knew the town, they got to meet us and they knew the brewery concept."

When the brewery opens — in February, if all goes according to plan — 7 percent of its gross sales will be distributed among the investors until they make back one and a half times their investment.

Congress opened the door to equity crowdfunding with the JOBS Act of 2012, which unwound restrictions on the advertising of securities that had been in place since the Great Depression. Lawmakers decided the rules, put in place to protect small investors from losing their savings on bad deals, were out of date — and a hindrance to small businesses.

But the Securities and Exchange Commission has been slow to finalize rules that would implement crowdfunding. It proposed rules in October 2013, but the supposed 90-day comment period has dragged on for more than a year.

The agency declined to comment on the delay, but Chairwoman Mary Jo White told Congress in May that implementing crowdfunding was among the agency's priorities. When it might actually happen, however, remains a mystery to those following the issue.

"We just don't know," said Anya Coverman, deputy director of policy for the North American Securities Administrators Association, a state and provincial regulator's group. "They don't have a deadline on finishing any rulemaking. Where you're seeing the action and the innovation now is at the state level."

The result is a patchwork of rules and laws that vary wildly from place to place. Washington state's crowdfunding law took effect in November and allows companies to raise up to $1 million, though it has yet to be used by a single company.

Oregon's rules are comparatively conservative. Among the states that have rules in place, only Maryland has a lower cap on the amount a business can raise.

Offerings would not be registered with the federal government, and the state's oversight would be limited. That's by design, said David Tatman, administrator of the state's Division of Finance and Corporate Securities.

"Our goal was to try and keep this simple and streamlined, rather than create a more complex process," Tatman said. "We've put the dollar amount where we're not as concerned as we would be otherwise."

The businesses would also be required to make detailed disclosures to potential investors, as well as periodic updates throughout the life of the investment.

But the program does away with restrictions that for decades were thought to provide protection to unsophisticated investors, and some say it goes too far.

Alex Pawlowski spent 35 years as a banker and now works in economic development in southern Oregon. He saw capital for small business dry up in the recession, so he knows there's a need.

But he's also seen entrepreneurs struggle with even basic financial documents. And he's watched businesses collapse quickly.

"The first business that fails, there's going to be fingerpointing," Pawlowski said. "People are going to say, 'Who approved this?' 'Who looked at this plan?' I think that's where you're going to see things unravel."


Posted from: http://www.oregonlive.com/business/index.ssf/2014/12/crowdfunding_states_oregon_investment.html

Free CrowdFunding consultation and project modeling

posted Dec 13, 2014, 11:34 AM by David Khorram   [ updated Dec 13, 2014, 3:35 PM ]

Free CrowdFunding consultation and knowledge sharing


We offer free CrowdFunding consultations on the phone or over Google hangout or Skype video chat. We  will go over any areas  of pre , during and post CrowdFunding campaign which you may have questions.

We offer  practical solutions to your CrowdFunding  project or campaign challenges based on four elements:
  1. How much is your CrowdFunding campaign goal? ($) 
  2. What is the size of your Social reach? ( email addresses, Phone numbers, Social Media, your network and connections..etc.)
  3. When is your launch date?
  4. Why are you CrowdFunding? (raising fund, R/D, marketing, proof of concept,  brand building, experimenting, building your team, SEO your product, finding you network and potential investors or VCs ..)


What we do?

We will  save you time and money and help you to be more efficient before, during and after your CrowdFunding campaign. We may even be able to help you with early  backers and investors. We can answer your questions regarding;
  1. CrowdFunding project development (4 to 6 months prior to campaign launch) 
  2. CrowdFunding campaign development  (1 to 2 months prior to campaign launch)
  3. CrowdFunding campaign strategy, technical and tactical  (During your campaign)
  4. CrowdFunding Crowd management and fulfillment ( After your campaign)
You can see a list of our services - click here . As you see there are defined steps that needs to be taken  to Create the crowd, make them follower and convert them to backers and flag wavers . We guarantee our work and offer total solution.

How we do?

Since 2011, our 
CrowdFunding mentors and consultants  have been engaged with hundreds of  CrowdFunding projects and their planning, development , deployment and campaign promotions

We have produced CrowdFunding educational training and coached many CrowdFunding project owners. We have researched , documented and  published CrowdFunding projects and campaigns best practices and their CrowdFunding Planning in over five different CrowdFunding website and many CrowdFunding videos  and CrowdFunding blogs . 

We have development many  many layers of support,services and partnerships to help CrowdFunding project owner to excel;
  1. We have created and managed  largest CrowdFunding Social Media accounts in the world to promote our partners and clients 
  2. To reduce the cost of CrowdFunding, we have researched many  concepts and built automated solutions that has proven results.
  3. We are trained and authorized  by Google (Google for work) , thus we design, develop and deploy your internet project and campaign ecosystem and marketing with Google fabric and analytic   

Why we do?

Our consultation created an opportunity to collaborate with you and be part of your success. Our goal is to make your CrowdFunding project a success and build long lasting relationship with you.

When we do?

Upon completing the following questioner, you give us the opportunity to schedule one our most relevant and experienced CrowdFunding mentors and assign it to your project. He will contact and schedule the most convenient time for you.

Free CrowdFunding consultation - CFME




CrowdFunding is not a field of dream, if you just build it they do not come. 
CrowdFunding campaign success requires planning, time, resources and budget.
CrowdFunding is most efficient method of marketing and fund raising. 

Crowdfunding real estate - CrowdFunding Marketing and advertising

posted Dec 12, 2014, 2:18 AM by David Khorram   [ updated Dec 12, 2014, 2:25 AM ]



People have turned to crowdfunding to raise money for everything from potato salad to personal submarines. But one entrepreneur is banking on crowdfunding in a new market: real estate.

"We are the e-trade of real estate investing," said William Skelley. Skelley co-founded start-up iFunding, a real estate crowdfunding platform connecting investors with developers.


Watch Skelley model his big idea to a "Power Pitch" panel with real estate broker Ryan Serhant of "Million Dollar Listing New York," Dolly Lenz, real estate super broker, and Alicia Syrett, CEO of Pantegrion Capital. Will Skelly close the deal with this panel, or will they see his venture as a fixer upper? CrowdFunding Marketing and advertising

The blueprint


Skelley used to run a boutique investment bank that endorsed commercial projects like hospitality properties and condos. He later joined Rose Park Advisors, a hedge fund, which invested in CircleUp.

"[CircleUp] is now the largest crowdfunding angel investing platform in the U.S., with a recent $7 million cash investment from Google and Union Square Ventures. I realized the same potential for innovation is applicable to real estate," Skelley told CNBC.

Closing the deal


IFunding works as the link between real estate developers and investors. Accredited investors can use the platform for free and "shop" for real estate opportunities.

"Investors can contribute as little as $5,000 to participate in an investment property of their choice," the founder told CNBC.

Investment opportunities on the platform include a single family home in Wisconsin, new developments in Texas and a high-rise development in Lower Manhattan.

The start-up even offers two investment options: lending money for a real estate project at a specific interest rate paid by the project's developer, or purchasing equity in the real estate projects.

IFunding also offers users a mobile app available on iOS and Android devices, which the founders say is the first mobile app for real estate crowdfunding.

Source: iFunding
Rendering of an iFunding project.


During the segment, Serhant asked, "What benchmarks or requirements does iFunding have for people who want to become investors."

Skelley explained that accredited investors as defined by the SEC must make an income of $200,000 or more from the past two years, or have $1 million in liquid assets not including a primary residence.


According to the IbisWorld market research report, the global real estate market grew to $6 trillion as of November.


The real estate crowdfunding space is crowded. IFunding's competitors include: Realty Mogul, Patch of Land, Fundrise, Real Crowd and Realtyshares.


"Many of us think there's room for several to become leaders," Skelley told CNBC. He also said he believes iFunding's emphasis on equity is unique.


According to the founder, the iFunding platform has raised almost $30 million for 27 real estate projects from Brooklyn, New York, to Austin, Texas.

Skelley and his co-founder, Sohin Shah, forecast $500,000 in revenue by the end of 2014, and project to be profitable by the end of 2015.

The founders bootstrapped the start-up with $600,000. And before seeking venture capital the start-up is crowdfunding an additional $2 million via crowdfunder.com. Its fundraising began in early December and in three days, it raised over $1 million.

Headquartered in midtown Manhattan, iFunding has 12 employees with around 5,000 accredited investors signed up to date.



During the Power Pitch, viewers were asked to vote whether they were IN or Out on iFunding, and 72% were IN. Watch the video to see if the Power Pitch panel agrees!

Combining Rewards and Equity Crowdfunding for Maximum Capital Raising

posted Dec 7, 2014, 4:20 PM by David Khorram   [ updated Dec 7, 2014, 4:21 PM ]


Crowdfunding gives entrepreneurs cheaper and faster finance

posted Jun 9, 2014, 1:06 PM by David Khorram   [ updated Jun 9, 2014, 1:08 PM ]

www.crowdfundingplanning.com
High quality global journalism requires investment. Please share this article with others using the link below, do not cut & paste the article.

Rather than going cap in hand to a banker, those with a fledgling business can resort to crowdfunding – going straight to investors – and customers – for the money, often at cheaper rates.

Sites such as Seedrs in the UK and Lending Club in the US bring lenders and borrowers together, while others facilitate early business equity investment.


While the US and UK, as well as some other northern European countries, have been the fastest to adopt crowdfunding, it originated in Australia.Steve Case, founder of AOL, and chairman of the Case Foundation, believes it can create “Silicon Valleys everywhere” by enabling entrepreneurs anywhere to access funding.

The amount lent by such peer-to-peer sites was almost $3bn in 2013, up from around $100m in 2007. The estimated number of sites has grown from 1,100 to 2,700 in the last year.

Since it was set up in 2006, the Australian Small Scale Offerings Board (see illustration) has raised A$138m (US$128m) for more than 200 businesses. It will provide up to $5m per transaction but all companies seeking finance must have their books reviewed by a qualified accountant.

While the internet has enabled transactions, it is only one of the drivers of this rapid growth, says Richard Swart, director of research on crowdfunding at the University of Berkeley, California.

Prof Swart says the financial crisis was the biggest cause. Banks were restricting lending just as people became accustomed to online financial transactions.

“Access to bank lending for small businesses collapsed around the world. There also seems to be a general distrust among the millennial generation of anything institutional. They trust the power of other humans to make decisions.”

A slew of TV programmes featuring angel investors such as Dragons’ Den and Shark Tank have also helped to demystify entrepreneurship and give younger people new role models.

Finally, there was an older generation who suffered the loss of a job and a sharp reduction in their stock market-linked savings plans. People over 50 are the fastest-growing age group starting businesses in many developed countries.

“A lot of the growth is not driven by innovation but necessity,” says Prof Swart.

Venture capital firms are investing hundreds of millions as they see the potential to build fast-growing, high margin global businesses.

More countries are permitting crowdfunding and enabling cross-border business.

Canada, New Zealand and France have all revised laws this year to facilitate it. Korea saw $150m in lending last year.

Even the US is also lagging behind, with more onerous restrictions on business fundraising via crowdfunding than on stock exchanges.

Many regulators are searching for a way to protect consumers from failures. The industry is young and there have been a few high-profile failures but most sites offer no protection against default.

Many platforms run secondary markets but others do not, leaving investors with a stake in the business they are unable to sell for several years.

If regulators forced the new platforms to operate the same risk controls as banks it could eradicate some of their competitive edge.

Nevertheless, the efficiency of the software-driven websites, issuing consumer loans within minutes and business ones within days, means banks are as likely to join forces with sites rather than compete.

Prof Swart says the typical SME loan was processed for around 40 per cent of the cost of a bank loan.

The biggest bar to growth remains ignorance. Nicola Horlick, a former fund manager for Morgan Grenfell who earned the nickname “Supermum” for combining life in the City with six children, in May launched Money & Co, a crowdfunding business, in the UK.

Money & Co commissioned a survey that claimed UK SMEs had an annual unmet need for finance of £4.3bn. The study, conducted by research agency Populus, asked senior management at 300 SMEs about their last loan application, comparing it with the average sum awarded. The difference, extrapolated across the UK’s 404,175 SMEs, was £4.3bn.

While half of respondents agreed that bank bureaucracy was a deterrent when applying for a loan, 72 per cent would still approach one first for a business loan.

Only 4 per cent would consider crowdfunding as an initial means to secure finance, while 5 per cent would first approach an angel investor and 11 per cent would try government funds.

But while crowdfunding still only accounts for around 1 per cent of global start-up funding, there may, however, be wisdom in crowds. Prof Swart says that preliminary data suggests that companies with such funding do better than others. Around 70 per cent of firms were still in business after five years, reversing the usual statistic that 70 per cent fail in five years.

“We need more data to know for sure, but it seems like crowds select better businesses,” he says.


Posted from:http://www.ft.com/intl/cms/s/2/0934d48c-ea4b-11e3-afb3-00144feabdc0.html#axzz34ApMa2oP


Kickstarter's biggest hits - why crowdfunding now sets the trends - Artists, filmmakers and technologists

posted Apr 19, 2014, 7:57 PM by David Khorram


Artists, filmmakers and technologists can bypass the moneymen to raise millions for their projects, from Spike Lee and Ouya to Veronica Mars and Broken Age


Pebble, Amanda Palmer and Broken Age were all hits on Kickstarter.Pebble, Amanda Palmer and Broken Age were all hits on Kickstarter.

Earlier this week, musician Neil Young finished raising the third biggest amount ever on crowdfunding website Kickstarter. His Pono music player and downloads store attracted $6.2m of pledges, with plans to launch both later this year.

Pono unites the two key strands of projects that have been most successful on Kickstarter: art and technology. The site has popularised the idea of crowdfunding, where creators or companies go directly to their existing fans or potential customers and ask them for money in return for the finished product – as well as more rewards for those who choose to pay more.

Kickstarter isn't the only company doing this. It has direct rivals likeIndiegogo, area-specific ones like PledgeMusicUnbound and Distrify(for musicians, authors and filmmakers respectively), and more business-focused companies helping startups raise money like Fundable,Crowdcube and Seedrs. But it's Kickstarter projects that have made the biggest waves so far across a range of industries.

Here are 20 of the most significant projects so far: not just what they raised money for, but what happened next, and what the lessons have been for creators and fans alike.

MUSIC, FILM AND ARTS

Amanda Palmer.Amanda Palmer. Photograph: Frank Mullen/WireImage

Amanda Palmer

What? Musician Amanda Palmer raised $1.2m from 24,883 backers in June 2012 to make a new album and art book, then tour in support of them both. “My first BIG, LEGIT studio album undertaking since breaking from a major label,” as she put it.

What happened next? The album, Theatre is Evil was released in September that year, to appreciative reviews. Palmer set off on tour, but not without controversy. She invited musicians from cities on the tour to back her on-stage in return for beer, high fives or hugs and merchandise, rather than fees. Cue online criticism, which Palmer responded to by promising to pay all the musicians. She'd already broken down in May how the Kickstarter funding would be used, in a blog post showing how she might end up breaking even on the project, thanks to the costs of production and touring.

What did it mean? Relatively few musicians have online fanbases as passionate as Palmer's, but the success of her campaign showed her peers what's possible – while her honesty about the costs involved dissuaded any perceptions that crowdfunding is a route to easy money.

Mini Museum.Mini Museum.

Mini Museum

What? Hans Fex raised $1.2m from 5,030 backers in March this year for his "pocket-sized collection of rare specimens... a portable collection of curiosities where every item is authentic, iconic and labeled". Said items including shards of lunar rock, dinosaur egg-shell, mummy wrap and tiny chunks of London Bridge.

What happened next? Having far exceeded his original goal of $38k, Fex is now working on the initial kits for the Mini Museum, with the first units due to ship in July. He's also launched an official website and mailing list to provide updates on the project's post-funding progress: a reminder that for every successful Kickstarter, the hard work comes after the money is secured, with just as big a need for regular updates on how things are going.

What did it mean? "The universe is amazing," explains Fex on his website. The success of his crowdfunding campaign showed that there are enough people out there who agree to make his lifelong project a reality. It's also likely to serve as inspiration for more popular science projects.

Veronica Mars.Veronica Mars. Photograph: Robert Voets/AP

The Veronica Mars Movie Project

What? Writer Rob Thomas raised $5.7m from 91,585 backers in April 2013 to bring back popular TV show Veronica Mars in movie form, becoming the fastest project to reach both $1m and $2m in the process. His aim was to persuade Hollywood studio Warner Bros – which owned the rights – that there'd be demand for the film. "I suppose we could fail in spectacular fashion," wrote Thomas in his pitch. They didn't.

What happened next? With star Kristen Bell already on board, the film was certain to be made as soon as it started breaking crowdfunding records. In March 2014, it was released, and pulled in $2m in box-office receipts in the US alone for its opening weekend. Even more interestingly, though, the film made its debut the same day on Amazon, iTunes and other video-on-demand services. "For a movie to be released in selected theaters in multiple countries and available to rent and purchase and watch on-demand worldwide, all on the same day? It's pretty much unheard of," wrote Thomas.

What did it mean? Veronica Mars is the latest proof that cancelled TV shows with a fervent fanbase can find a new life – something that goes beyond crowdfunding, as Amazon's deal to revive discarded BBC crime drama Ripper Street showed. And the Veronica Mars movie is also part of a wider movement breaking down the barriers between cinematic and digital releases for films.

Wish I Was Here.Wish I Was Here.

Wish I Was Here

What? Actor, writer and director Zach Braff raised $3.1m from 46,520 backers in May 2013 to make his next film, as an alternative to a traditional financing deal. "It would have involved making a lot of sacrifices I think would have ultimately hurt the film," wrote Braff, citing the success of the Veronica Mars campaign as inspiration.

What happened next? Braff's campaign was controversial while it was still happening, sparking questions online about why he didn't fund the project himself – compounded when it emerged that film financier Worldview Entertainment was topping up the budget. Braff had been open about his intent to raise more money beyond Kickstarter, though. "Nothing about the making of this movie has changed. This movie is happening because backers funded it," he wrote in an update for those backers. Wish I Was Here was praised when it debuted at the Sundance film festival this January, and will go on general release this summer.

What did it mean? More evidence that for bigger projects, Kickstarter complements traditional film financing rather than replacing it altogether. Braff's project also shed more light on the tension that can surround crowdfunding by celebrities, who some fans may assume are richer than they actually are.

Spike Lee.Spike Lee.

The Newest Hottest Spike Lee Joint

What? Veteran filmmaker Spike Lee raised $1.4m from 6,421 backers in August 2013 to make his next, unnamed film. He stressed his independent credentials in an effort to head off the kind of criticism levelled at Zach Braff. "The truth is I’ve been doing KICKSTARTER before there was KICKSTARTER, there was no Internet," wrote Lee. "Social Media was writing letters, making phone calls, beating the bushes. I’m now using TECHNOLOGY with what I’ve been doing." The film itself is a thriller. "These people are ADDICTED to BLOOD. Yet however they are not VAMPIRES. It’s going to be SEXY, HUMOROUS and BLOODY. To me that’s a unique combination."

What happened next? Lee hit his target and got to work on the film, having confirmed actors Stephen Tyrone Williams, Zaraah Abrahams and Michael K. Williams in lead roles. Recent updates reveal he's been sifting through submitted music from unsigned artists while signing up Bruce Hornsby to record the score.

What did it mean? Lee's campaign showed the importance for famous creators of explaining why they need the money and what they plan to do with it – although it also proved you can keep most of a film's plot and themes up your sleeves without putting off potential backers.

Video Game High School: Season Two

What? Video Game High School isn't a film: it's a web series made for YouTube by RocketJump, the company of YouTube star Freddie Wong.RocketJump raised $808k from 10,613 backers in February 2013 to make the show's second series. It's set in an alternate universe where video games are the "biggest spectator sport in the world", complete with a gaming academy: "Think Hogwarts, but instead of spells and magic wands, it's headshots and IBM Model M keyboards!" The campaign followed a successful Kickstarter for the first series in 2010, which went on to notch up 40m views online.

What happened next? The second season of Video Game High School's six episodes have been watched nearly 19m times on YouTube so far, and series three is already in production. The multi-channel network (MCN) that backed it, Collective Digital Studio, was at the recent MIPTV television industry conference trying to sell the seasons to broadcasters as a package to show on regular TV. But the show has also brought Wong to the attention of bigger beasts in the media world: RocketJump has just signed a partnership deal with Hollywood studio Lionsgate to work on new formats.

What did it mean? YouTubers and MCNs have lots of ambitious ideas to make shows for online viewing, but concerns about how to turn a profit while bumping up the production values. RocketJump's Kickstarter showed that the keen fanbases for the best online talent can help to boost budgets.

Marina Abramovic Institute.Marina Abramovic Institute.

Marina Abramovic Institute

What? Performance artist Marina Abramovic raised $661k from 4,765 backers in August 2013 to help her found the Marina Abramovic Institute: a building and body "dedicated to the presentation and preservation of long durational work, including that of performance art, dance, theatre, film, music, opera, and other forms that may develop in the future". The entire project will cost $20m, with Abramovic having coughed up $950k to buy the building before turning to Kickstarter to fund phase one of its design. "With your contribution, you become a founder of the institute not only financially, but also conceptually," she explained.

What happened next? Funding secured, work on the Institute has pressed on: this month, an update revealed plans for the various rewards that backers had stumped up for, while Abramovic has also been running live streams teaching some of her "Abramovic Method exercises" via video. She has also launched MAI Hudson, a website designed to house "immaterial and long durational works" as well as a series of her exercises.

What did it mean? A reminder that the arts on Kickstarter aren't just about music, films and games. Oh, and also a lesson that Lady Gaga practising your exercises in her birthday suit is a handy publicity boost for a crowdfunding project as it enters its crucial stages.

TECHNOLOGY

Pebble.Pebble.

Pebble

What? Described at the time as an "E-Paper Watch", Pebble raised $10.3m from 68,929 backers in May 2012, making it the most popular Kickstarter campaign ever. Most people now would describe it as a smartwatch – a category that's now attracting firm attention from the likes of Samsung, Google and Apple, but which back then still felt a bit... science fiction. Still, Pebble appealed to plenty of people with its promise of a "customisable" watch that could run apps, show notifications from a paired smartphone, and work with other accessories including fitness devices.

What happened next? The first Pebble units were due to ship to backers in September 2012, but the company missed this deadline, eventually starting to ship in January 2013. Since then, Pebble has done well: the company shifted 400,000 units by March 2014, by which point its second-generation model – the Pebble Steel – had been released. The company has also just launched its own app store for smartwatch apps on both iOS and Android, providing an easy way for owners to find what's available for Pebble.

What did it mean? Pebble remains the most successful (in terms of raising money, at least) Kickstarter project ever: it proved that hardware ideas that had failed to float venture capital firms' boats could find another route to market – and Pebble was later able to raise some VC cash on the back of its Kickstarter popularity. But Pebble has also taught other startups about the potential delays when your crowdfunding is more popular than you expected.

Ouya.Ouya.

Ouya

What? Fledgling console maker Ouya raised $8.6m from 63,416 backers in August 2012 for its Android-based 'microconsole', with the promise of an open, hackable device with a healthy catalogue of indie games – all available in at least a basic version for free. The company pitched itself as the antidote to traditional console bloat: "It's time we brought back innovation, experimentation, and creativity to the big screen," as its Kickstarter pitch put it. "Let’s make the games less expensive to make, and less expensive to buy." The idea being to bring the aesthetics and business models of mobile games to the TV in your living room.

What happened next? Ouya managed to hit its shipping targets... sort of. The first consoles left its production lines in March 2013, although not every early backer got their unit that month, sparking complaints online. Out of the box, the console was okay: simple to set up and with plenty of games, but a mixed bag in terms of quality – and with a below-par controller compared to rival consoles. Armed with another round of VC funding (just like Pebble) Ouya proceeded to put its console on general sale in June 2013, and has worked hard on improving its software and catalogue since – although not without controversy in the case of its attempt to fund exclusive games by matching developers' own Kickstarter campaigns. In 2014, though, Ouya appears to be shifting from a device into a software platform for others to use – for example, embedding it in TVs.

What did it mean? When Ouya's crowdfunding campaign ended, it seemed to herald a bright future for microconsoles. Since then, several have been launched, and none appear to have sold that well – certainly not in numbers great enough to trouble Sony, Microsoft or Nintendo. Even so, Ouya provided a template – a flawed one, arguably – that's now being built on by the likes of Amazon (with its Fire TV) and perhaps Google and Apple in the months to come.

Oculus Rift.Oculus Rift. Photograph: Michael Bowles/REX

Oculus Rift

What? Virtual reality (VR) startup Oculus Rift raised $2.4m from 9,522 backers in September 2012 – a storming year for big hardware projects on Kickstarter. It was raising money to develop a VR headset for gaming, with developers the key target for its campaign: they could pledge to get early access to the Oculus Rift developer kit. The helmet promised to finally deliver on the past hype around VR. "With an incredibly wide field of view, high resolution display, and ultra-low latency head tracking, the Rift provides a truly immersive experience that allows you to step inside your favorite game and explore new worlds like never before," as the company put it.

What happened next? Post-Kickstarter, the first devkits went out, and developers started hacking with Oculus Rift to make existing games work for it, as well as creating some new made-for-VR experiences. The buzz gradually built – hiring Doom co-creator John Carmack as chief technology officer in August 2013 didn't hurt in that regard – and by the Game Developers Conference in March 2014, Oculus was showing off the second edition of its devkit, with improved features. Then, a week later, social network Facebook shocked the games and tech industries by agreeing to pay $2bn to acquire Oculus Rift, promising to take it beyond gaming. "Oculus has the chance to create the most social platform ever, and change the way we work, play and communicate," said CEO Mark Zuckerberg, although there was a predictable backlash from some gamers and developers about the new owner.

What did it mean? Virtual reality has a chequered history of overhype and underwhelming... reality, for want of a better word. For Oculus Rift, crowdfunding was the springboard to giving the technology credibility again – as well as to further funding from venture capital firms in 2013, just like Pebble and Ouya. Besides pricking up Zuckerberg's ears, Oculus Rift was also a factor in Sony pursuing its own VR ambitions: unveiled at GDC with its Project Morpheus.

3doodler.3doodler.

3Doodler

What? "It's a pen that can draw in the air!" chirped the Kickstarter pitch for 3Doodler, which raised $2.3m from 26,457 backers in March 2013. "3Doodler is the 3D printing pen you can hold in your hand. Lift your imagination off the page," it continued, with the obligatory-in-3D-printing-circles shots of a plasticky Eiffel Tower. The device promised ultra-simple usability: in theory, you'd just plug it into a power socket, then start scribbling something you wanted to print in the air, with the heated plastic cooling into something solid.

What happened next? The company fulfilled its promise to ship 3Doodlers to all its backers by March 2014 – in fact, it hit the target a month early. It's also created a community for those early buyers, providing stencils, videos and images to spark their inspiration when they get hands on with the printing pen. 3Doodler has also announced plans to start selling the device more generally – in the UK, Maplin has bagged an exclusive on it, and will start selling 3Doodler in its stores on 20 April.

What did it mean? 3Doodler isn't a desktop 3D printer, but its Kickstarter campaign paved the way for some of those to take funding from the crowd too: Form 1 (see below), Robox and the still-raising Microbeing successful examples. At £100, too, 3Doodler may well be many people's first hands-on experience of 3D printing.

Arkyd.Arkyd.

Arkyd

What? "A space telescope for everyone," according to the Kickstarter listing for this project. Planetary Resources raised $1.5m from 17,614 backers in July 2013 for its ambitious plans to create "the first publicly accessible space telescope", which people will be able to take control of and watch objects in space – as well as taking photos of the Earth (aka particularly-showoff selfies). The company was developing the telescope itself, but turned to Kickstarter to raise money to launch and support it, as well as creating the necessary controls to help people control it.

What happened next? Work continues apace on Arkyd, with semi-regular updates keeping backers informed of the project's progress. In December, for example, the company showed off its "Beta-Selfie Cam", while continuing to send out rewards to the various tiers of pledgers. It's also working with a company called Zooniverse on a project called Asteroid Zoo, which aims to help people spot asteroids from their desktops. But Arkyd is just one of Planetary Resources' aims: it was originally a spin-off from the company's main ambition: "to build technology enabling us to prospect and mine asteroids".

What did it mean? Here as in other cases, from films to gadgets, the money raised on Kickstarter wasn't the whole story – it provided important publicity for the overall project. But it also hinted at the potential for space science projects to find audiences and funding from people enthralled by their potential. Organisations like Nasa are exploring the potential of crowdsourcing – not necessarily funding – in parallel.

The Dash.The Dash.

The Dash

What? Hardware firm Bragi raised $3.4m in March 2014 from 15,998 backers for its wireless smart headphones: small earbuds that stream music from a nearby device over Bluetooth, but which also have their own built-in 4GB music player. The Dash is also a fitness-tracking gadget though: recording your steps, pace, distance, heart rate and other stats as you go about your business. It works as a Bluetooth headset for voice calls too, with an ear-bone microphone.

What happened next? It's only a fortnight since the Kickstarter campaign ended, so not much has happened yet: people who paid for the developer packages will get prototype devices in July so they can start making apps that work with The Dash, but regular pledgers will get start getting theirs in November if Bragi hits its deadlines.

What did it mean? The latest wearable gadget to cause a stir, with the crowdfunding buzz a key factor in The Dash's rise to prominence. Expect more of these kinds of gadgets to follow, with the crossover between music and fitness likely to be a fertile one for hardware startups.

Kano.Kano.

Kano

What? Kano raised $1.5m from 13,387 backers in December 2013 for its "computer and coding kit for all ages", with its guts consisting of a Raspberry Pi computer. Kano provided the case, a keyboard, speaker and wireless server, along with software aimed at encouraging children to learn programming skills – the Kano Blocks coding language. "We designed the Kano Kit to be a bit like our favorite boardgames growing up. It's vibrant, repackable, and doesn't take itself too seriously," the UK-based startup explained.

What happened next? Again, it's early days: Kano is planning to ship its first kits in June, so for now the company is beavering away getting its product ready. It's clearly confident though: it's also accepting pre-orders on its website for the £99 kit to ship in July. Kano has also been engaging with early adopters who are keen to explore its Kano OS software, making it available in beta form to install on Raspberry Pis. Kano has also been getting involved in the British government's Year of Code scheme, which is hoping to get people of all ages exploring programming.

What did it mean? Kano was just one of a number of crowdfunding campaigns for technology aiming to get kids coding: see also Play-i, Primo, Hello Ruby, Robot Turtles and ScratchJr in the link above. All of these showed there's a sizeable community out there of parents and/or tech industry folk willing to get their wallets out for innovative projects in this area.

Form 1.Form 1.

Form 1

What? Another attempt to bring 3D printing to the crowd, this time from a company called Formlabs. It raised $2.9m in October 2012 to help make an "affordable, high-resolution 3D printer for professional creators" – although in this case, affordabl meant $2,299 for the earliest backers, rising to $2,699 for latecomers. "Our reason for starting this project is simple: there are no low-cost 3D printers that meet the quality standards of the professional designer," the company explained at the time, flagging up its use of "stereolithography" techniques to produce better-quality 3D prints.

What happened next? After the success, came the patent row: in November 2012 another 3D printing firm – 3D Systems – sued Formlabs AND Kickstarter for patent infringement over that use of stereolithography. By June 2013 Formlabs and 3D Systems werereportedly in settlement talks over the lawsuit, which was dismissed later that year only for 3D Systems to sue over eight more patents, albeit without including Kickstarter this time. Still, the Form 1 remains on sale, and has been reviewed approvingly for its detail, ease of use and quiet operation.

What did it mean? Another sign that 3D printing is an area ripe for crowdfunding. Although Form 1 also showed that successful Kickstarters can also bring startups to the attention of bigger companies in the industries they're trying to disrupt – it certainly won't be the last Kickstarter-triggered patent dispute.

GAMING

Project EternityProject Eternity

Project Eternity

What? Developer Obsidian Entertainment raised just under $4m from 73,986 backers in October 2012 to make Project Eternity: “an isometric, party-based computer RPG set in a new fantasy world”. It promised to draw on a series of classic games worked on by the team for inspiration: “Take the central hero, memorable companions and the epic exploration of Baldur’s Gate, add in the fun, intense combat and dungeon diving of Icewind Dale, and tie it all together with the emotional writing and mature thematic exploration of Planescape: Torment”.

What happened next? When the Kickstarter closed, Obsidian was aiming for an April 2014 release for Project Eternity. The game has since been renamed Pillars of Eternity, and in March 2014 the developerannounced a publishing deal with Paradox Interactive, which will help out on marketing and distribution. The game isn’t hitting its shipment deadline, but Obsidian says it’ll be out “this year”. Backers have received regular updates on its progress.

What did it mean? The latest news is a reminder that while crowdfunding can give developers the resources to make and release a game alone, that doesn’t mean a publisher won’t come in handy later. “By handing off duties not related to development, Obsidian can focus on making the game that much better,” claims the company’s FAQ article for its publishing deal.

Torment: Tides of Numenera.Torment: Tides of Numenera.

Torment: Tides of Numenera

What? Developer inXile Entertainment raised $4.2m from 74,405 backers in April 2013 to make Torment: an RPG set in the world of Numenera – a tabletop roleplaying game created by Monte Cook that was itself funded by a Kickstarter campaign the year before. "With Torment, we're striving to create a rich role-playing experience that explores similar deep, personal themes," explained the company in its pitch.

What happened next? Whereas crowdfunded gadgets tend to ship within a year of their campaigns, more complex games have longer production processes: inXile's team has been providing regular updates on the design process for Torment, with full production about to kick off. The company is also working with Obsidian Entertainment (see above) to license the technology from Pillars of Eternity. "It provides us with a stronger starting point for certain game systems and pipelines," explained inXile in a message to backers. "This means we will have more resources to invest on other aspects of the game, allowing us to achieve a higher quality overall."

What did it mean? Like all the games in this section, the most interesting aspects of their crowdfunding campaigns were the insights into the development process provided by the updates for backers: the commitment to openness when a game is funded by the crowd is valuable on that score alone.

Broken Age.Broken Age.

Double Fine Adventure

What? Developer Double Fine raised $3.3m from 87,142 backers in March 2012, so for a long time, this was the most high-profile example of a game getting funded on Kickstarter. Double Fine promised a "classic point-and-click adventure" from a team headed by Tim Schafer, whose career included co-designing classics of the genre The Secret of Monkey Island and Day of the Tentacle. The theory: there was still lots of demand for the genre among players, but lukewarm interest from publishers. Kickstarter provided a way to cut out the middleman and prove whether that theory was true.

What happened next? Double Fine Adventure hit its $400,000 target in just eight hours, stirring up a swarm of interest within the games industry and beyond. The game has since been renamed Broken Age, and is being filmed for a companion documentary series about its development. However, the original ambition to develop the game in 6-8 months has proved to be a drastic underestimate. "It’s just taking a while because I designed too much game, as I pretty much always do,"explained Schafer in an update for backers in July 2013, outlining plans to split it in two, releasing the first half in January 2014. Act 1 was duly released then, with sales funding Act 2 to follow later this year.

What did it mean? Pulling in lots of money from Kickstarter doesn't help you make a game faster: in fact, it may fuel the kind of creative ambitions that lengthen the development process considerably. Schafer has been open about the hard decisions along the way. "If you take money from a publisher, it's a contract you fulfill or they'll sue you. Here it was just a moral contract with the backers to do right by them, and that felt in some ways a lot stronger," he said in February.

Penny Arcade.Penny Arcade.

Penny Arcade

What? Game-slanted comic strips site Penny Arcade raised $528k from 9,069 backers in August 2012 to remove ads from its website, with a Penny Arcade Sells Out campaign. "People often want to know how they can support the site in a way that doesn't involve t-shirts or looking at advertising, and I think we may have a way. What I'm saying is that we want to sell out, and we would love to sell out to you," explained its pitch.

What happened next? They sold out, and Penny Arcade's homepage was redesigned to be ad-free. Surpassing its initial funding target also financed new projects, including its "reality game show for web cartoonists" Strip Search. In 2014, though, ads are coming back to the site. "It’s not something most people even care about, and I can pay salaries with it," explained the site, while relaunching a subscription-based "Club PA" option for people who wanted to stay ad-free.

What did it mean? A lot of independent websites are grappling with the economics of online publishing, from making advertising pay to the possibility of subscriptions. Penny Arcade's Kickstarter was valuable in showing one possible alternative, but also in starting a longer-term conversation about the value of ads.

CLOTHING DAVID CAMERON WOULD LOVE TO HUG

10-Year Hoodie.10-Year Hoodie.

The 10-Year Hoodie

What? Flint and Tinder raised $1.1m from 9,226 backers in April 2013 for its 10-Year Hoodie, which does exactly what it says on the tin: a hooded sweatshirt that lasts for 10 years. Well, obviously it's too early to tell if it follows through on that promise... Made in the US and with the promise that the company would mend any rips and tears. "It's more than a sweatshirt though; it's a battle cry. Not everything should be disposable," it claimed.

What happened next? A year on, the 10-Year Hoodie is available to buy for anyone from Flint and Tinder's website in a range of colours, costing $99.50. And the experience was clearly so happy for the company, it's having a second bite at the Kickstarter cherry with something called Denim on Demand: jeans made to measure for $89 a pair, in a campaign that raised $325k after an initial target of $75k.

What did it mean? A sign of the potential of crowdfunding for clothing, not just tech and arts. And also a hint of the strength of features like local manufacturing and durability, especially when going direct to customers can help bring the costs down.

• Seven kids coding projects that crowdfunded their first steps


Posted From:http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2014/apr/17/kickstarter-crowdfunding-technology-film-games


Learn the secret of how to go from $2,437,429 to $2 billion in CrowdFunding

posted Mar 27, 2014, 9:36 AM by David Khorram   [ updated Jan 25, 2017, 10:28 AM by David Khorram ]

Facebook Buying Oculus Virtual-Reality Company for $2 Billion

An attendee wears an Oculus Rift HD virtual-reality head-mounted display at the Intel booth at the 2014 International CES on Jan. 9, 2014, in Las VegasRobyn Beck—AFP/Getty Images

Facebook is set to purchase Oculus VR, the virtual-reality-headset company best known for its Oculus Rift gaming device, in a $2 billion deal announced Tuesday that is expected to close in the second quarter of this year

MORE

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After WhatsApp and Oculus, Is There Anything Facebook Won’t Acquire?

Facebook will acquire virtual-reality technology company Oculus VR for $2 billion, the social-networking giant announced Tuesday. Oculus makes the Oculus Rift, a virtual-reality headset originally funded on Kickstarter.


Though the Rift has been pitched as a video-gaming device, Facebook plans to use its technology for communications, media and other forms of entertainment. In a conference call with analysts, Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook’s chief executive officer, said virtual reality has the potential to be the next great computing evolution, following the transition from desktop computers to mobile devices.
The deal includes $400 million in cash and $1.6 billion in Facebook stock, as well as an additional $300 million if Oculus meets certain performance targets. Oculus will continue to operate independently at its headquarters in Irvine, Calif. The deal is expected to close in the second quarter of 2014.

“Oculus has the potential to be the most social platform ever,” he said. ‘“Imagine sharing not just moments with your friends online, but entire experiences and adventures.”

In a post on his Facebook profile page, Zuckerberg presented such scenarios as sitting courtside at a sports event, studying with a group of students or consulting face-to-face with a doctor as potential uses for virtual reality.

The acquisition amount is a huge sum for a company that has yet to release a consumer-facing product. The Oculus Rift made its public debut at the 2012 Electronic Entertainment Expo, the video-game industry’s largest trade show. That summer the company launched a wildly successful Kickstarter campaign in which it eclipsed its $250,000 funding goal nearly 10 times over. Interest in the device has risen steadily since then, with the company raising more than $90 million in venture funding over the past two years. As many as 75,000 people have ordered developer kits in order to test the device and begin making software for it. And owners of the device can already use an Oculus Rift to play PC games, enter the world of Game of Thrones or even visit a supermarket. However, the company has not yet released a version of its headset for sale to the general public. Zuckerberg did not provide a timetable for when that might happen.

For now, the Oculus team’s focus will remain on gaming. Facebook chief financial officer David Ebersman told investors that the $2 billion valuation of the company was based on gaming opportunities alone, and it’s not a lonely field: Sony revealed its own virtual-reality headset last week and Microsoft has recently expressed interest in the technology.

The acquisition comes just weeks after Facebook announced it would purchase the messaging service WhatsApp for $19 billion. Zuckerberg noted that he didn’t expect Facebook’s buying spree to continue, but that the company would open its wallet for companies that it thinks offer a unique value opportunity. “There are not that many companies that are building core technologies that can be the next major computing platform,” he said of Oculus.

Facebook does not yet have a business model for Oculus, but revenues won’t center around selling Oculus Rift headsets. Zuckerberg said he could envision people visiting virtual worlds where they can buy goods and are served advertisements.

The huge purchase shows that every major tech player is making a big bet on wearable devices. Google is continuing to develop its Google Glass hardware and just announced a version of its Android operating system tailored for smart watches. Samsung already has a line of smart watches. With Oculus, Facebook is making a remarkably bold bet that people in the future will want to be fully immersed in technology.

“We feel like we should be looking ahead and thinking about what the next platforms are going to be,” Zuckerberg said. “We think vision is going to be the next really big platform.


Posted From : http://time.com/author/victor-luckerson/

By: Victor Luckerson

Victor Luckerson is a reporter-producer for the Money and Business sections of Time.com. He was the editor-in-chief of the University of Alabama’s daily newspaper, The Crimson White, for two years and spent a summer interning at Sports Illustrated. Having spent his first 22 years in Alabama, he continues to carry The South in his heart.

Should I relaunch my CrowdFuding campaign after my first campaign? The 7 steps to remember

posted Jan 18, 2014, 1:13 PM by David Khorram   [ updated Jan 19, 2014, 3:32 PM ]

Yes, You should Relaunch because;
1. By now you know most original ideas are not a complete idea and you need to share it as soon as you can in order to get hunches and other good ideas to complete yours. ( http://youtu.be/H4m7ltEhLgk ) 



2. Learning from the history allows us to improve. CrowdFunding allows us to "fail", "innovate" and succeed faster. The 1st picture may remind you, your recent Crowd Funding campaign. You can also get help from Crowd Funding mentors. (http://www.CrowdFundingFrameWorks.com or http://www.CrowdFundingMentors.com) 
3. Learning from the history, it shows us, we can change our design, get validation, raise boostapping fund & build a better wireframe  or Prototype. (http://www.Originalinvestors.com)
   


4. Learning from the history, it shows us we can test and get validation before we launch and try, try again.(http://www.CrowdFundingElearning.com)  



5. Learning from the history, it shows us, Project and any Crowd Funding are only possible  and successful when you build your team. CrowdFunding is a team work.  (http://www.CrowdFundingMentors.com) 




6. Learning from the history, it shows, we can make history. Dream impossible and build the possible with collaborations. You can be significant. Yes, You should Relaunch.(http://www.CrowdFundingReLaunch.com) 


7. Build your Crowd followers before you  relaunch.  Solicit all your acquaintances, friends and families, 1st.  If you can't raise some funding from your inner circle. You may want to reevaluate your CrowdFunding efforts.  (http://www.CrowdFundingBillBoard.com)

However the  majority of  your investors and backers lives in the cloud (internet). Build your social media communications channels, your CrowdFunding website (virtual home with Pre order button), your Blog, your press releases and Newsletters  and keep the crowd engaged. 


CrowdFunding is like riding a bicycle: 
You don't fall off unless you stop pedaling. 



Get help, build your team, your crowd and try again until you are
 called a genius! 


These are the products and services we created to help you in your CrowdFunding project and its campaign. 



6 Top Crowdfunding Websites: Which One Is Right For Your Project?

posted Jan 6, 2014, 1:05 PM by Unknown user   [ updated Jan 6, 2014, 1:05 PM ]

If you’ve been on the lookout for funding for a startup project in the last few years, you’ve likely explored crowdfunding – or, more specifically Kickstarter. But there’s a growing number of websites dedicated to finding funds for a creative and entrepreneurial projects, with Kickstarter in the lead. However, not all crowdfunding sites are created equal. Here’s the breakdown on which may be the right one for you.

In a sentence: Kickstarter has become synonymous for crowdfunding, as the most popular site to find funding for creative projects.

Cost: 5% of funds raised, with an all-or-nothing model that builds urgency but leads to the loss of all funds if the goal isn’t met, plus 3-5% transaction fees

Pros: Name recognition, highest site traffic allows for greater project visibility

Limitations: approval process, limited to creative projects, only allows projects based in the US and UK
Sample Project: Tripsaver: The Ultimate Travel Budgeting App

Indiegogo


In a sentence: This flexible crowd-funding site serves as an open and accessible option for campaigns worldwide.
Cost: On the all-or-nothing plan, 4% of the funds of successful projects go to Indiegogo. On the flexible funding plan, Indiegogo charges 4% if you reach your goal, 9% if you do not reach your goal. Transaction fees are an additional 3%.

Pros: No application process, available in every country, diverse spread of projects

Limitations: More expensive if you don’t reach your goal, but without the urgency of the all-or-nothing plan

Sample Project: Ovo: The First Autoplay Online Video Player and App

RocketHub
In a sentence: This crowdfunding website offers a unique type of visibility through a recent partnership with A&E Project Start Up.

Cost: 4% for completed campaign or 8% for partial campaign, with 4% transaction fees.

Pros: Easy to navigate interface, Success School offers tools for building better projects and businesses
Limitations: Step down in terms of traffic from Kickstarter and Indiegogo

Sample Project: Genome Library
FundRazr
In a sentence: This website is dedicated to raising money for anything from personal causes to nonprofits to entrepreneurial projects.

Cost: 5% for completed or incomplete campaign plus 2.2% +$.030 transaction fees
Pros: Deep social network integration to connect to people in your network, cheap and convenient transaction fees with funds going directly to your PayPal, can be used to fund anything, anywhere
Limitations: More difficult to connect with other entrepreneurers and investors, with less than 5% of projects falling into the category of entrepreneur/creative
Sample Project: Caring for Chris

GoGetFunding

In a sentence: This London based fund-raising site can be used to raise money for anything from paying for pet’s medical bills to creating a short film.

Cost: 3.5% with a keep-what-you-raised model, plus 2.9% transaction fee

Pros: Can be used for public or private projects, anyone can post a project, easy to use


posted from :http://www.forbes.com/sites/katetaylor/2013/08/06/6-top-crowdfunding-websites-which-one-is-right-for-your-project/#!

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what do you think has been the biggest social media lessons of 2013?

posted Jan 6, 2014, 1:00 PM by Unknown user   [ updated Jan 6, 2014, 1:00 PM ]

In a few words what do you think has been the biggest social media lessons of 2013?

Jessica Leeman
First Year Media Student at Leeds Trinity
Top Contributor
In a few words what do you think has been the biggest social media lessons of 2013?
I think there have been many but a predominant lesson has been that the more visual the social media platform the more the popularity of that platform grows. 
I did a blog post on "social media lessons" http://bit.ly/197yKSH
Let me know on Twitter (@JessLeeman_), WordPress or in the comments below what social media lessons you think have been the biggest/most influential of 2013.
I look forward to reading your comments.
http://jessicaleeman.wordpress.com/2013/12/23/social-media-lessons/#%21
---

I agree with Jessica, Like SEO , we are learning, experimenting and changing. We keep what it works and send the rest of the graveyard ( Google business model). 

The challenge is that most of the solutions we find is objectionable by the expert. For example for Video, web and social media SEO . We are on 1st page of Google around 6 times world wide ( I.e . Keyphase " Crowd Funding Mentors" and 25+ other key phases ) , We also receives over 100+ followers, friends and Pluses per day in average. 

We have asked for validation and improvement from "The experts" and they do not like what we do. ( Actually one of them send me an Amazon book called Social Media Bulls@#:" ) . 

We keep analytic and also measure its magnetization (Sales solves all the pains), then we believe Social Media works since we are measuring its ROI through our work deploying Google fabric, branding, promoting us and our clients and use of Crowd Funding concept ( $ocial Capital ) . For a sample click onhttp://goo.gl/3bEkHx Criticism and validation are welcome , we are stronger in our broken parts :)



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