Thursday, October 24, 2013

Go Where the Crowd Carries You

‘Dreams are free’ is a phrase that gets tossed around carelessly. As a radical optimist, I hold that dreams are what you make of them. We’re all dreamers. It’s just that not all of us are do-ers. But Danny and Drew Duffy are.

In a nutshell, these brothers are class acts on skis. They put in the hard yards in Vermont. Hours upon hours of practice. Every morning. It paid off when the US Ski Team came knocking and invited them to join the development programme. The only thing between them and their dream? Money. $25,000 each. Not small change by any stretch. Their family was already effectively tapped out covering their existing costs and education, so the brothers did what any smart kid would do in the Age of Now. They turned to the internet for help. They turned to crowdfunding.

Crowdfunding, at its core, is community currency for dreams. It’s everyday people stepping up and saying: “You want it? Do it”. A communal make-a-wish foundation. Movies, music, start-ups and sport stars. The internet is here to help.

Going professional is an expensive business. The make or break scenario so often comes down to cold hard cash. Even world champions have no guaranteed income. They spend half their time training and the other walking around cap in hand. This is particularly true of sports that don’t register any primetime attention, or require serious kit and travel to stay involved.

This where RallyMe.com comes to the rescue. A crowdsourcing platform for athletes, it taps into fans to make the dreams of talented sports people come true. The Duffy brothers looked to RallyMe.com and ended up raising $90,000. They were on a plane to Chile two weeks later. How brilliant is that?

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