Crowd funding is causing a stir. It is growing very quickly indeed, it is the new future of investment, it is the way forward for charitable and social causes, it will replace the old traditional and slow ways of funding, both commercial and cause-based with stream-lined and simple processes. On the other hand it is unregulated, it is a fad, it uses technology for the sake of technology, it lacks the depth and consideration of old ways of raising money, it cannot be policed, and the sites are as likely to be run by cowboys as not.
The truth lies, as ever, somewhere in between. It is reminiscent of similar sectoral outcries over the last two decades. Who remembers the death of newspapers? When online news started, newspapers were expected by many to be a thing of the past. Indeed, circulation has declined, but we still see newspapers for sale everywhere, and can confidently expect them still to be here ten years, twenty years from now. Online shopping was another, the end of the High Street, Department Stores, Supermarkets. Yet all these things are with us today, and, again, no-one expects them to disappear. The book market took some time to come under terminal attack, but Kindle and Tablets have managed that. The consequence, once again, has been a slackening of book sales, but far from a disappearance of book stores.
In all cases, human beings trump technology. Crowdfunding will be the same. Human beings like crowd funding, but they also like more traditional ways of investing or donating. Sometimes they are different, that is, different human beings. Tommy Tablet likes everything electronic, whereas Peter Paper wants everything in hard copy and real time. But Derek Dexterous likes a little bit of both. There is room for everything, just as many of us will read books, use Kindles and even listen to talking books - just not all at the same time.
The sensible angel syndicates will adopt an electronic platform that gives access to the modern electronic investor, but will not give up the pitch events and phone calls.
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