Monday, January 25, 2010

Sex beats stocks

About a month ago, I contacted one of the founders of Kickstarter about using it to raise funds for a due diligence trip to Alloy Steel International's headquarters in Perth. I wrote,

I know from the Kickstarter site that you're currently only accepting projects through invitations, but I think mine is probably a little different than your typical request, so perhaps you'll make an exception (or connect me with someone who has an invitation to share?). Here's the idea.

I went on to explain that everyone who donated at least $100 to the trip would get a detailed report (one that didn't offer any financial advice and complied with all relevant securities regulations). Those who donated more (say, $300) would get the report along with a conference call with me where they could ask me additional questions, etc. The Kickstarter founder I contacted thought it was an interesting idea referred me to his staff members who review ideas for inclusion on the site.

One of those staff members sent me a rejection note a few days later. She wrote that "projects must also engage the community and offer tangible rewards".

I hadn't thought about that much in recent weeks. I've had my hands full with the launch of Portfolio Armor and a few other things, plus after my conversation with Alloy Steel exec Greg Muller followed by the company's revenue release earlier this month, I feel less of an immediate need to go to Perth. But I was reminded of this by an e-mail from a fellow AYSI shareholder yesterday. So I went to Kickstarter's website to copy its URL to paste in my e-mail reply and saw on the homepage this project, that did pass muster with the staff (and has raised more than double its goal in donations so far):

Coming & Crying: real stories about sex from the other side of the bed

About this project

Meaghan and Melissa (or,1 "we") met because of the internet and writing, and writing about sex (and blogging about writing about sex). Almost since then, we've been talking about how we need to do a book like this: a collection of stories (and photographs) from the messy, awkward, hilarious, painful, and ultimately true side of sex.

As part of this project, all of the money we raise together will go towards producing the book and to paying its contributors. The more we bring in, the more we can put out -- a prettier book, bigger take-home for our writers and photographers, and fancier packages for all those who pledge.

There's a ~2 minute video at the link above that gives you a better idea of what these two gals are working on.

I feel like a knucklehead now. I could have proposed as a project a documentary about sex in Perth, with its own alliterative title -- "Sexual Perversion in Perth" (betting that none of the Gen Yers on the Kickstarter staff would be familiar with Mamet play that title rips off) -- and then if I got accepted and funded, did my due diligence on Alloy Steel surreptitiously while I was down there.

1That's a "comma of apposition" for you aspiring grammarians out there.


Sheila Tone said...

"Kickstarter is a funding platform for artists, designers, filmmakers, musicians, journalists, inventors, explorers... "

Hack, I don't see you on that list. Did you really think that site would welcome whatever sensible finance project you were trying to do? It looks like it's *all* stuff like "Coming and Crying." Also looks like you need a headshot with heavy makeup to be accepted.

Also, why did you need to raise funds to do due diligence on the steel company? Don't they have reporting requirements in Australia like they do here?

DaveinHackensack said...

Well, one of the founders did suggest I apply, after I e-mailed him about the idea.

The steel company actually trades here (on the OTC BB), so it has U.S. reporting requirements. But (until recently, at least) it reported the bare minimum.

DaveinHackensack said...

FYI, Sheila, you may appreciate the previous post, Traveling without Moving.

Vladimir Vukicevic said...

Hey Dave,

Recently I co-founded an open, grassroots crowdfunding site:

Please take a look - it might fit what you need.


DaveinHackensack said...

Thanks Vlad, will do. Will follow up my new blogs.