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Indiegogo Launches a Crowdsourcing Business For Big Businesses ( 23

Lucas123 writes: Indiegogo announced at CES today that is now has a crowdfunding site exclusively for big businesses, which often have hundreds of internal R&D projects or ideas that never see the light of day and could benefit from getting public exposure online. Companies such as Google, Anheuser-Busch, GE and Hasbro have already run crowdsourcing campaigns on a pilot of the new site in order to raise money for projects, garner customer ideas, or validate pre-retail products. In July, GE ran a campaign to prove market demand for a countertop nugget ice-making machine for the home. GE offered the Opal icemaker for $399 to early buyers on Indiegogo, with a future retail price of $499. GE's Opal icemaker project raised $2.64 million total from 6,177 contributions by the end of the 30-day Indiegogo campaign. The campaign also garnered 510,000 page views and 15,000 Facebook shares. Natarajan Venkatakrishnan, head of R&D for GE Appliances, said crowdsourcing allows development and marketing to be conducted at a fraction of the cost of a traditional R&D project. "If it flops, no worries. Upfront costs were some 20 times less than a traditional product rollout, which can cost tens of millions of dollars," Venkatakrishnan said. "If we're going to fail, we want to fail fast."
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Indiegogo Launches a Crowdsourcing Business For Big Businesses

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  • can crowdsource his wall. The USG can crowdsource its Iran invasion. Even the loonies just want someone else to pay for these things they claim they want. When the rubber hits the road their tunes suddenly change.

    Unfortunately politics is still popular and not much more than a system for people's emotional problems to control others; if economics can be substituted I say crowdsouce all the things.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    It used to be about the grifting, man! Now suits be begging for scraps, what left for us bums!?

  • The initial interest and exposure virtually ensure a better, less expensive launch for a new product.

    Like similar good new ideas for funding situations, those onboard early will likely benefit the most, until the system is overrun with more new solicitations than the audience can keep up with.

    The fund me sites still work, but it's crazy how the silly things effectively drown out the worthy causes in all the noise.

  • No. Fucking. Way. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by BitZtream ( 692029 ) on Thursday January 07, 2016 @09:53AM (#51254993)

    If you participate in this, you're a fucking moron.

    We're not only going to be ripped off by companies, but we're going to pay for them to do all the research and development up front ... and you think what, the price will be lower? They'll be more altruistic? Something will magically be better?

    This is fucking stupid, and I can't say the word fucking enough her to get the point across.

    You do not crowd fund a fucking company, thats the companies job. They aren't going to crowd fund your ass when you get laid off or fired, why the fuck would you give them a bone?

    • Re:No. Fucking. Way. (Score:4, Interesting)

      by Fire_Wraith ( 1460385 ) on Thursday January 07, 2016 @10:03AM (#51255075)
      I don't see this as a way to get cheaper products. And that's fine - there's nothing wrong with putting up extra cash for something you REALLY want. Think of it as being an early-early adopter. It's up to you and I to decide if we want something that badly to put in the money for it. The alternative of the standard model where the corporation does market research, and tries to figure out what consumers want and will pay for, does the research/design/etc, and then offers it for sale, means that you're not likely to see anything too outside the box. When the corporation is assuming 100% of the risk, why shouldn't they go with the "safe" option?

      On the other hand, with this model, they can offer something a little more cutting edge, because if nobody is interested, it'll become apparent quickly. Also, you won't be running into the common Kickstarter problem of people who overpromise their ability to deliver because they have no idea of what the real costs are going to be, or how to budget, etc.
    • by Ol Olsoc ( 1175323 ) on Thursday January 07, 2016 @10:59AM (#51255431)

      If you participate in this, you're a fucking moron.

      The whole thing reads like some pecuniary extraction end game scenario, where millionaires and billionaires take to begging for the last pennies of the kids working for minimum wage at the local fast food joint.

    • It's a great way for companies to pilot test new ideas, though. Not sure if the market really wants... say... a fitness tracking watch with a built in MP3 player and Bluetooth earbuds? Put the prototype on a Kickstarter type of crowdfunding site and see if you get any buyers. If you get them, you already have a built in market for your product. If not, you can stop at the prototype stage and not worry about tooling up for mass production.

    • I think the big question would be what happens if the company never delivers the product. If this system is pretty much just a combination of market research and pre-ordering, where the people who sign up are charged the stated amount when the product ships, then I think it's fine. On the other hand, if GE gets your $400 and can then never give you anything for it, then I would agree that it's complete bullshit.
  • Big businesses collect big piles of money and then hand them to people who don't deserve them, or actively spend them in ways that harm you, like lobbying for their interests against yours. If you then go on to pay their R&D budget, you're a real dumbshit.

    It would be a nice place to look for good ideas to crowdfund from someone who actually needs the funding, though, instead of rewarding businesses for slashing R&D (which eliminates jobs for skilled workers!) and maximizing profits by turning out the same crap year after year.

    If you use this site and fund some corporations' R&D, you're funding job reduction, and I hope you lose yours.

  • Give money to corporations with more cash than your favourite god, so they can develop something with 0 risk and sell it to you even if it is a failure? And if it's makes it, rob it's customers blind.

    Wow... talk about greed and stupidity.

  • Seriously? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward

    This is redundant. We have a "Crowdsourcing Business For Big Businesses" service already. It's called the "stock market".

    • by Anonymous Coward

      But the stock market it encumbered by things like "rules" and an "expectation of ROI" to shareholders

      Crowdfunding is throwing money in a direction in the hope that something happens to it, not even that you get anything back. Small time / indie people are already abusing this system to hell and back (Zano, Double Fine, etc)

      Then you get campaigns from guys like Don Bluth to make a pitch reel for a "Dragons Lair" movie, unless you donate more than $35 you don't get to see squat and the purpose of making the p

  • by tibit ( 1762298 ) on Thursday January 07, 2016 @12:01PM (#51255891)

    IRL Erlang [] FTW :)

  • by Anonymous Coward

    The idiots at GE must be living in a cave... I bought a countertop Icemaker for my boat on sale for $110 from Home Depot last summer. China is pumping them out by the millions.

    It is actually very cool. Ice runs around 8 cents a pound in Shore Power electricity. During icemaking, it draws ~125 Watts for six minutes to deliver twelve small cubes, well, they are more like chunky thimbles; quite chewable. Wha

  • When Kickstarter was just starting out, I saw how even large companies would want to get in on this action. Besides gathering seed money in presales for items, they can determine interest, test the markets, and even back out if the interest is too low to be sufficiently profitable. manufacturing runs could be decided upon ahead of time and done. Even loss leaders might be of interest because if a company produces a small manufacturing run of a limited edition item, besides securing needed funds for producti

1 Mole = 007 Secret Agents