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Media Contact: Rami Sbeiti
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Why do Most Cloud-Computing Projects Fail in Crowdfunding?

When I first started thinking about launching a Kickstarter project for IU.me, a cloud platform that bridges the gap between social networking, collaboration, organization and automation, I started researching web projects and reading related articles. The consensus was that it will be an uphill battle with very low chance of success. I usually take such news as a challenge to prove it wrong or get to the root cause. So, is there something inherently incompatible between cloud computing projects (including any form of a web service or application) and crowdfunding?

On the surface, I failed to see any issues or hurdles, but the majority of the opinions contribute this to the difficulty of setting up the reward levels. My problem with that is that games are software too, and some are web based, yet they still have a better rate of success. Not all games are free, just as not all cloud services are free, and vice versa. Even with free services, there are ways to setup the reward levels to distinguish the backers from the rest of the service users once it's launched, and elevate their status and/or feature-set.

One of the things that do matter though is who your target audience is. If the cloud service targets businesses, then that is a tough sell, as it's hard for businesses to account for pledges. And even if they do, businesses require predictability, that's why the try-before-you-buy model is essential in selling to businesses. Also, the cost of using a new service (whether switching from an existing one or not) might far outweigh the pledge itself. Consumer oriented services, however, do not have that problem.

Still the nagging question of why most cloud computing projects fail remains. My conclusion (which might change by the time our crowdfunding journey ends…I will keep you posted) is that it's a self-fulfilled prophecy. It is like in politics when a group of people refuse to vote because they don't have sufficient representation in the government. Well, the way to change that is to be more active and at least go out and vote.

The same thing applies here. The intersection of cloud computing professionals and people that are familiar with crowdfunding, let alone have accounts on Kickstarter, Indiegogo or any of the dozens of crowdfunding platforms is very low. The ones that backed cloud computing projects are even much lower. Some of this is historical, based on the origins of these crowdfunding platforms, which attracted certain audience and type of projects, but that will change over time.

So if you want to change these statistics so you can see more cloud services and web solutions on crowdfunding sites, be an active participant. Go to Kickstarter, explore the Technology/Web category, find a project you like and make a pledge (even if it's just a dollar). If enough people do this, crowdfunding platforms will become a great vehicle for launching new ideas into useful and powerful cloud services.