“As an entrepreneur I am very optimistic, idealistic and simplistic. I want things done quickly – and so the worst part of my job is actually when things take longer than they should,” says the splendid Karen Darby, chief executive of CrowdMission, the social enterprise crowdfunding website.
Years ago, the key word at every technology conference we at Another Crowd ever seemed to go to was “convergence”. Back in the day, they were talking about personal computers connecting to new-fangled digital cameras. Now, of course, we all have our mini-computers with cameras and phones inside, and feel mildly irritated if there isn’t enough bandwidth to mash up the latest series download from Netflix.
Technology of course isn’t a stand-alone entity. It only works because we use it, and it’s only effective if we use it in the right way, if we behave around it in a way that’s useful to us and maximises the efficiency of the tool we’re using.
Ms Darby’s quote offers a clue to us that while the technological behaviours are a done deal, we’re finally beginning to converge as users – and crowdfunding is bringing a huge swathe of people together. That quote could have been said by a hard-bitten venture capitalist. But it wasn’t. Ms Darby strikes us as an altruist who understands that there’s nothing wrong with taking care of herself too.
Be it equity-based, loan-based or geared to social enterprise, crowdfunding is a platform that engenders convergence.