Clay Hebert thinks gatekeepers are a good idea – but only up to a point:
“I’m glad that there are gatekeepers for pilots and for surgeons, but in this entrepreneurial world – entrepreneurs and creative endeavours – we give the gatekeepers too much power”
Clay sees crowdfunding as a challenge to the historic stranglehold of gatekeepers on creative projects, and since 2012 he’s helped more than 70 entrepreneurs raise over $15m on crowdfunding platforms like Kickstarter and Indiegogo. He spoke at the Disruptors conference in Dublin this month and chatted afterwards to Technology.ie:
Crowdfunding isn’t a panacea, however. “I actually advised a few companies today to stay away from crowdfunding”, he says. Rewards based crowdfunding has to have something to offer backers besides a branded t-shirt for a brand no-one has heard of. It would never have worked for Twitter, for example, but for a product which can tap in to customer demand, it can be very rewarding.
“Crowdfunding is this wonderful mixing board for smart marketers because all of the tools that smart marketers use: copyrighting, headlines, storytelling, scarcity, pricing, urgency; all the things that great marketers use are all on this one page and I look at it like a kid in a candy store. You have all these knobs that you can turn and it’s on a page that consumers understand and know how to use, so I love it.”
On disruption, he points out that every industry is being disrupted. Netflix disrupted Blockbuster by sending DVDs in the mail. Then a few short years later they disrupted themselves when they introduced streaming.