How to Crowdfund a Low Earth Orbit Booger Cannon

In the three and a half weeks since we launched, we’ve received a lot project ideas from people contemplating making the leap from idea to crowdfunding campaign. The creativity and variety of these ideas have inspired all of us at Crowd Supply. Some of the ideas appear insane at first glance, but turn out to be well thought out with solid plans of execution backing them up. Some of the ideas appear great at first, but quickly fall apart upon closer inspection. And some of the ideas will be featured as Crowd Supply projects sometime in the coming days and weeks. All of the ideas are appreciated and we look forward to many more.

My primary job is to triage the incoming ideas, work with project creators to develop their ideas into actionable Crowd Supply campaigns, and guide those campaigns from launch to completion. I’ve had hundreds of conversations in the last couple of months with just as many people about what they hope will be the next big ideas. In all those conversations, a question commonly posed is, “How do you decide which projects to accept as Crowd Supply campaigns?”

This is a question we as a team spent many hours debating well before we launched publicly last month. Like most good answers, the answer is simple: we accept any project that has a credible plan of execution for the amount of funding requested.

A couple of notable corollaries fall out of this answer. First, the project acceptance criteria don’t include whether we think the idea has merit in and of itself. In other words, we leave our personal tastes out of the picture. If you have a credible plan for executing your project, you can launch it with us, regardless of how good or bad an idea we think it may be. Have an amazing plan for building a low Earth orbit booger cannon? Go for it. (There are some important exceptions due to the terms of use of our payment process - for example, no pre-paid phone cards.)

Second, the meaning of “credible” varies depending on context. For example, a proposal for a Crowd Supply campaign to fund the development of a flipperdiwidget would be evaluated differently if put forth by a team professional flipperdiwidget designers than if put forth by someone who has never made a flipperdiwidget.

Regardless of where a project came from or who came up with the idea, rest assured the project has undergone a vetting process to establish its credibility. This is for the benefit of both potential project backers and the project creators themselves. After all, the flip side of vetting is connecting project creators with the resources they need to be successful. I’ll write more about this last point in a future post. In the meantime, keep the project proposals coming - we look forward to working with you.