Crowdfunding

General topics which don't fit into any one category below ... but you can feel free to start any topic here, whereby later the moderator may move it to another category below. Since this is a new board, we can put most discussions here until there are more posts. This forum was started in mid-July 2009 (on the 40th anniversary of Apollo 11).

Moderator: smccann

User avatar
joertexas
Posts: 1021
Joined: Sat Jul 18, 2009 4:44 am
Location: San Antonio Texas

Post by joertexas » Wed Mar 07, 2012 6:31 pm

[quote=""Sam Fraser""]Hi sgeos and Engineer817, I'm following these new posts to an old thread with keen interest. This is worth brainstorming and pursuing further.[/quote]

Agreed. Like I said, we have lots of room for corporate logos...

The first item I'd like to fund is a professionally done data analysis and map from the LRO data, followed by a professional promotional video and business proposal. Next would be an engineering analysis of the mission to nail down the requirements and potential costs.

JR
Last edited by joertexas on Wed Mar 07, 2012 10:30 pm, edited 1 time in total.

sgeos
Posts: 207
Joined: Sat Jan 08, 2011 3:21 am

Post by sgeos » Thu Mar 08, 2012 1:26 pm

If you want to try to crowd fund these projects, the first thing you need is a budget. After that you need a list of perks related to the project. You will need add the cost of the perks to your project total (perks need to run a profit). The crowd funding platform will also take a cut. You need to add that too.

Code: Select all

Campaign Target = (Project Budget + Perk Budget) / Your Cut
For example, assume you need $10,000. You only have $25 perks and they cost you $5. $10,000 / $20 profit = 500 perks. $5 * 500 = $2,500 total perk cost. Assume the platform takes a 6% cut.

Code: Select all

$13,297.88 = ($10,000 + $2,500) / .94
It might make sense to bump the campaign in this example up to an even $14,000 or $15,000. It is a nicer number and you are probably going to be slapped with a few hidden expenses. Obviously figuring out a real campaign with a bunch of perks will be a little more complicated.

Next, you need someone who has 70 days to run an intense campaign. That person needs to show up on camera in the promo video and explain the project. The same person should also handle daily twitter updates (also consider FaceBook, YouTube, etc.) Now you need to start soliciting pledges. Concurrently start preparing everything else for your campaign. Once you have 10% in pledges, start your campaign and ask the people who pledged to actually donate to it. The goal is 10% in the first 24 hours. If you don't get 10%, run the campaign anyway if you think you can make it work. Otherwise revisit your project scope. Probing for pledges requires far less commitment than a full 70 day campaign, so it carries a lower cost of failure.

Just to be clear, you would be crowding funding to afford a professional promotional video and business proposal. Ie, you are trading time and your "amateur" pitch for the professional deal with the help of the crowd. That is what you are trying to sell to the crowd.

User avatar
joertexas
Posts: 1021
Joined: Sat Jul 18, 2009 4:44 am
Location: San Antonio Texas

Post by joertexas » Fri Mar 09, 2012 5:28 am

Anyone have ideas about what perks we could offer short term?

JR

sgeos
Posts: 207
Joined: Sat Jan 08, 2011 3:21 am

Post by sgeos » Sun Apr 01, 2012 11:38 am

[quote=""joertexas""]Anyone have ideas about what perks we could offer short term?[/quote]
An information package, a commemorative item, something signed, etc. Mark still has some physical PERMANENT books laying around, right? Maybe he could sign them and offer them as one of the perks.

User avatar
joertexas
Posts: 1021
Joined: Sat Jul 18, 2009 4:44 am
Location: San Antonio Texas

Post by joertexas » Mon Apr 02, 2012 1:04 am

[quote=""sgeos""]An information package, a commemorative item, something signed, etc. Mark still has some physical PERMANENT books laying around, right? Maybe he could sign them and offer them as one of the perks.[/quote]

That's a good idea..

JR

box
Posts: 9
Joined: Sat Jun 09, 2012 9:45 am
Location: Melbourne

my 2 cents :)

Post by box » Tue Jun 12, 2012 1:38 pm

Hi Everyone!

I was wondering a lot about crowd funding and why it hasn't happened yet for a global space program.

I think there are several limiting factors here are my guesses:
-competition for attention:
There are a whole heap of websites or projects like PERMANENT out there. They all have different features, but the general idea is to get a crowd together to support space related activities.
-lack of transparency:
Even the ones who are succesful seem to be not completely transparent so they probably fail to get past people's general lack of trust towards one another.
-lack of advertising: There isn't enough effort put into advertising and making sure everybody has at least once heard about these projects
-perceptions: People tend to lack long term vision. The here and now matters, the future is irrelevant. Especially if it's future that we measure in decades, centuries, millenia etc...
-Language barriers: people assume that everybody speaks their langauage. They don't.
-Lazyness/lack of motivation: this is a major one. A lot of people just can't be bothered to think, work for, or contribute to projects like PERMANENT even if they financially would be perfectly capable to.

If you just look at the global community of people who can afford 1cent/ day. Assuming people who can access the internet could afford this much and assuming all of them did decide to pool their resources on a global space program then:
2.2 billion cents/day = 22 million dollars/day
That's 8 billion dollars yearly budget. I would say that would be a decent sized space program. If we want to do the same budget but with less people, 1 dollar a day for 22 million people would be another obvious option.
It looks much more doable actually, but getting 22 million people worldwide to be involved in one project is not easy. :)

We also have to keep in mind that we would be competing with the governments for attention and funds. A lot of people would probably think that the portion of their tax spent by their government on such activities is a complete waste. So they obviously won't want to voluntarily give up their money for projects like PERMANENT.

The tricky ways to get around all of this is:
-Get rich using a private enterprise and sell something to the people that they want, and then spend the profits on space related R&D. This is being done all over the globe already and is a successful aproach even if it isn't intentional in most cases.
-Sell something that has obvious benefits down here that also has "space related" spin offs. I think what we might need to do is figure out projects or products we can develop and sell that have "space related" benefits.

For instance bioreactors that can digest celluloze to produce proteins, fats, vitamins that are edible for us would be extremely useful in space, but the technology could be life saving when it comes to our increasing population and food supply issues. It would potentially be the technology to reduce environmental impacts of farming with reducing grazing pressures on pastures. It also would allow for the farming of the oceans or using saltwater in deserts.

Or robot swarm technologies. Extremely useful for any project that wishes to automate operations but needs highly mobile autonomous vehicles to carry out tasks. This technology has clear advantages in space where we do want to carry out the grunt of the work automated. Our role up there is going to be the brains of the whole operation, finding out the direction to head, finding out solutions to problems. The robots will do most of the heavy lifting.

Those are two fields I am interested in at the moment and decided to get into. I have relevant education in biology that would be useful for the first one, and the second one I want to do for the industry I work in. /natural resource management/

So last but not least I think any large scale crowd funding project will have to brake down the program into micro projects that are more easily digestable and observable than just a single "space program fund". This way everybody can just zoom in on the field they are interested in and put their 1 cent/1 dollar/100 dollars where they want it to be spent.

The crowd funding project I had in mind would have had a massive database of all the relevant projects, and each would have it's own micro budget, its own team, and it's own following crowd that would support it.

The details of the system are the tricky part. Should we have a common pot of gold, or should we all just handle our own donations?
How do we encourage people to do continious donations instead of once off ones?
We want the support of people for years and decades, so once off donations are less valuable than continuous support.
How do we keep people interested and involved? How can we fit fun games, events, community feeling into the whole thing?

It is a very hard nut to crack. I am trying to figure it out because without a project like PERMANENT or MACH30 or my freespaceships, none of us will have the chance to have a fun ride in space before we drop dead. And that would suck. :)

Overall looking at the scale of the whole thing it seems we need to design and grow an online nation. A nation without physical borders, with no language barriers, and with only one common goal: to get off this planet. :)

I am glad that to see that there are a lot of people working on this out there. Hopefully we can get our act together and come up with something seriously cool. :)

Ommas
Posts: 117
Joined: Mon Aug 29, 2011 6:33 pm

Intresting that you point to transparency.

Post by Ommas » Thu Jun 14, 2012 1:27 am

In the states. Golf is big business. Those that actually go golfing fund the market. Not just fans , but millions of players.

I believe when the crowd participates, they bring the human god like imagination with them. It's a simple answer really, because it's not a question of If mankind can marshall the resources of the solar system. It's How much will they pay to be immortalized as members of the team.
Opprotunities to participate using remote controlled equipment of the mundane tasks would be a draw for multiudes. SIM gamers communities and social network games for instance. There are some tasks on the Moon, Mars, and Beyond that are simply boring repetitive and deadly. Hook in members hierarchy and my assumption is more would participate in it than the golf market . In 2005 it was reported that the US spent in excess of $200 billion.

Hats, jackets, merchandising, conventions. Image


Show the members that the government sponsoring the sales would only take 2% and the company 13% the rest is equipment and a HELM facility staff. rounding it to 65% budgeted for off earth equipment that the members will someday have the opprotunity to really operate if eligible, qualified and availablle in a 3 hour window. To build things like roads , tracks, towers and shelters. Basic infrastucture. Being immortalized on a grand wall where the names are engraved on the bricks, and beams .

IMHO
What is needed on the moon more than anything else is a railroad that connects the poles diagonally @ 45 degrees so that the suns energy always shines on the railroad and connects the poles. Throw in the ability to see their names on the RailRoad ties from a strong telescope on earth.
I imagine that would be a big draw indeed.
Last edited by Ommas on Thu Jun 14, 2012 3:47 am, edited 6 times in total.
Reason: 40 million members @ $200 a year for 20 years = 160,000,000,000 Imagine What can be created with 160B over 20 years

box
Posts: 9
Joined: Sat Jun 09, 2012 9:45 am
Location: Melbourne

Post by box » Thu Jun 14, 2012 7:52 am

Wait you are thinking of crowd sourcing the operation of robots to build infrastructure on the moon?

That sounds quite good actually.

When I was thinking of being involved in the lunar x-prize with freespaceships I was thinking that one of the cool things we could do is teleoperated rovers that are crowd controlled.

Basically people go to a website where they put in what direction they think the rover should head, and then the system "averages" the input and choses the direction based on the input. I thought it would be just fun to see if a crowd could control the operation of a single robot from collective input.

Then I thought what if you got them to do more complicated tasks like construction.

I don't know if it would work, but it would be interesting to try.

Anyway it seems robots are the future, and getting them build infrastructure is probably the way to go if we want to set up a large colony on the moon. This is the main reason why I decided to get into robotics and try build something useful for my current job. Then hopefully in a decade or so I can be a amongst the people who make or operate those robots that will build our habitats off world.

sgeos
Posts: 207
Joined: Sat Jan 08, 2011 3:21 am

Post by sgeos » Thu Jun 14, 2012 3:01 pm

[quote=""box""]It looks much more doable actually, but getting 22 million people worldwide to be involved in one project is not easy. :) [/quote]
Regardless of the market you are in, 22 million customers a day is a wild success.

[quote=""box""]We also have to keep in mind that we would be competing with the governments for attention and funds. A lot of people would probably think that the portion of their tax spent by their government on such activities is a complete waste.[/quote]
It has been argued that public funding decreases aggregate funding for this very reason.

[quote=""box""]-Get rich using a private enterprise and sell something to the people that they want, and then spend the profits on space related R&D. This is being done all over the globe already and is a successful aproach even if it isn't intentional in most cases.[/quote]
Become successful and expand to new markets ...

[quote=""box""]-Sell something that has obvious benefits down here that also has "space related" spin offs. I think what we might need to do is figure out projects or products we can develop and sell that have "space related" benefits.[/quote]
... or expand the scope of your current activities. I'm partial to answering the question, "How much space and capital equipment does it take to grow the food required to feed the average adult for a year?" Achieving food self sufficiency via hydroponics or aquaponics is useful for both terrestrial urban farming and space colonization.

[quote=""box""]So last but not least I think any large scale crowd funding project will have to brake down the program into micro projects that are [...] easily digestable and observable[/quote]
I agree. Attempting a billion dollar campaign will almost certainly fail. The crowd funding platform takes a cut, so it makes sense to seek other revenues streams for projects that have sufficiently large funding targets. A "small" crowd funding campaign could certainly be used to bootstrap something larger.

I will state again that is probably a good idea to start a campaign only after you have 10% of your funding goal pledged informally. Hitting 10% of your target dramatically increases the chances of reaching your funding target. Do not forget the perks for the contributors!

[quote=""box""]Should we have a common pot of gold, or should we all just handle our own donations?[/quote]
Separate projects run by separate passionate crowd funding teams.

[quote=""box""]How do we encourage people to do continious donations instead of once off ones?[/quote]
Run serial crowd funding campaigns or move to non-crowdfunding subscription based funding model. For example, the Global Village Construction set started with a $40,000 Kickstarter campaign and later shifted to a "subscription" model.

[quote=""box""]We want the support of people for years and decades, so once off donations are less valuable than continuous support.[/quote]
Not everyone is prepared to give continuous support. Crowd funding works when you have very specific goals and you give people crowd funding perks they actually want.

[quote=""box""]How do we keep people interested and involved?[/quote]
With daily updates. To properly run a crowd funding campaign, you need to treat it like a job. Preferably a full time job.

[quote=""box""]How can we fit fun games, events, community feeling into the whole thing?[/quote]
You need a crowd funding project manager and possibly a crowd funding team. There are professional fund raisers out there. You may or may not want to hire a pro, depending on your project scope and the resources you have.

[quote=""box""]Overall looking at the scale of the whole thing it seems we need to design and grow an online nation. A nation without physical borders, with no language barriers, and with only one common goal: to get off this planet. :) [/quote]
I think the internet is a good first step in the right direction.

Ommas
Posts: 117
Joined: Mon Aug 29, 2011 6:33 pm

Post by Ommas » Fri Jun 15, 2012 6:47 am

Anyway it seems robots are the future, and getting them build infrastructure is probably the way to go if we want to set up a large colony on the moon. This is the main reason why I decided to get into robotics and try build something useful for my current job. Then hopefully in a decade or so I can be a amongst the people who make or operate those robots that will build our habitats off world
I for one don't see the moon as the best choice for a colony due to the Vast radiation and extremes. To me it's most likely multi generational steps to get the infrastructure in place to support the colonists on mars.

I must explain briefly, i'm not well, and type things unproven.

It's not exactly reinventing the wheel.
This picture , there is a machine and a human.


My point is not much attention will be given to the few that operate an accompanying sophisticated robot/s so complex that the masses cant operate much less understand. They simply will be disconnected and wont put thier time, money or energy into something they will never be associated with. By using 3D prototyping to create equipment that is similar to human attributes.
Has arms for lifting and stacking, and can move about. When engage in a build task can be tele driven. Simple tasks people on earth already do.

shift the opereator spot to the doners and you will have droves of doners.
the complex operator will still exist , but will be working along side an army of equipment.

To be clear the picture of the rail truck on the moon would have:
  1. Tracks
  2. Truck
  3. Truck teleoperator
  4. Robot in the field
  5. Moon based Human controller and tech
Image

My point is alot can be accomplished with simple teleoperated equipment.
We need the robots yes, but the doners could be engaged as the workhorses.

At least as seed money.

The key is a railroad that doesnt degrade in the radiation. Which can be built from lunar materials and connect many projects and multitask the equipment over several missions lower the costs for seed projects like drilling.
Use of 3D prototyping printers could create some very simple teleoperated cargo vehilcles for doners to operate..
Last edited by Ommas on Fri Jun 15, 2012 7:30 am, edited 5 times in total.

Post Reply