Ok, first let me mention that I am using craziness as a positive trait, as made famous by ‘Think Different’ Apple ad. Once we have that out of the way let’s talk about some crazy ideas from crazy people and some crazy and not so crazy people supporting them. I am talking about crowd-funding. Crowd-funding brings together large no. of individuals who contribute small sums of money and collect huge funds to back or support a unique project. This usually happens via internet and 2 of the most famous websites where you can be part of crowd-funding revolution are Kickstarter & Indiegogo
Check them out and you will find lots of interesting projects and you can choose to support any project. If somebody is creating a unique product, you can support such projects and be among first ones in the world to get hands on the new product and that too at a discounted rate. There are also goodies like T-shirts, stickers, wristbands etc., if you want to support but don’t want to commit full funds needed for the product. Let me talk about a few recent projects to get you more interested.
Idea here is to create plants which glow and while glowing plants will certainly look unique and cool, they can serve a higher purpose as well by becoming source of natural lighting without need for electricity. This looks sci-fi but you can now pre-order glowing plants for yourself from their website. Such plants are basically a result of combining DNA of plant with DNA of a FireFly and all this is possible using Synthetic Biology and Free Genome Compiler Software.
The first publicly accessible space telescope! Take amazing photos of space or have your photo displayed above the Earth. Basically anybody can pay small amount and point this telescope to any space object and be an astronomer. For more info just visit planetaryresources.com
Canary & Piper are 2 really affordable, elegant and smart home-security and home-automation solutions for everybody. No need for extensive and expensive wiring and you can see and control your home using mobile Apps.
Beddit is an automatic sleep and wellness tracker, which turns your bed into a smart bed. The Beddit sensor tracks your sleep quality, heart rate, and breathing under the sheet while you sleep. The mobile app coaches you to improve sleep and performance.
Rainbow Pencils are made from recycled paper and let you create beautiful paper rainbows every time you sharpen them.
SIGMO costs just $50 and lets you talk and understand in more than 25 languages!!
FABtotum is a multipurpose Open Source Low Cost Personal Fabrication device. Scan, 3D Print, Cut/Mill.
Sprayable Energy is a liquid you spray on your skin to get the energy you would from energy drinks.
Ubooly is a smart toy that can listen to your kid and teach and coach him like a good friend. Needs an iPhone, iPad mini or Android phone to work.
Most of the Smart Watches which I wrote about sometime back, including the Pebble watch you will find wrapped around my wrist these days were either born on Kickstarter or Indiegogo.
It’s good to see some India specific crowdfunding websites springing up recently. I really like Ignite Intent but Catapooolt and Wishberry seem good as well. More like Pik A Venture and Fund a Peer are launching soon.
Not everything is just cool, gimmicky and sci-fi looking on these websites though; you can even do a great service to man-kind via some of these projects, one of which is developing a Cure for Black Bone Disease and you can donate as less as $11 to make this project see light of the day. Please do this right now as there are only 18 days left in the crowdfunding campaign of this project as of today.
I personally find browsing and backing projects like these both inspiring and addictive and hope you will also have the same experience. May be someday you will be launching a project of your own on one of these websites?
Till then, Think Different 🙂