The concept, while unique, is quite simple. Anyone who has a product or service to sell, or needs monetary support for a charitable cause, or who wants to organize a group purchase, posts their requirement on Fundable.org. They specify the number of contributors needed and the amount of money required from each. They also specify a deadline by which to raise the needed capital. Fundable.org holds all contributions until the total amount requested is received, or the deadline is reached. If, by the deadline, the amount contributed is less than the required amount, the project is scrapped and the contributors receive a full refund.
I’ve yet to see a working method of raising money on the web for collaborative development and I’m skeptical by default besides. That being said, this does have some interesting ideas attached to it that I’ve not seen elsewhere and sometimes a slight modification makes all the difference.
I’m sorry to say that I don’t think this is going to be a revolution in funding projects based on anonymous donation but here’s a few scenarios where Fundable may be useful in collaborative development:
I’m a member of a few local area user groups and there’s a frequent need to raise money: food, venues, food, fix things that are broken at people’s houses, and food.
Of course, telling everyone to bring $5 to the next meeting works pretty well, too.
Hardware and bandwidth can be had for cheap if you can find a nice little group of people with OS and configuration tastes similar to your own. I’d rather split up a root level, dedicated, co-located box between 5 others than deal with a shared or virtual box.
Here’s something to try: go out and find a nice hosting plan, determine the optimal number of people needed to get the cost down but not tax the box, throw something up on fundable and then point people to it via weblog. I’d think you may have a decent chance of working something out.
Oh well, it will be interesting to see the types of uses people put Fundable to in the next few months.