I started to talk about this about 8 years ago and mentioned it in a few tweets a couple years ago but it’s time for someone to launch this platform. Think of it as crowdfunding meets social product design, development, marketing, launch and selling. This platform (or website) is one that could borrow ideas from Quirky (originally Kluster) for product development and Kickstarter and other crowd-funding sites, community based idea and voting sites and other popular sites out there. I should mention that I am a big fan of all the sites that I mention herein and a fan of their founders also. It’s not that they aren’t great at what they do – they are – it’s just that I think that something bigger could be built – something that would allow people to efficiently build companies.
The idea is that I think Apps, and probably companies, can be crowdsourced. I think the idea, design, coding, fundraising, marketing, partnering and pretty much everything else to have a viable product, revenue model and business can be crowdsourced. The revenue sharing would have to be defined, and likely different for each company or product, but this could be built into the solution (check out Quirky to see how they do it for their products – everyone gets a piece of the action – it’s brilliant). The fundraising campaign would have to be defined (lots of successful Kickstarter programs as examples), etc. I think that the thing that needs to be built is the site or platform to make it easy for all of this to happen.
Now, there are many platforms and websites through which to raise capital, including AngelList, Kickstarter, Rally (which received Series A funding through Kickstarter) and Indiegogo. I’m sure there are many more but I have experience investing or contributing through each of these. They’re all great platforms – they just don’t have the functionality that let’s you go build the solution and run the business (think Quirky for this). Now, perhaps it’s possible to integrate existing solutions to make this happen – I don’t this it is, but it may be. It certainly seems that a much more elegant solution could be built from the ground up. There is some benefit, of course, to being able to leverage the existing networks of existing sites.
As you think about the platform, perhaps focus on the use-case of an App being crowdsourced through it, rather than a company. The reality is that some Apps are 1-person companies or at least started that way. Many of the kickstarter projects are 1-person projects that grow into several people or companies. Many of the Quirky projects could become companies. Targets for this site could include the crowdsourcing of Apps, websites, movies, music projects, book projects, art, live events and more.
What would you like to build if it could be crowd-sourced? Go ahead, run with it. One more thing – I’m sure someone else is thinking about this or working on it. If you’re excited by the idea, I suggest that you get on it! I don’t want to build it, but I would love to be part of it. Let me know if you want to start it and I can be involved.