Patreon is about to achieve what Flattr didn’t manage to

A couple of years ago, the Swedish micro donation service Flattr caught the attention of bloggers in Germany and some other places in Europe. However, despite a sudden momentum, an honorable idea and an innovative execution, the startup never managed to reach the critical mass that would be necessary to make the concept of users supporting creatives with small donations work on a big scale. Flattr is still around, but unfortunately it lost its momentum.

Now it looks like another company, the San Francisco based startup Patreon, is more successful at establishing a global platform that connects creators with fans who are willing to chip in a few bucks. Patreon was founded in 2013 by the Indie Musician Jack Conte and his friend Sam Yam. The service allows individual producers of creative content to set up a profile and to gather so called “Patrons”. Patrons are fans/followers who are willing to pay a one-time or monthly amount to their preferred creator(s). Patreon takes a cut of 5 % as commission, the remaining amount is being paid out to creators. Continue Reading

Why crowdfunding changes the world


When the smartwatch maker Pebble recently wrote crowdfunding history by collecting almost $7 million worth of pre-orders within 12 hours, this made once again clear how revolutionary crowdfunding actually is. The campaign for the Pebble Time eventually ended at a bit more than $20 million worth of pre-orders. It became the most successful campaign of Kickstarter ever.

But the game-changing character of crowdfunding extends far beyond the capability of collecting large amounts of money from everyday people to finance the production of new gadgets. In fact, crowdfunding is a vehicle which can serve very different purposes, some of which have nothing at all to do with what the term “crowdfunding” stands for. It’s a real multi-talent and a way to rival and possibly replace many functions of today’s economy. Continue Reading

Pebble’s most recent crowdfunding success proves that pull manufacturing is the future


Some weeks ago I wrote about the many disadvantages of physical retail and why we should abandon it immediately if we could (which we cannot yet for socioeconomic reasons). One thing I did not mention in that post but which most likely will play a crucial role in changes to come for retail is the rise of product manufacturing based on specific demand. One could also call it the switch from push to pull manufacturing.

Until now, most products were produced by companies that could not be sure whether all or even a high percentage of units would be sold. Instead, guess work, predictive market research and individual opinions decided about volumes. Then placements in stores combined with different marketing activities were used to create demand and generate sales. The existing products were “pushed” into the people’s field of attention in the hope that people would buy. Continue Reading