The Wisdom Of Crowds
...Get Social With Marley
At the heart of every great hero's Secret Origin story lies an unquenchable thirst for justice. When we last joined RIFT Accounting's favourite two-fisted teen tycoon, Ben Towers, he was just sixteen years old and already employing fifteen people and travelling the world to give inspirational speeches to the entrepreneurial warriors of tomorrow. But what drives someone so young to push so hard? More specifically, what spark ignited the business inferno that is Ben Towers' latest project, Social Marley?
Towers Design offers media management and other digital services to small and medium sized enterprises, and watching those businesses struggle and suffer under the weight of clumsy social media dashboards was more than Ben could tolerate. Inelegant design and a relentless drive toward charging for every little feature were eating away at the heart of existing platforms, and so the dream of Social Marley was born.
At its core, Social Marley (named after Ben's fearless defender and faithful canine companion) was designed as a social media companion that brings solid design and wide-ranging functionality back into the picture. It's custom-built to fit the needs of small businesses and offers them a cost-effective way of marketing themselves. For larger companies, Social Marley goes a lot deeper into the nuts and bolts of social media, with the in-depth analytics and reports their larger teams need.
With all it has going for it, it's doubly impressive that Ben took the bold step of crowdfunding the Social Marley project. Crowdfunding is still a young idea in business, but it already has many notable success stories attached to it. When we tracked Ben down at his Volcano Fortress and demanded he explain his reasoning, he sent down a robot scribe with the following message:
"Crowd funding is not only a great tool for raising money but also customer engagement. You can pay as little as £10 into the funding campaign, meaning that investors of all sizes can get involved."
Ben went on to elaborate that crowdfunding avoids some of the deeper, frequently spike-lined pitfalls of other financing options, such as requiring that the business be sold after five years. While his young age restricted his choice in some areas, he was undeterred. Cleverly, the platform he ultimately decided on passes money and voting information on to the investors directly, meaning that however many people invest there's only ever one additional Shareholder.
In terms of running the campaign, Ben's vision is characteristically clear. He aims to promote forcefully in the first week to get fully connected with his investors. He's planning press releases and lining up television and radio support as we speak. It takes a lot more than a strong core idea to build a successful crowdfunding campaign, and Ben's taking none of the easy shortcuts that lead so many promising projects out to starve in the wilderness.
Join us again soon for more Voices From the RIFT...