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The Business of Doing Business--or Crowdsourcing is no picnic nor is it a free lunch...

Every single one of my FL friends and acquaintances already know that I've launched a kickstarter campaign, but since it's my first ever attempt at crowd-sourcing, I had no idea how many other folks have made it their business to make money off of the people trying to raise funds.

In my mind crowd sourcing isn't about making millions but instead about individuals and other small businesses bringing new concepts to life that probably wouldn't get financial backing from venture capitalists.  In my mind it was about the little guy with a great idea, and a grassroots movement to get those ideas to market.

And yet....

The only messages I am receiving on my campaign page are from individuals and companies offering to help me spread the word...for a fee.  There were 10 of them before my campaign had been up 48hours.   Each one got a polite reply stating "There is no budget allotment in my funding goal for paid advertising."  All but one, has accepted that response and wished me luck.  Though a few of them it sounded very much like they left off "you're going to fail if you don't hire us." from the end of that luck wishing.

The one company who did not take the first no for an answer said:Thanks for you answer. Please read this part again:

"The cost for using this forum called BackerClub is $379, BUT only if you get backing from members on BackerClub of at least $379. You also need to meet your funding goal! Or else you will not get an invoice. Also, it is are not charging up front! So, at worst, you will break even and don't have to pay anything in advance. It is a can't lose proposition! You ONLY pay if you get the funds for it."

And I went.  Uhm?   Yeah it isn't breaking even at all, when that $379 in pledges also has to go towards the reward levels of said pledges.   No, instead it's $379.00 I'll have to pay out of funds which are already allocated to production costs, Kickstarter Fees, and the quarterly estimated tax payment I'll be making on the funds that come out of this.

It's sweet that they think I'm stupid enough to fall for their faulty math.  So in just a few short years, crowd-sourcing has become big business, for people who want to take a slice of whatever funds are raised in a given project.  I get it for campaigns that want hundreds of thousands of dollars.  Paying for outside marketing help makes complete sense at that scale.