From DonorsChoose To Kickstarter

In the wake of my Return and Ridicule post, I was asked how one goes about finding these services that are ignored and/or ridiculed. And the answer I gave was "if you use them you might realize how powerful they are."

I woke up thinking about that in the context of Kickstarter today. It must be related to the fact that today is the fourth anniversary of Kickstarter's launch. How was it that I was so sure the Kickstarter project would work when it launched back in 2009? Well it was because of what happened on this blog a couple years before that.

The story starts in the fall of 2007. Charles Best, the founder of DonorsChoose emailed me and asked if I would enter AVC into the DonorsChoose Bloggers Challenge. He wanted this community to compete with other tech blogs to see who could raise the most money for teachers and their classrooms. I said yes and we entered, and won, the tech category in 2007. We entered again in 2008 and won again. In the final year of the social media challenge (renamed to encompass more than bloggers) we won the tech category again. This post, which I wrote in November 2009, after our threepeat, shows that the AVC community raised almost $60,000 for teachers and their classrooms in those three October showdowns.

So when Perry Chen came by to talk about Kickstarter in the summer of 2009, my mind was prepared to understand what he and his co-founders were up to. When he explained that artists and other project creators were going to post their projects and get them funded on the Internet, I thought "of course" instead of "that will never work."

And I have Charles and the DonorsChoose team and the AVC community to thank for that. Which I book in the category of "what goes around, comes around".

And I cannot resist reminding everyone that we have a DonorsChoose campaign running on AVC right now, called Good Things Come To Those Who Code. If you have not made a contribution and want to, now is the time. The campaign ends at midnight on Tuesday. Go here if you want to participate.

#VC & Technology