What Veronica Mars and Donald Trump have in Common: They Make Crowdfunding Look Good

14 May

Donald Trump has jumped on board with the new startup, FundAnything.
Image: Gage Skidmore / Flickr CC

A new startup called FundAnything launched last week with an investment and commitment to personally contribute to projects from The Donald himself.  The new platform welcomes any project without screening or (probably) support like those stuffy guys over at Indiegogo do.  Even though 500 plus crowdfunding platforms are exploding all over the internet, Founder Bill Zanker seems to think that his platform will take crowdfunding “to the masses”.   Never mind the record-breaking $5.7 million dollars that Veronica Mars creator Rob Thomas managed to raise on Kickstarter from over 90,000 contributors.

All snark aside, bringing Donald Trump on board is a strong advantage.  While Donald Trump is a somewhat infamous figure in pop culture, his 2 million Twitter followers alone prove his social influence.  Trump has also promised to make personal contributions to projects regularly, and promote his choices through his social media outlets.  Someone important gives you money and then tells millions of people how cool you are.  Who doesn’t want that kind of free marketing?

The platform itself has a similar feel to it than other popular crowdfunding sites, but the smiling corporate mascot is definitely the key differentiator when you visit the site.  Currently popular projects vary from throwing a party for Sandy victims, supporting a man with cystic fibrosis, to a new album for an unknown pretty face.  Crowdfunding is a great social experiment in seeing what people will give you money for and how much they expect in return.  The future of crowdfunding will depend on the rate of funded projects actually delivering on promised goods.

Veronica Mars creator Rob Thomas raised $5.7 million to support a Veronica Mars movie.  Image: eonline

Veronica Mars creator Rob Thomas raised $5.7 million to support a Veronica Mars movie.
Image: eonline

A recent study found that the success of funded ventures depend highly on the quality of the business or product, the vested number of stakeholders and the quality of life where the project takes place.  Naive “backers” of crowdfunded projects may not have all the tools and savvy to judge whether the project will be successful, so we may be looking at potential for scams.  If you are considering funding a new venture online, take a look over the company and determine the commitment, process, timeline and quality.  Remember also to be patient; startups often encounter unforeseen obstacles during or soon after projects are funded.


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