Change Leadership Watch
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Change Leadership Watch
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Scooped by Deb Nystrom, REVELN!

Crowdfunding Phenom: Kickstarter CEO Yancey Strickler on Success, Copycats, and 'Broken Promises'

Crowdfunding Phenom:  Kickstarter CEO Yancey Strickler on Success, Copycats, and 'Broken Promises' | Change Leadership Watch |

The crowdfunding model is now a mini-cottage industry, thanks to Kickstarter, and yes, he's been spoofed by 'South Park.'


...When did the concept of crowdfunding first click for you?

In 2005. I had these artist and musician friends with day jobs that they hated, but they couldn’t afford to just do art or music. There’s a widespread assumption that creative things just magically happen, and they don’t. Creation requires funding.


....(order changed)  Today, millions of people use the site each day, adding up to a daily average of $1 million in pledges (some 70,000 campaigns have launched on the site). 


...Are there plans to grow the staff?

Actually, no. I think we’ll get to 100 people, but not much beyond that in the near future. Being a small company [means we are] light on costs, and I like the scrappiness of trying to accomplish a lot with a little. There’s far more shared ownership with a small team.
...Are you threatened by ...copycat competitors?

I’ve always known others would copy our idea, but to be honest, we’ve always been the strongest product. ....and for most of our measurements -- dollars pledged, site visitors, project supporters -- there’s a huge gulf between us and the rest of the field.


Deb Nystrom, REVELN's insight:

FOR THE WIN:  Spot on great ideas, carried to full implementation and sustained in good faith, with some bumps in the road. Overall good ideas, good will and smart business practices will win the day, says I.   As an consultant, there's a lot to like about Kickstarter, including my favorite value in the work world, "choice."  We have a lot that is industrial age about our still new, burgeoning information age.  Fortunately, Kickstarter the concept, and the reality, is not one of them.

I've also included crowdfunding and crowdsourcing as a community building, ownership trend that field of Organization Development (OD), among others, is ignoring in a digital chapter on its way to publication for Wiley for Practicing OD, 2015 edition.


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Scooped by Deb Nystrom, REVELN!

Trend Disruptions: 5 Funded Tech Companies Set to Impact 2013 Higher Ed

Trend Disruptions: 5 Funded Tech Companies Set to Impact  2013 Higher Ed | Change Leadership Watch |

"It's a great time to be in education technology industry: venture capitalists have dropped a whopping $1.37 billion into the industry since 2011. That's a lot of cash &  opportunitiy to seriously change the way we do education."


Here are excerpts of the five profiled:


1. 2U   ~ The first startup of its kind to partner with top universities to offer full degree programs entirely on the Web.  


  • Founded in 2008, they've raised an impressive $97 million in venture funding, positioning it as a key leader in the ed tech industry.

2. EdSurge     The company recently nabbed $400,000 in seed funding from investors including the Washington Post, and it's backed by finances from the Bill and Melina Gates Foundation.


  • Launched in 2011, EdSurge was founded by veteran journalists and education technology professionals.


3. Echo360     Boasting $31 million in startup funding, Echo360 offers online and mobile tools for blended learning.  


  • Echo360 snagged $450 million to fund an initiative to reach 50 percent of U.S. college students in the next five years. The company also recently acquired ed-tech startup LectureTools Inc., its first public acquisition.


4. Noodle   Think big education searh:  Noodle has developed the most comprehensive, age-ubiquitous online search engine dedicated solely to educational topics. 


  • Founded in 2010 by the creator of the Princeton Review and 2U, the site features over 170,000 education providers and has received millions in funding. 


5. Always Prepped     In beta, Always Prepped provides online tools to help manage student and classroom data, providing a single stream of imported data for teachers to analyze their students or classes.


  • They've  raised an impressive $650,000 in startup funding.
Deb Nystrom, REVELN's insight:

The five start-ups listed are well funded and may be seriously on-fire within the year or two ahead.  

Time will tell, as the focus on lecture style and learning (competency building) and all the admin that goes with it begins to trade places.

 ~ Deb

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