I’m putting this down mainly as a “note to self” — these are the key attributes I’d want to see in an ideal-for-my-needs crowdfunding site:
- A social networking component to encourage discovery
- Accessibility (in terms of payment processing) for international backers
- Ability to adjust pledges while project is live
- Separation of money put towards project goal vs. put towards shipping
There are other things that are good — metrics to help understand where funding is coming from and to gauge the effectiveness of specific promotional effort, etc — but these would be the real, foundational core for me.
Right now, crowdfunding sites that exist seem to be able to do at best two of the four things on this list. Kickstarter hits #1 and #3 neatly (which I feel forms the core of their success), but fails at #2 and #4. IndieGoGo is the leader for #2, but is weaker on #1, and outright fails at #3. And so on.
The advent of selfstarter.us makes me think at some point someone might build something that hits 2-3-4 based on that chassis, but any Selfstarter-utilizing crowdfund effort will have a hard time with #1 — at least until someone figures out a good clean way to provide a central clearinghouse for Selfstarter campaigns that people can use to browse an otherwise spread out and decentralized population of crowdfunding opportunities.