Crowdfunding sites like Kickstarter and Indiegogo have helped many startups and entrepreneurs get much needed funding for their ideas and projects. But what happens to those projects once their campaigns are completed? Without all the visibility that comes with launching a campaign on this type of site, the new products or services that have received funding can fall flat. But now a new site is attempting to put the spotlight back on those new products and startups once they’ve actually launched.
Outgrow.me is a marketplace where consumers can browse projects that were the product of a successful crowdfunding campaign. With this new site, people who helped to fund projects on sites like Kickstarter and thought “that would be a great product to own,” can actually make purchases and benefit from their investment.
Of course, you don’t have to be a funder to browse products on the site – anyone looking for new and innovative products from new startups or individuals can sift through the selection of completed projects.
From games to gadgets to books and more, the variety of products available on the site provide proof that crowdfunding can be successful. Of course, that’s not always the case, but for those that do make it, sites like Outgrow.me can help them to succeed after making it over that initial funding goal.
Users of the site can filter products by those available for immediate order or those available for pre-order. They can also search by type of product and price range.
Prospective buyers can see how much funding the project received and when the campaign was completed. If they decide to make a purchase, Outgrow.me directs them to the company’s site where they can order their new product.
For startups and entrepreneurs that are considering using sites like Kickstarter or Indiegogo to fund their new products, but who might be wary since some fail to reach their funding goals, Outgrow.me can provide a place for those projects to get the visibility they need to be successful long term.
I think Outgrow.me sounds like a an interesting way for consumers to continue their interaction with crowd funded projects. However, I wonder what the impact of such “follow up” will be on the innovative process of the project creators. Not to say that the owners of these crowd funded projects shouldn’t be accountable in a way to the public that funded them or make the fruits of their project more widely available. But, would high consumer demand distract them from further improvements or new innovations? If the results of a crowd funded project are bought up by a larger company for their own use, how does that square with the project’s more grassroots origins?
I’ve just spent a few minutes on the outgrow.me site. I like it. But would I buy anything from here? Hmmm, not so sure. There are A LOT of novelty items on the site that look good but aren’t compelling me to buy.
I think part of the value of this site could be the story behind the entrepreneurs who created their products. Maybe if Outgrow.me also told us about the next phase in these entrepreneurs’ stories we’d be more compelled to visit and perhaps more likely to buy into the story before also wanting to buy into the products.