Google
 

Aardvark Daily

New Zealand's longest-running online daily news and commentary publication, now in its 19th year. The opinion pieces presented here are not purported to be fact but reasonable effort is made to ensure accuracy.

Content copyright © 1995 - 2016 to Bruce Simpson (aka Aardvark), the logo was kindly created for Aardvark Daily by the folks at aardvark.co.uk



Please visit the sponsor!
Please visit the sponsor!

Crowdfunding, not just for startups

26 May 2016

Traditionally, crowdfunding has been a method used by small companies or startups when they want to take a product from conception to commercial reality.

Almost anyone can come up with a pitch for their project and take it to sites such as Kickstarter, where millions of members of the public can take a look and, if they think it's worthwhile, pledge a few bucks for one of the first off the assembly line.

Although there have been some spectacular failures, a huge number of crowdfunded projects have become runaway success stories and the concept has quickly gained momentum.

What few people expected however, was that "big name" companies would use crowdfunding as a way of developing new products and pre-selling them.

One of the first of the "big name" companies to go down the crowdfunding route seems to be Xiaomi, the very large Chinese company which has made its name in mobile phones and action cameras.

It has been an open secret for some time now that Xiaomi have been working on a consumer-grade drone designed to compete with the myriad of offerings from other (largely Chinese) manufacturers.

Given its background in the "action camera" and consumer electronics areas, adding a drone to its product range would seem to make sense. It's interesting to note that the world's most well-known action camera manufacturer (GoPro) is also preparing to roll out a drone later this year.

The big surprise in Xiaomi's case however, is the fact that they don't seem to be funding this from existing revenues -- they're going down the crowdfunding route instead.

Well a number of publications (eg: The Verge have reported the strategy as crowdfunding but it seems a whole lot more like pre-selling to me.

Allowing customers to pre-order (and pay for) upcoming products is nothing new but referring to it as "crowdfunding" is.

I actually wondered how long it would take "big business" to figure out that crowdfunding by way of Kickstarter, etc, was a really great way to sell products and free up capital.

Even if you're a big corporation, why spend huge chunks of your own (or borrowed) money to develop a product when crowdfunding can provide you with the necessary capital for free -- not even any interest payments!

I'm predicting we'll see a whole lot more corporate crowdfunding going on in future as savvy marketing and finance people latch on to the benefits that come from being paid for a product before you've even got it off the drawing board. In fact, if I was on the board of any company developing hi-tech consumer products which wasn't using crowdfunding I'd be demanding to know why not.

Please visit the sponsor!
Please visit the sponsor!

Have your say in the Aardvark Forums.

PERMALINK to this column


Rank This Aardvark Page

 

Change Font

Sci-Tech headlines

 


Features:

Beware The Alternative Energy Scammers

The Great "Run Your Car On Water" Scam

 

The Missile Man The Missile Man book

Previous Columns

NZ goes back to the 1940s
Time to talk about a criminal welfare system...

An innocent victim of the war against drugs
Many years ago, I used to suffer badly from hay fever...

The final body-blow for SkyTV?
Now that Netflix and other streaming video services have arrived, Sky TV has become increasingly reliant on sports as its core content...

New Zealand, just like the USA?
Earlier this week I wrote about the case of a US citizen who the federal government wants to jail indefinitely because they refuse to hand over the decryption key for data stored on their laptop...

Youtube on shaky ground?
Google has announced that its new YouTube Red service is now available to Kiwis...

When a basic human right becomes a crime
You know the world has gone mad when what was once a basic, inalienable human right becomes a crime that could see offenders jailed for life...

Flash-back and Kodi
Google is taking the bold and laudable step of blocking Flash on all but ten sites to be found on the internet when viewed using its Chrome browser...

Could the IoT become Skynet?
The Internet of Things is predicted to become "a big thing" in the near future...

Forget the quality, feel the width!
I mentioned a while ago that I was considering a bit of a facelift for this website and I received some excellent feedback from readers...

And in the end...
From that great tome, the bible: (Isaiah 29:6) "You will be visited by the Lord of hosts with thunder and with earthquake and great noise, with whirlwind and tempest, and the flame of a devouring fire"...

AmazonTube?
YouTube has been the king of the streaming video sites for over a decade now...