How do you raise $1m in 10 days?Here’s one way… Matthew Inman created ‘The Oatmeal’ website few years ago and his first book 2 years later(5 Very Good Reasons To Punch a Dolphin in the Mouth). Then, few months ago, something happened…
Matthew was served with a defamation notice from Funny Junk, for writing blogs criticising the website, where his cartoons were getting posted by users. Funny Junk’s lawyer demanded $20,000 in damages from Matthew. So what did he do?
Having heard about crowdfunding but never having tried it himself, he decided to try and raise $20,000 from fans – not to pay Funny Junk, but so that he could take a photo of the money, send it to the lawyer with a cartoon of him making love to a bear, and give all the money to charity. He named it Operation BearLove Good, Cancer Bad, and set up the fundraising on Indiegogo.
Within the month, instead of raising the $20,000, he raised $211,000 for the charities, and Funny Junk dropped the suit.
But that was just the beginning. Having suddenly realised the power of crowdfunding, few months later Matthew was back on Indiegogo again. This time, to try and raise $850,000 to buy scientist Nikola Tesla’s original laboratory and turn it into a museum. Just two weeks after launching ‘Operation Let’s Build a Goddamn Tesla Museum’ he already raised over $1.2 million with 4 weeks to go.
If Matthew hadn’t tried the $20,000 idea, he wouldn’t have tried the $1 million idea. He tested the water and then jumped in. What could you (should you) be testing to ride a wave with your company or charity right now?
What can you test right now? Crowdfunding? Micropayments? A mobile site? Rapid prototyping? A new market in a new country? A partnership with a hyper-growth company? Each of these have a mountain of momentum waiting for you to ride.
Start small. When it works, do it again – bigger.
Matthew started small. Two months later, he’s building a Goddamn Tesla Museum. Good for him. So what small step leads to your big idea? Do it! And if you do, good for you.
(CC) Randy Stewart