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).