As you read the headline I want you to put away any negative thoughts and read the rest of the post. If it really bothers you I can only hope you spread the word and help others around you understand how crowdfunding and kickstarter operates.
Entrepreneurship is Generally Frowned Upon
In my culture, the concept of people going after a career and becoming an employee with a big title is nurtured. Becoming an entrepreneur is usually frowned upon until you become successful under whatever standards they have set for you.
Many Dream of Becoming Entrepreneurs
Interesting enough, many of those people rather be employees but they dream of being entrepreneurs and they stay at the, “What if I could” stage of thinking.
Very little or no action is taking to chase their dreams.
How I think Our Culture Creates Barriers for Entrepreneurs
Here are some reasons why I have seen Puerto Ricans (and possibly many others) stay away from Kickstarter:
- A different type of Transaction – The aspect of supporting something that they don’t have in their hands is difficult to comprehend. Our culture is very risk averse. They are used to simple transactions where they get one item for cash (or currency).
- They Want 100% certainty they will get the item – With a kickstarter you’re making a pledge which becomes valid if the project reaches the goal. So to make sure you get the cool item like Juan Carlos’ book, make sure you pledge as much as you can and share with as many people as you think might be interested. It’s extra work, but you are supporting the idea of an entrepreneur and nurturing an entrepreneurial culture.
- Misinformation on what Crowdfunding is – I have been at various presentations from a local Kickstarter clone Antrocket, where they have even told their prospects to spam people to reach their goal. They have manipulated fake numbers to make it look like their platform is the only available one on the island. Not only does this create a barrier of trust, it’s wrong ethically and possibly illegal.
- Bad Experiences on another crowdfunding platform Misinforming others with the objective of capturing more people to place more projects on their platform like I have seen Antrocket do, hurts the same ecosystem that will keep their business up and running . I am surprised that those who should be creating a market for crowdfunding are sadly creating bad experiences.
- Fear of making an Online Purchase – For many years I worked as an IT security consultant for the banking industry. If most people had the perspective my peers and I have of how poor the security of most physical bank locations are, you would start trusting online banking a lot more. Paypal and Amazon secures client information a lot better than when you walk into a bank branch or even take money out of an ATM (especially if you’re in the U.S.).
Better Opportunities with your Help
Now that I highlighted the aspect of why most locals don’t understand Kickstarter, I want to highlight the opportunities that are available if you and I supported more good projects on Kickstarter and reliable crowdfunding platforms.
Become an ambassador for these platforms if you understand how they work. If more people understand it the higher the probability that people will support projects.
You’re next idea might have the opportunity to be funded via Kickstarter when you nurture communities.
A Low Cost Solution to Fix the Puerto Rico Economy
If we could get more people here on the Island to invest in the great talent we have, many would pursue their goals by using the tools available. We could start shifting the gloomy story of our economy into a brighter day.
Educating Prospective Kickstarter Backers
My friend Juan Carlos Garavito has invested a lot of time educating prospects into what Kickstarter is and how it works.
His main focus has been to explain the perks and benefits of buying his book at a lower introductory price and maybe getting the book in the hands of other children who might need these educational materials.
If you would like to start with supporting your first or next project on Kickstarter, take a look at Juan Carlos’ awesome Bilingual Photo Book.