The CrowdFunding Olympics

I’m a proud Brit and a proud Virginian (version 1.0) and I see no contradiction there. But it’s as a Brit I’m blogging today. I watched the Olympic Opening Ceremony on Friday night with some Indian and English friends (also Americans 1.0) and a couple of token Americans and I loved the CROWDFUNDING GAMES.

The Beijing ceremonies were huge and impressive and breathtaking. And organized. Boy, were they organized. Everything went off just as planned, and people did exactly what they were supposed to do, in lockstep and as directed. Amazing. But London, with its theme ”It’s for everyone” was equally amazing. It was inclusive: all those kids, all those nurses, all those volunteers. The faces of every community that makes up New Britain. And Britain in all its imperfections and passions. It was majestic and cozy and meaningful and ridiculous (and sometimes downright weird: that giant baby) all at the same time.

So it is with crowdfunding. Investment crowdfunding is going to be the exact opposite of organized and perfect. It’s going to make room for people who care about monetary returns (the dancing industrialists), people who want to invest in their passions (the jitterbugging nurses), people who care about the environment and impact investing (the happy multicultural villagers prancing round the maypole) and whatever the crowdfunding equivalent of that monstrous baby is. There are going to be missteps and a certain amount of chaos but in the end we’re all going to jitterbug/jive/bhangra all the way to our own individual medal ceremonies.

Less than two months after the precision-drumming Beijing Olympics, the organized financial sector took us down in flames. A few months after the inclusive, human-scaled London Olympics, crowdfunding will be legal.

Is there a message there? I don’t know. But in the words of Sir Paul at the end of the ceremony:

“All together now: Then you’ll begin to make it better…”

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