Incremental Converse Crowdfunding

I've become a lot less confident in this idea recently, and am planning on once again rethinking it. I'll probably continue to aim to use it in a small scale on a personal project, but with the intention to totally scrap it if anything goes unfixably wrong.

Incremental Converse Crowdfunding is a system that attempts to make donor intent easier and more precise. It works by the following steps:

I use the term "artist" when talking about the person producing works, but as mentioned, this also applies to people who produce audio or software or any other information-based output that can be trivially copied and distributed.


Problems with traditional crowdfunding

I believe the biggest problem with traditional crowdfunding is that the final result is often far less than what is initially pitched. Searching for "failed kickstarters" provides plenty of listicles outlining Kickstarter campaigns and why they failed, and the various reasons why:

In addition, once the funding is provided, there is little reason for producers to be expedient in their delivery (other than their usually nonexistent reputation), and it is difficult, if not impossible, for funders to get their money back if the producer takes too long or disappears.

To fix this, I have two proposals:

By combining these two concepts, I have come up with the procedure outlined at the beginning of this article.

Converse crowdfunding

The traditonal method of crowdfunding can be described by the statement "If I fund this, then you will produce it". The logical converse of that statement would be "If you produce it, then I will fund this". In converse crowdfunding, donors pledge money towards a work, and only donate after publication of that work. This gives artists an incentive to deliver a work quickly, but with minimal sacrifices to quality.

Incremental crowdfunding

Splitting up a work into smaller tasks gives donors more opportinuties to predict how much they value the final result, and increase or decrease their pledges if their expectations change. By providing donors with information more often, they can make more informed decisions about how much they want to pledge for a given work.

Similarly, artists get more insight into how their work is perceived, as their donors give regular feedback on each work via their donation amount. In contrast, metrics from social media can be very volatile, and are just as often due to randomly being shared by the right person at the right time rather than a conscious, attentive evaluation. Plus, $2 is usually a more meaningful show of support than a social media like.

For most cases, works can be easily split into smaller parts. For example, a music album could be split into 3 promotional singles, album art, a full release, 5 music videos, an extended/collector's edition release, and a remix album. Serial works like TV shows and comics could be split into episodes and chapters, or even further into distinct production steps like character references, screenplays, and storyboards.

Because no money is transferred until after the work is published, artists are essentially working off their own money for any given work. As a result, artists are encouraged to split their work into definable milestones, and be as transparent in their progress as possible. In this way, incremental crowdfunding follows as a natural outcome of implementing converse crowdfunding, and so it isn't really necessary to force works to be split in this way; only to allow and streamline it.

Additional notes