We should thank Barack Obama for Crowd-funding!

So today, I was getting all bent out of shape about the shame that is, Indian Politics. The so-called saviour, who was elected last month in Delhi is engaging in a form of economic stupidity that cannot even be expressed in words. He was probably the first guy in India who was able to pull donations from common people to get his party elected to power. (Obviously, not all of it came from the people and if we had to do a detailed analysis I would certainly have to write a book, so for the purpose of this blog, we will only consider the funds raised through the people.)

It got me thinking; whatever prompted this to happen?

‘A man who was fighting to be elected to power in a STATE in India, has been getting contributions from across the country and even from across the world, because people hoped that he would clean up the Indian political system!’

The only two reasons that came to mind were technology and a precedent. The internet is a very powerful tool; one that is being increasingly leveraged by all. The reason, word was able to spread so fast and people could react equally fast was due to the internet & social networks. This has also been sighted as the reason for the successful uprisings in the Middle East. The precedent that I talk about was set in the elections of 2008 by Barack Obama.

It was Barack Obama that led the first and I believe, to date, the most successful crowd funding campaign over the internet. He was able to raise money far in excess of what many pundits thought possible. He was able to galvanise the people of America behind his vision and support his campaign, not only by casting a vote, but also by donating  their hard earned money.

No sooner had he finished his campaign (Dec 2008), by the spring of 2009, Kickstarter was born. The crowd-funding revolution was up and away.

I don’t care for the future politicians who may use the same method to raise money, but the startups community, especially the hardware startup community definitely owes a debt of gratitude to President Obama for opening this door called Crowd-funding!

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