To Crowdfund or Not To Crowdfund?

Your time is valuable don't waste it!

I remember listening to a presentation at a tech forum from this young ambitious dreamer.  He had just finished running a crowdfunding campaign where he obtained his goal of reaching somewhere around $8000.00 to walk from Canada to Mexico.  His enthusiasm was empowering.  It just made everyone in the room want to get up and start walking.  But did he really succeed? 

I came to my senses and realized that I had no desire to walk from Canada to Mexico even if someone paid me $8,000.00.  In fact, the more I thought about it, the more it sounded like torture.  First, he had done a ton of work to reach his financial goal and now he had to walk to Mexico, which sounded like a lot more work to me.   Consider the following, a standard crowdfunding campaign runs from anywhere between 30 and 90 days (1 - 3 months) with a good amount of prep work ahead of time.  Prep time can also be anywhere between 1 - 3 months too.  As a best case scenario, he was looking at $8000.00 for two months work without having ever gone anywhere (not including the fees that the crowdunding site takes).  Now, that's a bit cynical but the point is that when running a crowdfunding campaign many, many campaigners forget to include the value of their time.  Your time is valuable!  This has been such a big problem that when including the pledges many of the crowdfunders end up worse off then when they started, which is why prior to running a project the most essential element is planning the campaign and developing a budget for it that includes a salary for the project manager!  Wow, imagine that, getting paid for the countless hours to run the campaign!!

Beyond the Financials, however, I would be remiss to call a campaign that received $8000.00 to reach a goal of walking from Canada to Mexico a failure.  That's simply not accurate.  Even if the campaign resulted in a financial loss, it would be premature to consider it a failure because there are so many more aspects to running a crowdfunding project beyond just the financial results.  So, while it's important to consider the financial aspects of the campaign, it shouldn't be something that stops you from jumping into a campaign that you're passionate about.  

This brilliant young man was certainly passionate about his journey.  

Also worth remembering is that success builds on success and crowdfunding is no different.  In everyone's mind he has been successful.  So, the only true failure for the campaign would be if he didn't do it again with his own financial value in mind!  Although, one financially unsuccessful campaign shouldn't be written off as a failure repeated financially unsuccessful campaigns will ruin you.

As one of the CEO's of the crowdfunding campaigns let me know, do it and do it again and again until you get it right!  Getting it right means eventually taking into account the amount of time you put into the campaign.

So, keep crowdfunding and be mindful of your own time.  Your time is valuable!