I think crowdfunding has already started unleashing the potential of creative people, worldwide. And I mean crowdfunding in its current donation-and-reward-based form, not equity-and-profit based. Web platforms like Kickstarter and Indiegogo are the best accelerators nowadays. They spur the creativity and innovation of many many small entrepreneurs. Just look at some recent Kickstarter projects:
- “Multiplo – Create Your Own Robot” – http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1689254125/multiplo-create-your-own-robot – a Lego-like amusing, educational and intelligent toy. Suitable for any kid or dad interested in electronics, robotics or software. I’m sure that more personalized, bigger and refined robots will follow soon.
- “Ubi – Ubiquitous Computer, Voice Activated and Always On” – http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/607691307/ubi-the-ubiquitous-computer-voice-activated-and-al-0 – voice-activated personal assistant for each room in every home. As to me, it’ll be especially useful for old and impaired people.
- “Bukobot 3D Printer – Affordable 3D Printer with No Compromises” – http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/deezmaker/buko-3d-printer-raising-the-bar-of-open-source-3d – the power of 3D-printing (i.e. producing personally tailored products) is given into the hands of virtually everyone.
- “OpenROV – The Open Source Underwater Robot” – http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/openrov/openrov-the-open-source-underwater-robot – an indispensable tool for adventurers, police, etc.
These and many others are not any more “fund-me-cause-Im-pretty” or “fund-my-next-shopping” projects, but truly innovative and creative ones. Moreover, they are challenging the status quo in hardware, manufacturing and services. Open-source was until now only software-related. Now more and more innovators want to bring Open-Source and Open-Innovation to the hardware – in manufacturing, robotics, entertainment, homes. Don’t you see it? It’s not too different than the time when the first personal computers were introduced. We’re on the verge of new industrial revolution.