A while back I wrote that crowdfunding can be a distraction to startups from working on their products. While I still believe that, one of my clients have shown me that the two can be put together to create a community of people who passionately care about your product and are investing their time and ideas (beyond the $10 or $50 or whatever amount they contribute) in helping you deliver an outstanding experience.
One one end, this is fuelled by the availability of many mature open source frameworks and tools, along with the proliferation of services running in the cloud. These tools and frameworks make it possible to spend very little money to start building fairly complex products. (Why, today it is even possible to write and compile code in the cloud).
While advising a client how to properly implement agile methodologies like scrum recently, I was talking about the importance of automation to their team and mentioned that automation starts with standardization. What I meant was that to reduce the cost of automation they need to standardize the platforms and technologies they use for development and production. The reaction from their people got me thinking. Their response was ‘Are you saying we should ask everyone to use only one programming language? We are a small company and we have been trying to attract talent by letting them choose the best technology they think will help them do their work.’
There has never been more options for startups to get early funding. In the past one was expected to put personal cash or beg for some love money from family and friends – with few lucky ones being able to get bank loans on their mortgage. Today the list of crowdfunding sources, incubators, angel hubs and similar is rapidly growing around the world – creating a strong motivation for early startups to try and take advantage from some.