crowdhydrant.com

Crowdfunding from the Inside Out

 

At Crowd Hydrant we help startups and entrepreneurs leverage crowdfunding for financing and to market their products and services on consignment. We also help businesses use crowdsourcing to drive innovation and reduce the cost of labor-intensive processes. We work with our customers to develop the project, pitch and rewards for these initiatives. We also provide logistical support, helping our clients deliver on their promises.
 
I‘ve spent most of my 20+ year business career in or around commercial printing and lately, everywhere I look, I see an industry in decline. Nearly every application for print has been affected by digital technology. Need to read a manual for some device? Google it. Want to see your latest phone bill? Visit your carrier’s web site. Want to read a book or magazine? Grab your tablet. Need to advertise your business? Unless you’re sitting on a big budget, search engine optimization, email, online ads, and social media – all digital technologies – are the most effective tactics.
 
A few years ago, I became intensely interested in 3D printing and recently I came to two important conclusions:
1. 3D printing is like 2D printing (the production processes are similar and both are being sold and produced online, at retail, and in-home via desktop devices)
2. 2D printers could create a future for their businesses by offering 3D print
 
As I looked around I didn’t see many people talking about this idea, so I started a blog to help evangelize 3D print in the 2D print world. 3D4printers.com was launched about 3 months ago and has been an early success. The site has had a lot of traffic and one of the articles I wrote for the site was published on TechCrunch. With that validation and momentum, I felt this was the time to seek out even more opportunity with 3D printing, which brings me to the reason for this post.  
 

A Future So Bright You'll Need 3D Printed Shades

ProtosThe 3D print-for-pay market is set to explode. Recent advancements in 3D printing, fueled in part by investment from crowdfunding initiatives, are creating a demand for 3D printed objects. Not only are consumers purchasing 3D desktop printers for home use, they’re paying others to print on their behalf, locally at 3D print shops, and online via web-to-print (W2P) sites. An entire industry is being developed to support this demand, creating opportunities from creation to delivery. I’m so bullish on this market that I recently created a blog to cover it and promote its growth.

In 2008, I had the opportunity to partner with the University of Cincinnati’s College of Business and guest lecture a group of undergraduate students. We tasked an Internet Marketing class with developing niche websites that would sell printed products to consumers. The class broke into groups, developed their pitches and shared with the group. We voted and the group elected to move forward with a site that would allow consumers to design and order business card-sized mini resumes. We determined what platform we would sell on, how we would market the site, and how we would produce our product. All we needed was financing.

Crowdfunding has the potential to remove the financial barrier - especially for those in the 3D printing business. Crowdfunding projects can be created quickly and inexpensively, often requiring little more than a working prototype and a kick-ass video. Those economics get even better when your prototype IS your product, as is the case with items printed on demand, in 3D. Several 3D printing projects have already successfully funded on crowdfunding platforms like Kickstarter and Indiegogo. Even though most of these are related to 3D hardware and software, they’ve paved the way by creating a lot of buzz and educating potential backers about the technology.

Which leads to a thought...maybe there’s a formula here for creating new 3D web-to-print sites?

CROWD + 3D PRINT APPS = NICHE WEBSITE IDEA FACTORY

Crowd Hydrant On Video

Crowd Hydrant's John Hauer recently recently sat down with Michael C. Potter from Plum Street Productions to talk about crowdfunding, crowdsourcing, content marketing and social media.

CLICK THE VIDEO BELOW TO SEE OUR ENTIRE INTERVIEW

 

New Content Marketing Benchmarks

Looking for more data on how B2B companies are using content marketing? A new report from Content Marketing Institute and MarketingProfs was recently released. The report entitled, B2B Content Marketing: 2013 Benchmarks, Budgets, and Trends-North America, was based on a survey sent to a sample of B2B marketers at North American companies in August 2012, and summarizes the answers from 1,416 respondents.

From our vantage point, the key takeaways are as follows:

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