BY Matt McAlister, Crowdfunding has the potential to overhaul every aspect of production, argues Matt McAlister
Crowdfunding is just capitalism by another name, according to one of the attendees I spoke with at Activate Summit in July.
I get why he felt that way after such a long day of talks – a steady stream of crowdfunding experts with relentless enthusiasm talking about how it’s going to change everything. All that hype. But he was complaining to the wrong person. I’m in the camp that believes the market growth fuelled by crowdfunding is much more important than just another flavour of capitalism.
Crowdfunding is an enabler of the total overhaul of every aspect of production.
Perhaps this is revisionist history before its time, but I’m hopeful we’ll look back at the many institutions created by the industrial revolution, designed to prefabricate the world for consumption, and see them eroding over time, replaced with people-powered processes and products that help us create and grow things, to strengthen our relationships with one another, the institutions that support us and the environment.
At a basic level we’re seeing people take back control of production.
People are using these new crowdfunding markets to get backing for ideas before they are made, a step in the production process that bakes in the customer appetite. Increasingly, the manufacturing process for just about everything relies on a distributed networked supply chain rather than a string of dependencies and expensive capital investments. And distribution happens through a cycle of development, evolution and redistribution, rather than a one time manufacture and deliver model.
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