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Palo Altans use Kickstarter to fund dream projects

Original post made on Jul 27, 2013

A handful of Palo Alto Kickstarter campaigners who live only a few miles from the top-notch Sand Hill Road venture-capital companies. But they are using to circumvent standard investment models, discovering the perks and disadvantages of the grassroots crowdsourced funding program along the way.

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Comments (5)

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Posted by anne
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 27, 2013 at 4:06 pm

I appreciate hearing the story about the successful failure. I kind of wish I'd had one before my foray into crowdfunding (LOL).

Crowdfunding seems to take different forms:
1) Family and friends pool gifts to allow someone to do something, pay for medical care, write a book, travel, etc.
2) Crowdfunding site advertising brings an idea or project to strangers, who donate, sometimes in exchange for a premium gift.
3) Many people, family and friends AND strangers invest in an incipient business.

When I did mine, I didn't really understand the distinction, between #1 and #2 especially, and how important it was to preplan for the #1 donations to happen early after the launch in order to get #2 donations. So essentially I ended up with a great big birthday gift from family and friends to replace my aging computer equipment, which was fantastic and necessary for completing my project, but it didn't really go far enough. That was totally my fault for not understanding well enough until I tried it.

It was a great experience - I used Indiegogo - but I would strongly suggest people try it first with a small project they don't care that much about, don't advertise to people you know (so you don't bug them until you do the "real" campaign), and get some experience with the process first before launching the real campaign.

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Posted by Kris Loew
a resident of Charleston Gardens
on Jul 29, 2013 at 10:53 am

Our Kickstarter campaign for Poketti has been both amazing and scary. Amazing in the sense that people love our product and we have had some early and eager support from both friends and strangers...and scary because it has been a slow, agonizing climb! It is also a balancing act, as Anne suggests above, not to "bug" friends too much but also rely on them...and to self-promote without being annoying! I appreciate our "town" and Eric at the Weekly for supporting these local projects...this kind of exposure for Poketti will make a huge difference! Thank you!!

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Posted by MSS
a resident of Professorville
on Jul 29, 2013 at 11:59 am

Diaspora, one of the first Kickstarter projects to raise a lot of money, also had a Palo Alto connection (one of the 4 founders at NYU is from Palo Alto).
Web Link

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Posted by Valeria
a resident of Downtown North
on Apr 10, 2014 at 5:49 pm

I love this Beautiful and amizing idea!

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Posted by Hahaha
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Apr 11, 2014 at 9:07 am

It didn't work recently for James Franco and his "Palo Alto Stories" movie!!!

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