In 1878, Professor James Murray embarked on an ambitious project.
His goal was to create the world’s first comprehensive English-language dictionary: The Oxford English Dictionary.
This dictionary would take over 70 years to complete, eventually encompassing more than 414,825 words and definitions.
In the days before computers, this must have been a massive undertaking.
Thankfully, Professor Murray had help: he placed ads requesting that regular British citizens send him words and definitions from books in their personal libraries.
In the end, thousands of people sent in contributions. One man sent in over 10,000 of them.
This is one of the first examples of an important concept — a concept that’s powering one of the biggest revolutions in the investment world in nearly a century…
And a concept that could potentially hand you more profits than you could ever imagine.
Wisdom of the Crowds
Murray’s experiment — getting thousands of ordinary people to work towards a common goal — has gained a lot of popularity over the years.
Even more so since the dawn of the Internet.
It’s now known as “crowdsourcing.” And there are dozens of examples of how crowdsourcing has transformed our lives.
Take Wikipedia.com, for example.
Wikipedia is the world’s first and most comprehensive crowdsourced encyclopedia. Millions of people from all over the world regularly contribute to this online database where you can find information on an immense variety of topics…
Everything from the War of 1812, to the lifespan of the African honeybee.
But crowdsourcing isn’t just being used for academic purposes…
It’s also being used for business and investment purposes.
Kickstart Your Business
In 2009, a tiny company called Kickstarter was founded.
To help other companies get their ideas launched by “crowdsourcing” seed capital from many individual backers.
Basically, hundreds or even thousands of individuals would go to Kickstarter, find a project they liked, and contribute small amounts of money to it — sometimes as little as a few dollars.
But with tens of thousands of potential contributors, these small dollar amounts could really add up.
This concept is known as “crowdfunding.” And it’s already led to the creation of hundreds of thousands of new entrepreneurs and businesses.
To date, Kickstarter has helped nearly 200,000 businesses raise over $5 billion — some of which have gone on to become extremely successful.
For example, a small company called Oculus used Kickstarter to raise funds for its virtual reality headset. Thousands of individuals like you contributed a total of more than $1 million.
Then, two years later, Facebook bought the company — for $2 billion!
But here’s the thing…
Those early backers from Kickstarter didn’t receive a penny for their early support!
Rewards vs. Equity
That’s because Kickstarter is what’s known as a “rewards-based” crowdfunding site.
Meaning, when you contribute to a project on the website, all you get is a small “reward.” Which generally means an early or free version of the product you’re supporting.
However, thanks to a new set of laws known as The JOBS Act, a new type of crowdfunding has emerged…
Something known as “equity crowdfunding.”
With equity crowdfunding, not only can many individuals like you help back new and exciting projects…
But you can also receive an equity (i.e., ownership) stake in the businesses.
Meaning, if Oculus had initially raised money through equity crowdfunding instead of rewards crowdfunding, its early backers would’ve made a fortune when Facebook bought it.
In fact, it’s estimated that they could have earned as much as $200 million.
Why We Started Crowdability
And this is precisely why Matt and I founded Crowdability…
We knew there would soon be thousands of companies raising funds from individuals like you…
Companies that could one day be worth a fortune.
But we also knew that most startups don’t make it. In fact, the vast majority of them fail.
Which is why we aim to help individuals like you invest in only the very best startups — companies with the highest chance of success, and the lowest probability of failure.
As we head into 2021, keep your eye on your Crowdability newsletters — because we’re looking to do even more to help investors like you find “the next Oculus”!