Crowdfunding: (v) the activity or process of raising money from a large number of people, typically through a website
Let us assume it started with a guy named Jim.
Jim was a happy teenager, but his family was very poor. He had two pairs of jeans.
Both of them were old, both showing wear and even some tear.
Jim sat in his room, quietly trying to figure out how he could go to school without looking like he was poverty stricken.
Suddenly he had an idea. Rather than going to school with a pair of jeans that had one little tear in them, he would go ahead and tear them in several different places—and when others in his class laughed at him, he would explain that this was the rage from the West Coast.
Wearing tattered jeans.
At first his friends mocked him—and then one, maybe two—could it have been five? They stepped out from the taunting crowd and asked Jim where he got his jeans because they wanted a pair.
Jim made up some company, and since the teenagers were unable to find it, they went home and cut up their own jeans, which eventually became a fad. And then, all at once, the jeans that didn’t have wear and tear—didn’t have holes—were the cheap ones.
And the ripped ones were expensive.
Likewise, somewhere along the line, someone (maybe his name was Jim, too) anyway, he got tired of begging his family for money for lamebrain projects and having them turn him down because they weren’t gonna put another dime into what he did “until he went out and got a goddamn job.”
Well, this fellow—let’s just call him Jim—was too proud to go out on the street and hold a cardboard sign requesting aid. So Jim wrote a blurb describing what he would do with seed money, put together a website and started something called “crowdfunding,” which is nothing more than a way to beg for money while looking like you might be in the pursuit of a great endeavor.
It is the torn-up jeans of fundraising.
Most of the people who raise their money by crowdfunding don’t necessarily finish what they claimed they were going to do, but for a brief moment, we think the twenty dollars we donated might become the next Star Wars film, or fund a plunger that needs no human effort, but tackles the toilet by itself.
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