Hammerhead is one of the projects presented and promoted on a so called crowdfunding platform. This platform, Dragon innovation, is backed up by some big hardware vendors in the IT industry. A new way for those vendors to help the community of developers and inventors, make sure that they are engaged in an early stage within a new product development. Many crowd funding platforms are active on the internet, a great way to find need stuff for potential consumers but most of all a new way for start ups and inventors to collect investment money. For this specific hammerhead project they needed USD 145,000. For this specific hammerhead project they needed USD 145,000. I was able to back up the project by pre-ordering a Hammerhead for USD 75. At that moment they only had about USD 20,000 of investment money collected. With my credit card I made a deposit and when the project was able to get backed, it would than be deducted from my credit card account. I shared off course this exciting project to my peers, my (social) network with many enthusiastic triathletes and cyclists in it. Well, yesterday was a milestone because the project achieved its funding goal: the USD 145.000 was in!
Fairphone & Phonebloks
Another interesting project initiated by some Dutch guys is the Fairphone project. A honest smartphone where they set the goal to have pre-orders for 5,000 units to get the project going. They managed to get interviewed in one of Holland’s biggest television shows and from that moment it went fast. Today almost 20,000 units are being sold and they are still counting. A great transparent and open way how to develop a product and involve your potential customers in it. Within Exact we even considered to buy the latest required 500 units for marketing purposes. But I was not able at that moment to get the internal support for it. But many opportunities will follow which could be relevant for us.
Another interesting project also initiated by a Dutch guy is Phonebloks. They even were able to get exposed on a global scale. Today they are almost hitting the 1.000.000 supporters! What about that! And although personally I do not really believe in this concept it seems that others do. And that’s the nice thing about this way of getting your projects funded, the market is the truth and will give you the answer not just only a small group of so-called authorities that can make or break a project. Although some exposure as in a television program definitely works. PR, marketing and communications become even more important. But that’s a complete other story.
Chances for accountants
Okay accountant, how much are you aware of these kind of developments going on? And how can this effect your practice, your services and your way how to acquire new business? Are you still having partnerships with traditional financial advisors or banking firms? That if out of your client network an opportunity pops up you and your group of wise men and women can start to assess the initiative? How many within that group are really into the world of today? Are you still having partnerships with traditional financial advisors or banking firms?How many persons thoroughly realize that many things are changing, that assessing the potential of a project is no longer just based on a limited view, financials or other former indicators. New indicators popped up, reputation, engagement, coolness, awesomeness, social networks and so on. Which practice doesn’t want to be part of such a success story, that you are involved right from the start building the company together. Taking the risks but risks that you can oversee. Helping the youngters grow their company because your expertise is really needed. You know that running a company is not only about having a great product and a huge base of fans, a strong financial fundament and framework is needed to get things going.
What is your plan?
Reading this as an accountant, do you agree this could be a major opportunity for your practice? The next question is what is your plan to really determine the value you can get out of this? What are the crowd funding platforms that really matter? How can you start engaging with them by exchanging experience and expertise. And wait, don’t start asking money for it in advance, just give it for free. Because if you want to be able to multiply you first need to share. One of the new rules in todays #weconomy! I can hardly imagine that you as a practitioner will not get excited when reading this. Spread the word, also probably new to you with regards to new ideas, because there is enough for everyone. Sharing is the new having. Would love to see the first partnerships coming up in the near future. Good luck!