NOTE: This is a full archive for the Project Community: You & The World (2014) please see the main site for the most up to date information.

Posts Tagged crowdfunding

A story has no beginning or end

Hello everyone!

It is the end of the module which means the end of projectcommunity :,( but i shouldn’t start saying farewell already as me and our group are leaving a ‘never forgetting solution’. 

Our group’s theme was both crowdfunding ad crowdsourcing but at the end we decided taking into account CoM’s needs that crowdsourcing will be most ideal for them however we still have some solution in terms of crowdfunding for them. 

The main issue

The main issue our NGO had was the amount of volunteers or the board members as there were only 5 people. The problem is that none of them do their jobs seriously, theirs only one person who almost does everything because the other people aren’t serious. After a lot of hangouts the solution we came up with was that they need a lot of volunteers so they need to have as many volunteers they can for various things such as updating their website, organizing events, helping in any other way. Also taking into account that these volunteers also includes students from universities and schools.

But first they need to advertise them not only through social media but also differently. And also they first need to target people in Holland to join the NGO.                                                                                          

As a solution our group found an ideal website for solving this problem, we contacted these people and got all the information and it is a very good way of promoting as a NGO in Holland and also getting volunteers.As to get the best volunteers you need to advertise you NGO in a way that even students would want to volunteers. Also this website has a time period for how long one can volunteer for a particular event which is also very essential.


The other issue that the NGO has is they aren’t getting enough funds. So after a lot research we found a website where again the NGO can promote and advertise themselves by putting up a video which can be done after they have enough volunteers so it can be seen as a ‘after result’ of crowdsourcing.

Final Video

Our video is actually structured as metaphor of a growing tree and it is divided as the ‘Me,We and Many’ network which is done in the presentation software Prezi. So the video starts with the roots which is where the NGO is with its problems and it moves up to the stems to the solution and then at the end towards the leaves and the fruits to the after effects or what happens next. 

The End

This experience has been amazing because I remember i started off with knowing nothing i had a slight idea of crowdfunding and crowdsourcing but now i actually learned a lot of things and to be honest I felt like everything was going to fast but I learned a lot of things not only about NGOs and how to approach them but also how to write blogs and how to make people actually read your stuff. How to say promote yourself and the things you want the other person to see.

Also most important group work, decision making, listening to others, tolerating each other, coming up with different ideas and putting it up together and meeting up even during holidays yes that was a big challenge for me but you have to play your part as well because everyone is doing it!





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Posted in Community, Group 11, Students
This post was originally published at the Project Community blog: Check This Out

I work with floating people

This course made me reflect about the relationships between the elements involved in the system of the online communities for innovation. I specified "for innovation" because the goal changes the structure of our web constructions. Let me explain this better;


Online communities are generally a subjective system (this is also important, each person has a different online community) created by an individual and a bunch of weird people floating in the air. I know it is a creepy description but it works. Well, I can interact with these people through different means: social networks, blogs, wikipedia, crowdfunding websites, etc… nothing difficult here. Now, think to this structure, it misses something. It’s the goal. Without a goal it is pointless to use it! Different goals will change the shape of the community involved. If I am feeling alone and I want to find new friends I will use different networks to reach a selected number of floating people (I am alone, not desperate) and then I will change the relationship into a face-to-face one. On the other hand if I want to chat with a friend I just need to reach her/him and communicate (or her/his mother, father, sister, dog if she/he is not answering.. No, I am not desperate).

Now, let’s change this goal with a "design goal". Our project is a perfect example. Yes, I have a NGO but I can just take its purpose and translate it as my goal, it will make things quicker. Well let’s analyse what I learned about this love triangle: me, the online community and the project/purpose.



First, very important part is the need. Floating people have to express a need that could involve my project, my service. There are two different ways to approach this element. You can “feel the need” and design a solution or, and that’s our case, create/adapt the need to your project.

That could sound deceitful, but it is not (if it is not done by Apple). Look at our NGO, few people really think a Tiny House Community is a solution to a need, however the space on this world is decreasing and we are overusing our resources and that’s a problem, that’s a need. Money is also decreasing and we are living over our possibilities, that’s a problem too! "Creating the need" means to make these people aware that there is a different way of living!

To study the need we can use our marketing strategies. I love the Purple Goldfish Strategy (not only because of its name). It is all about what can you give that others can’t. In an ocean of red goldfish ( or orange or yellow, that’s the colour anyway!) what makes you “purple”? Merging it with the need you get something to make your difference even more powerful! Indeed if you have something the others don’t and it is something that people really need (or think they need or discover they need) you have a huge potential.


This is the base of every interaction me-community, without it everything becomes useless, it is the crowdsourcing part of our course. Unfortunately we don’t live in a world where investors just knock at your door (or if they do they do it when you are in the bathroom), people won’t help you in your project if they don’t know it. Here we have many different way to make people aware. I continue to say that Twitter is one of the best one, but also Youtube (why not? Make a video and spread it through Twitter, Facebook, etc..). You could also think to more traditional tools. Why don’t use the “creative guerrilla strategy”? It’s a old (but not that old) marketing strategy that involves strong graphic works. In these works there is something that excites your curiosity (the color, a shape, a huge written like “BOOBS” or “SEX"(you see it worked?)), then if you look at them closer you will find all the informations or a message with a website, etc… It is a manual thing but you can use stickers with this kind of messages and spread them around, in a zone or a city easily and it’s very enjoyable to create these kind of graphic works. Returning to web awareness system we also chose to create events for our NGO, to make people understand that these tiny houses are very cozy and clean, not like in TV shows! In this case, probably Facebook is the best events spreading system.

Example of Guerrilla style campaign by Benetton (that in the meanwhile is exploiting chinese children to make clothes. Here it is another important thing for a project, consistency)


Financing is an action that you (aware) community does with your project. An important rule in this topic is “nothing is for nothing”. You have always to remember that people don’t give money for free, you have to give them something. On the other hand you have to give them something that doesn’t make you lose money, it could seem obvious but it is not. Fundraising is something precise, you should fix a goal, a number, you starting money, what can you offer, its cost… It is complicated, you have to be very careful when you organise a fundraising campaign and collect/use numerical data and measurements for it if you want to earn money. I have already talked about many other details in crowdfunding/microfinancing in my previous post. I actually didn’t know anything about it before I did this course (really, I was thinking to bag-snatches as fundraising tool before that) so, I think this is a great achievement!


It could happen that you have an idea but you can’t do it by yourself. Let’s think about a videogame, maybe you have ideas about the story, the effects and you can draw 3D characters for it (you lucky girl/boy, I am not able to use Photoshop properly!) but you don’t know how to link the commands to movements, you have not any experience about computer programming! Well, here you can use again your online community! You can find partners that will help you in it. We learned how to manage a group in our course. For example for a videogame I would recommend you to work in group of three, so you can have a better control of the progress and, as Chris Corrigan said, you are more creative and that’s important for a videogame even if you lose “diversity” but, if you start with a clear idea of what you want to do you only need people who can help you in completing it (creativity). (I thought that a practical example would be the best way to express what I learned)

MAKE IT BETTER (BETTER, BETTER, BETTER…ok it is not about Beatles)

This is something I would like to explore. It is about those networks created to share a design idea and to use gathered feedback to make it better. It would be anyway a personal creation because the “deep style” is characteristic of the designer, but functions and shapes are modified by other future users or designers. Many web design competitions work like that, involving the customer/user in the creation of the final object. However the customer/user will give some tips but is the designer that has to translate them in a visual form. It could be very interesting to understand how to use it in the future to create a sort of “crowdesigning" and anyway, it is very challenging. I think that the best way to learn it is to participate or look to design competitions and analyse reactions to each work to understand if they could be valuable in the final elaboration. I would also like to see on the web if someone has already created something like that (we are in 2014, when you create something it is already created… except an easy way to go to gym).




Well, this course taught me all these things above about managing a project in an online environment and dealing with online communities. Obviously these are terribly important in our future, people are digitalising their lives (take a train and look around you, how many people do you see with the mobile in their hands? Probably a lot), if we will be able to meet those people on the web and to understand their needs and their thoughts we will be able to create new products that will totally change the world. Old ways of designing are slowly fading away except the strongest ones (that’s why i mentioned guerrilla). We have to find a new space to extend our networks and to link ourselves. The web gives us the possibility to do it remembering to not exaggerate using it. Our lives are here in the real world, not with floating people :) Well, stay connected for next post! I think I added enough pictures on this post, moreover I have in my mind an artistic representation of a floating person but I don’t remember the artist or the name, do you have some idea? See you next time!! :)

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Posted in Community, Group 1, Students
This post was originally published at the Project Community blog: A road to the plain

Surround Yourself with People Who Believe in Your Dreams

Hello again Everyone!

Today’s blog is going to be all about crowdfunding and crowdsourcing, I might have already talked about it in my previous blogs because it is also our main theme but I will go more in depth of it as I have gained more knowledge about it!

Like every project community class we watched a video in which they were many points which I found essential to have success in terms of crowdfunding and crowdsourcing:

  1. Reach media
  2. Join social media to help with funding
  3. Create ways to promote the NGO by creating a video to get more volunteers
  4. Always move forward, think beforehand what you want to do.

I thought these points are really necessary for our NGO. As our NGO really needs more volunteers to move forward and they can only get volunteers by promoting their NGO through various ways.

Crowdfunding, its benefits and limitations:

To begin, when talking about crowdfunding the first thing you need is a platform like for instance ‘kickstarter’ then you want as much people you can to donate money to your organization. Taking into account that By crowdfunding you are basically allowing the ‘crowd’ to come in and support you, for some people this ‘support’ is seen as an interference as they want to establish their organization/company without anyone’s help. 

According to the research I have done and what I have heard from my uncle (who started his company by crowfunding) I think crowdfunding is a very helpful thing,

  • It can allow your company to grow even further
  • It reduces risks when trying  to build a new company by the money you get

However the limitations of crowdfunding would be that it consumes a lot of time when trying to obtain as much funds as possible and also you always have to prove you’re company is real and its not some fraud especially if you want to provoke people like me to donate. *Sometimes its really hard to build people’s trust for something.

Crowdsourcing, its benefits and limitations

Similar to crowdfunding, when talking about crowdsourcing you are basically inviting the crowd/people to take part in whatever you are doing but its more than crowdfunding. Based on my research crowdsourcing is all about allowing people to guide you or give you ideas over a particular thing. This particular thing could be very specific like designing a logo, where a group of people together will come up with a design.

Crowdsourcing is very beneficial as:

  • Something better can be created as there will be more ideas by each person put together as one
  • It saves time 

The limitations of crowdsourcing would be that it can only be done if the company has a lot of volunteers. Along with that the volunteers might be unreliable so you have to dig in and find the right people for your organization/company which can be hard and time consuming.

For our NGO

For our NGO both crowdfunding and sourcing are very beneficial and important to allow the NGO to grow. The NGO needs a lot of funds from people to establish, but what we as a group have thought that it first needs a firm platform and permanent donators which is also where the part ‘promotion’ come is. As said in my previous posts that the NGO has very few people working for it so it needs many volunteers and this can only be done by promoting themselves, and so far our NGO has in no way done any effort in promoting so they really need to work on this. When they will have a lot of volunteers like students or people they will be able to carry out to say ‘crowdsourcing’ in a proper way.

As a designer

When I think of myself as a designer I think that there are times when you want to work individually without anyone bringing in their own ideas but you have to realize as i did, that there is always one thing that someone does better than you then why not allowing him to do it and together you can create something magnificent! As said before when you want to start from scratch and you have no single penny on you, you need crowdfunding as a first step to grow.


Sometimes you need more people with different ideas to complete your puzzle piece!


So I prove my point that as designer both crowdfunding and crowdsourcing are very essential!

Moving towards what more we did in our previous class, we played a game in which every group had a person with all the questions and a crowdfunding/sourcing expert who would answer them. There were many questions which I found very interesting such as

How do people make sure that the there is no fraud when funding on  crowdfunding site?

And what if crowdfunding was replaced for some governmental issues?

  • We had a discussion over this in class that in Finland they raised money for a hospital by crowdfunding.

A question which I thought of was that Should a campaign be placed on more than one platform at a time? Wouldn’t this result in more views & therefore more contributions?

After a lot of thought the answer i came up with was that it wont have the same impact on the mind of the donors. According to me people tend to donate more when they see the numbers going up they will support it as they want you to reach your goal.

After i researched more i found a person who said exactly the same thing what I had thought of, proving my point :)  

“When you do a crowdfunding campaign, momentum is really important. So if during your first week you collected $2,000 but divided in 2-3 sites it doesn’t have the same impact on the mind of the donors….” by Karl Pineault

Do you agree? What is your opinion about this? 

Last but not the least:





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Posted in Community, Group 11, Students
This post was originally published at the Project Community blog: Check This Out

Let’s play Crowdfunding – the experience

The rules and content of the Crowdfunding game are described in my previous blog post.

Week 6 was the most interactive of all weeks by now. We had to play this game via Google hangouts with Nancy. I was one of the scorekeepers and I had so much fun, I’m going to remember in a while. This was a successful experiment, using a bit tricky method in advantage to all. Maybe you wonder why we skipped the part of dry theory as a usual class wouldn’t do. Probably because we’re different! Playing a game instead, threw me back into my childhood memories, where learning things was really exciting. Sometimes you need to wake the curiosity inside you, to challenge your comfort zone in order to upgrade skills. 45 minutes sound a lot, but when you have to gather information for such topic - it’s not enough! Or at least - not enough to become an expert. However, we’re still in the process of learning. I really enjoy interactive and different solutions regarding personal development.
There are many Crowdfunding platforms on the Internet. Most of them require a registration to access the projects. What feelings do you need to provoke in your target group in order to get them contribute? What are the latest trends and innovations in Crowdfunding? What psychological techniques should we maintain to attract the crowd via first sight of the project? Hmm, not easy to answer!
In the end of this lesson, the stumpers “stumped” the experts with their good questions. Boom - game over!

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Posted in Community, Group 10, Students
This post was originally published at the Project Community blog: RIGHT ON TARGET

Let’s play Crowdfunding!

Have you ever played the crowdfunding game? I bet you haven’t! If you want a joyful different way to understand the meaning behind this practice of funding, than you’ve found the right place do to that!
Here it is a list with instructions.

You need:
- A group of people, thirsty for knowledge;
- Access to the Internet;

- A couple of experts
- A couple of stumpers
- 2 scorekeepers
- A large group of voters
! Note: the number of experts should equals the number of stumpers.

Step one - Divide people into groups. Each group should have 1 expert and 1 stumper. The expert is the one, who answer questions, while the stumper - ask them.
Step two - There are 45 minutes to explore the Internet and gather as much information as possible about Crowdfunding, it’s trends, platforms, etc. Meanwhile, write down the best questions that come to mind, related to the topic.
Step three - Time for all experts to face the stumpers. The rest of the people are considered voters - thumbs up if the question/answer is good, thumbs down if not. The scorekeepers follow a chart with results.
! Note : The winner is the group with the best results!

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Posted in Community, Group 10, Students
This post was originally published at the Project Community blog: RIGHT ON TARGET

Let me talk about crowdfunding

Hello my potential readers!

The topic of today’s post is a crowdfunding and crowdsourcing.


The explanation of crowdfunding and crowdsourcing you can find here -à and here à

For me the idea of crowdfunding and crowdsourcing is very simple and this is where the beauty of it lies. To ask people about their help to support your design or project is the easiest option to think of. Only these projects who can defend themselves would be released. Nowadays, because of the social networks it is becoming very popular. Staying home you can be in a contact with anybody in the world.

Although the success lies in a promotion. And this is where many people think the devil is. Marketing is a powerful tool. But still there is more good than bad people. So why to carry about this few? I am aware of this that my statements are very naïve and childish. We don’t live in a fairy tale. It is a serious world with serious players in suits. But what if…. It brings amazing results?

The musician Amanda Palmer shared her experience with crowdfunding during the TED Talks event. à

The Dresden Dolls star explains that we shall not be afraid of asking people. As she sums up her speech: “ Don’t make people pay for music. Let them”. There is a difference, right?

Another really inspiring story for me is a project of my friends who produces self-crafted steampunk art toys ( ). Thanks to crowdfunding you really don’t need to big and have good business relations. You can just share your idea among people and wait for responses if the crowd likes it.


During the last classes the competition over the knowledge of the crowdfunding and crowdsourcing was carried out. The questions stimulated me to think more about the possible future of crowdfunding and crowdsourcing. Can we live in the hippie world where every project is supported by crowd itself? Even for me it is difficult to imagine and somehow it doesn’t feel right.

  1. First of all this method of gaining funds is not good for everything. In order to gain funds, the creator has to share a lot of information about the product/idea with the audience. For instance, most of the intellectual properties can’t be crowdfunded.
  2. Not every country is prepared for this. You need to trust people and have enough money to donate somebody else. That is why kickstarter doesn’t work so good in India as it works in Europe or USA.
  3. The crowdfunding lacks a long-term viability. It is the good method for starting a business, but not for managing it.  It is not the long-time strategy.



Luckily, our group project is also related to crowdfunding and crowdsourcing. Children of Mexico uses the crowd power in order to gain money for donations.

During this week we had a meeting with Nancy, too. We discussed together about the organization work and structure. During this chat we have realized that it is very important for the NGO development to take each step in right order. Although, some of ideas can be good, they will find no support if the base is not ready.

Thank you, Nancy! :)

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Posted in Community, Group 11, Students
This post was originally published at the Project Community blog: Karolina's Little Thoughts about Big Projects.

Is crowdfunding a good option for my NGO?

The Tiny House Enthusiasts have the main goal to build a community, where they could each have a lot to build their tiny houses plus shared facilities, such as a pool and an internet cafe. To accomplish that they obvsously need funding. Would crowdfunding be a good option for them? Let’s see.

First, it has to be considered that tiny houses are not a social cause per se, and for that, it does not have the emotional appealing that would make people donate. For instance, a campaign for helping homeless pets touches people’s heart, thus, they open their wallets.

Second, not so many people are familiar with the Tiny House movement, their cause, and their purpose. If people new why those people want to live in tiny houses, they would feel closer to the idea, because their are familiar with it.  If people knew that costs are much lower if you live in a tiny house and that it it environmental friendly, they would be much more willing to donate.

In that moment comes crowdsourcing. You have to let people know what’s happening, what is your project about and get them involved. A marketing strategy and a good website are indispensable.

The truth is each case has to be analysed individually. Approaching the characteristics of that particular enterprise will give a good answer of which kind of crowdfunding or IF crowdfunding is suitable for your project.
In regard to the Tiny Houses, there is a platform that fits really well the purpose of being a community. It is called “Tilt” and it works kind of a group crowdfunding, e.g.:
Imagine someone in the community has the idea of building a garden. Then they:
1 - Creat a webpage explaining the purpose of the funding. A deadline and the desired amount of money raised should be predetermined;
2 - Invite people to donate via Facebook;
3 - If, by the deadline, the goal has been achieved, donors will be charged in their credit cards. If not, it means the funding has failed and nobody will be charged. Of course the goal is not the limit, the donations can go above it.
In Tilt there is no reward like in traditional crowdfunding, but the benefit will stay in the community, so everybody wins (in this case, a new garden).
Nothing is perfect, so there is a fee of 2,5% charged as administrative costs from the website.

Between the pros and cons, I say crowdfunding well used is a great tool.

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Posted in Community, Group 1, Students
This post was originally published at the Project Community blog: Leticia Fernandez - Project Communities 2014

Crowdfunding and Crowdsourcing! If you want a really good…

Crowdfunding and Crowdsourcing! If you want a really good explanation about these captions watch the video above:  

For the majority, these terms act like totally unknown in the first place. Even for me. I wasn’t sure about their meaning and the fascinating fact is that I really used them for a large amount of period. My experience with that is What is it about?

  • Search a contest that appeals to you

  • Read carefully the design brief

  • Brainstorm some ideas, work and then upload them

  • Wait for your feedback

  • Work again based on your feedback

  • In the end the customer will choose the winner

For about an year I was a part of 99designs and I can tell you from my experience some facts:

  • Once you start, if you want to win, you have to spend a lot of time working

  • Even if you don’t win you learn so many tips from other designers (with a lot of designs in their background)

  • It is a way to improve your skills in Illustrator and Photoshop

  • You learn ways to attract you customer, how to present the logo in an attractive way for them

  • You have the opportunity to use your imagination

  • Sometimes you don’t win, not because your design wasn’t good, but because someone else design was better (it’s a lesson)

  • In time you develop a style, a brand as a designer, and others will recognize you (you can receive invites in their contest, only because they liked your past designs)

  • Another advice : Try it! You’ll have so many benefits from it.

This is my 99design profile:

Crowdfunding is a more delicate subject because you ask people for money, but we need to admit that it has to be represent not of ‘what’, but of ‘why’. I made some research and I found that in some places in the world crowdfunding is illegal. Though, in this virtual times is the best way to support an organization. Also, I can conclude now that you need to be careful about some aspects if you want to achieve your purpose. If you want to catch people’s attention you need to come with something authentic and unique (think about ice bucket challenge). As an organization you must create and show people realistic goals. In that way you earn their trust. Consequently, the story of your objective needs to be engaging and personal to generate a connection with people. Also, donors has to know which will be the impact after their help. Just show them!


Do you know that the biggest amount of money raised on a crowdfunding platform was for Invisible Children’s Kony campaign on StayClassy (now it’s just Classy) with 4.8 M dollars? Classy is the world’s largest fundraising platform for social good organizations. Their slogan is : “We’re on a mission to mobilize & empower the world for good.”

The second amount of money raised is 1.4M, for the Convent and Academy of the Visitation, on Razoo. What’s Razoo? Another big platform where are more than 90,000 fundraising causes. Their slogan: “Let’s lift the world. Razoo is crowdfunding for causes. “

It sounds really encouraging. And right know I am thinking, how can we help our NGO to reach the same success. What we have so far is that PAGE needs an improvement for their website. Their cause is really hard to sustain because its a local issue. But we have to try. Now me and my team, do everything we can to get feedback from people (it sounds like crowdsourcing, right?). After that we will try to re-brand their website, to find solutions for that. It is very important to have a good-looking, full of information website, it’s a way to show people why you need the capital more than others. If they see an attractive page, they know that you endeavor and work really hard to obtain what you want.

Crowdsourcing and crowdfunding are like the relationship between flowers and bees. The flower is the cause, and the bees pollinate it, bring the missing pieces. 


Have you found another good crowdfunding and crowdsourcing platforms? Let me know! 

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Posted in Community, Group 7, Students
This post was originally published at the Project Community blog: Laura Lezeu (Project Community 2014)

Crowdsourcing and Crowdfunding


Crowdsourcing is the online gathering of a group of people to share knowledge and wisdom to build a better product.


Same as crowdsourcing, only that the community involvement moved into the financial arena.

Useful or not?

I find tools for raising awareness of your *insert here whatever you want to raise awareness to* very effective if you actually know how to use them to the purposes you want to achieve. In the particular situation of an NGO, this tools can be of huge help to raise awareness and money coming from donations, you expend almost no money and you have a platform full of donators to see in which project expend their money next. For that, of course, the proposed project that is target for donations should be attractive and beneficent for the donors and for the causes they share with the NGO. I am not saying that depending on your cause is the success of your campaign, but it kinda is, because if you are doing a stupid thing that works for nothing and benefices no one, well, it’s more likely you will get no donations at all, but of course, like everything in this world, things get weird and maybe those projects can be successfully founded or known.

I think most of the work is done when the project or cause is fixed and the branding (or whatever they called branding) has been done. If you have a relevant cause combined with a nice, clear way of explaining to people why is this important for them, and for you, you’ll certainly have you project/cause funded within no time.

Design and crowdsourcing

When it comes to design, I think crowdsourcing is a very good way to have feedback on your product/project and to make it better from that feedback. A lot of good things can develop from crowdsourcing as a designer, like having a previous backup before you launch your product, people will want it before it actually exists; improve your product based on users critics; gain awareness for your product; and helps shaping the way this product is going to be born in the outer world. On the other hand, there are also bad things that can happen when crowdsourcing, like having your work stolen and made by someone else that saw your idea, and had the means to do it right away, and since you have no rights on the idea because it’s barely complete, then you will have to let a maybe great idea go away.

I am personally selfish with my ideas, and I don’t tell a lot of people about them, because I am really afraid that someone will steal them. Maybe my ideas aren’t that great and maybe I really don’t have to worry about them getting stolen, because they are like an ugly child no one wants to kidnap, but still I have lived it before, and from that moment on, I decided that won’t happen to me again ever, so that has shaped me as a reserved person. I don’t have boundaries when creating, but I do have boundaries when sharing the ideas (where am I sharing them and with whom).

Apart from my personal experience, I say thumbs up for crowdsourcing and their money equivalent, crowdfunding. Why? Because this kind of platforms are the ones that make great things possible.

Thanks for reading.

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Posted in Community, Group 9, Students
This post was originally published at the Project Community blog: A glimpse into Isabella's mind

An alternative to a bank robbery


Fellow designer, the new century has just begun to show us its modernity and its progress with an impressive rate. We just discovered computer viruses that could destroy technology, islamic fundamentalism that could destroy western technology, bird flu that could destroy human society, swine flu that could destroy human society, Apple iPhone that could destroy human society, etc… By the way, I predict that this year’s flu will be caterpillar flu, just to keep you informed.


Now, in a world in which huge companies, viruses and groups are fighting each other how can we imagine to stand out with our tiny, nice product? Well, a bank robbery could seem a great idea but there are definitively easier and softer ways. One of them is crowdfunding, that for designers is very simple. You have a product, you need to create your company to build and commercialize it, you go on internet and you gather money from people donating giving them back, maybe, that product. They pay it less and have it before all the others and you get enough money to start your business. It seems heaven isn’t it? Well there are some limits, and they are really important.

First, it is not enough to create your campaign on Kickstarter. People need to know about it, you will have to use all your cyber-power: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr, “Friends”, “Relatives” (important social networks), you have to spread the word. You know, it is not like making people aware of your ideas. If you write a status about the next caterpillar flu and 1000 people read it, well, you did it, 1000 people know what you think about it. If you make 1000 people know that you are gathering money for something, you will have a final effect of 30-40 people donating, that is a good achievement but is not enough, so you will need to reach 10.000 people and you will have great possibilities (well, if you find a cure for caterpillar flu you would probably reach 10.000 people donating, scared by newspapers and TV shows).

Second, you have to be sure of your results. You can’t make people donate for something you have to develop and you are not sure to achieve. If you want to design a flying chair be sure you can do it! Otherwise you will have lots of cyber-addicteds really angry with you.


There are other ways to gather money, similar to crowdfunding but deeply different. When I write “Develop Yourself” I mean to change your perspective. While with crowdfunding you develop your product with startups you can develop yourself and then your product creating a stronger result! There are a lot of websites as microventures that can make startups and investors meet. Here you can create your own small and wonderful company in order to come out with a lot of new products and ideas. Sure, the limit is that you will have investors but in “normal” crowdfunding is not that different. Moreover governments are investing a lot of money in financing startups and you have special spaces like “hubs” where you can increase your awareness about this new magical world. In Italy we have some great experiences in Piemonte and in Veneto regions in which these hubs are working very well, not being affected by the economic crisis (and that’s an unbelievable result in Italy!). That’s way I think that this investors finding system for startups is the best mean to stand up in design world. After that entering a startups hub is another way to "stand up together" that is easier than trying to do it individually.


That is why we suggested our NGO to create a startup, to think itself as a startup. It can give a service: providing new environmentally and socially sustainable spaces for companies and people. In the Tiny Houses community we can create a great opportunity for individuals and companies to make each other better. People can join this community to learn and try new experiences both on the working and on the living side. The workers of that companies would work in a relaxed green place, with trees and fresh air. Inhabitants of this community would gather money and experiences from companies. Moreover a startup won’t have any legal problem with the government that would be able to finance it. For them it is easier to start on Microventures than on crowdfunding campaigns.


As a group we defined the economic part of “having a real community”. Now it is time to define how can this NGO/Startup make people aware and how they can develop their calendar and activities to make the community work. We are thinking to a sort of internal regulation for the Tiny Houses hub, internet cafè and events. Stay connected for the next week post, now I have to see the first episode of American Horror Story 4, so I will leave you with a picture of your worst enemy this year! Bye!


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Posted in Community, Group 1, Students
This post was originally published at the Project Community blog: A road to the plain