How crowdfunding is shifting the power away from the traditional gatekeepers

ITProPortal, John Aukland

No one can deny that the social and political landscape is changing. Driven by the digital revolution and gathering pace as the number of so-called ‘digital natives’ reach adulthood, this paradigm shift is a result of society shunning traditional leadership models and preferring direct connection instead of intermediation. It’s because of this shift that crowdfunding was born, and the effects it’s having on society are far more profound than many realise.

I’ve been bold enough to state in the past that I believe all good ideas will be incubated through crowdfunding in the future. At the time I suggested it would be 2030 before this vision is fully realised, which still seems plausible. The thought process behind my theory is that crowds, ergo the opinion of the market, is deemed more trustworthy than the voice of a few opinionated industry leaders, in other words, pluralism is overtaking individualism. So I feel there will be a time in the near future where ideas or new brands won’t be trusted if they can’t show they’ve been validated by the crowd.

I’m not the only one who believes this paradigm shift will be absolute. In their recently-published book, called New Power, authors Henry Timms and Jeremy Heimans argue that we’re shunning old 20th Century values in favour of new power values of disintermediation, leader-less movements and crowdsourced ideas. In this world our voices are heard through online petitions, our banks are crowdsourced and our beer is owned by the people. It also has its dark side, leading to populist politics that can be open to manipulation, such as Donald Trump, Brexit and the Cambridge Analytica scandal.

So how will this affect the startup and funding scenes, and will this help to drive the industry forward? Or will a distrust of experts lead to a world where we’re forced to live with maniacal leaders and inanimate objects called Something McSomethingface?

Perhaps more importantly, how can your idea gain more traction by embracing these new powers?

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