What makes a crowdfunding venture successful?
Kenneth Walsh, associate professor of management and marketing, delves into that question in his newly released book, “Dockside: Kim and Eric Embrace Crowdfunding to Realize Dreams.”
Walsh’s book follows the lives of Kim and Eric Stone, a Florida couple who started a crowdfunding campaign to generate $60,000 they needed to start their dream business, a dockside restaurant and bar in the Florida Keys.
The result is a sort of how-to book on what makes a successful crowdfunding venture, with a bit of a storyline.
“If you read a lot of how-to books they give you ten steps,” Walsh said. But those steps may not always work because, as Walsh says, everyone’s circumstances differ.
Part of what made the Stones’ venture successful, Walsh said, was that they spent a lot of time generating buzz about the restaurant before going live with their 30-day fundraising campaign.
Eric Stone, a musician and sailor who describes his brand of rock, pop and country music as “Nautical Americana,” already had a fan base in his community and through his tours playing his tropically-themed music.
He was practiced in communicating to his fan base through word of mouth and social
So by the time the campaign was live, the Stones already had a fan base who knew the Stones, their work and their dreams.
The book draws on Walsh’s extensive experience in information technology along with in-depth stories of how this musician leveraged his fan base to launch the restaurateur phase of his career. Walsh, a sailor himself, first met the Stones during a sailing trip through the Virgin Islands.
At UNO, he teaches classes on a wide variety of information systems topics including strategic use of information systems, website design and database design. His research has been published in Communications of the ACM, Information and Management and Journal of Computer Information Systems. When he isn't writing or teaching, he enjoys playing guitar, sailing, taking road trips to the beach and boiling crawfish.
In the midst of his work on the book, Walsh also launched a publishing company to study how social media can be used to interact with new digital media productions.
“Dockside: Kim and Eric Embrace Crowdfunding to Realize Dreams” is available in hardcover, paperback and e-book versions through Amazon.com and other outlets. It is available for free as an e-book through Amazon until midnight on Sunday, Nov. 22.