Crowdfunding was preceded by crowdsourcing, which itself was used long before the term was coined. The movement of crowdsourcing can be traced back to the open-source and free software of the early Internet age (that now actually power most, if not all, of the world’s websites). Its can easily understood with that background how those supporting crowdsourcing and crowdfunding were and still are those closely linked to technology and its development.
Wikipedia is the most recognized and highest achieving (so far) pinnacle of crowdsourcing, using a large scale orchestration of natural creation. Its organic growth via the intelligence and expertise of its users is a shining example of the triumphs crowdsourcing can create. Beyond the Wiki, other sites, such as the search engine Google, which is fed on an even large set of crowdsourced information, that of inter-site references, also known as links, all across the internet. Its Translator kit combined crowdsourced translation along with AI algorithms to produce language translation. CrowdSPRING and 99designs offer crowdsourced graphic designs and Springwise business idea spotting. Already there are companies crowdsourcing micro-Loans (Kiva) or searching for investment manager (KaChinga and Covester). Despite our best efforts to ignore them, our parents were right; we do better work and achieve more accomplishments if we can play well with others.
It expanded the audience and the influences, similarly to the open source movement increased its velocity, about the same time as the tech bubble of the 1990’s and early 2000’s. It was given all the right kinds of negative encouragement and validation; called “hype”, “communist”, etc by the movers and shakers of the industry who were obviously taking notice and would other not bother to say anything if the rise of crowdsourcing and crowdfunding weren’t legitimate. This revolution in access to information and other people caused a drop in opportunity costs, thus leading crowdsourcing and crowdfunding to follow open source again; allowing a broader access to the general crowd and its resources.