I last looked closely at a new micropatronage/crowdfunding site 2 years ago, having resolved that nobody was likely to take an interesting or well executed approach to the idea that would end up making a significant impact. Since then I’ve heard in passing of a number of new projects that fit my low expectations, but also two that appear very well executed and successful on a scale large enough that it isn’t ridiculous to imagine this sort of mechanism becoming important at least for cultural production — MyMajorCompany (French; a few English links gathered here) and Kickstarter.
The occasion of this post is Fred Benenson’s announcement that he’s joining Kickstarter after having done outreach and product management for Creative Commons for the last year and a half (and involved as an intern and activist for much longer). It’s sad to see them go, but great to see recent CC alumni start or join projects that at least have the potential to be important enablers of the free and open world — in addition to Fred, also Asheesh Laroia (OpenHatch) and Jon Phillips (StatusNet).
It also feels good to hire people at Creative Commons who have demonstrated some commitment and capacity nearby — Fred, Asheesh, and Jon were all examples of that, and more recently Chris Webber, who was a Miro hacker before coming to CC.