Ten years ago I attended a meeting organized by Dennis Todora as he attempted to bring together a “dream team” to start a software company. He and I became partners with a handful of others and had a good little run, starting with microscopic investments and building on “sweat equity” and revenue (a story for an entrepreneurial blog post, not one on communications). Recently, Dennis approached me about investing a few hours in a “new” deal, qwik-keyz, with a completely different finance approach – Kickstarter.com. If you aren’t familiar, this site creates a venue for people like artists and entrepreneurs to generate some funding via social networking to get a project done or business kick-started. It’s worth a visit, just to see all the diverse projects.
The interesting difference from a communication standpoint (compared to his last venture with me acting as the communication/marketing guy): to get this deal cooking, we need to leverage social media. Fortunately, this team includes T.J. McLeod, who plays social media director for CRAVE in real life. T.J. believes that a big part of making a site like Kickstarter work is to get participating “project” leaders to build the initial momentum from their own personal networks. These efforts are coupled with a pre-planned online strategy.