Can You Create Your Own Job With The Help Of Strangers?

Three brothers, Christian, Joseph, and Patrick Lane, had one simple idea: to completely revolutionize the way people shop. Americans produced 1.4 billion pounds of waste a day, and 40 percent of that is packaging used just once. Why do we need boxes around cereal, they wondered, and plastic around milk? They imagined a store where you would just fill up your own glasses and jars and Tupperware, then pay and leave.

Last August, the brothers opened In.gredients, a package-free grocery store, and they did it by raising $15,000 entirely from strangers on the crowd funding site Indiegogo.com.

Thousands of people have used sites like Indiegogo and Kickstarter to raise money for projects, but particularly with credit tight since the recession, entrepreneurs are increasingly using them to launch sustainable, brick and mortar businesses. With crowdfunding, not only can a good idea get you a lot of money, you also never have to pay it back.

Traditionally, bankers and investors have picked what companies get cash, "which is just a very inefficient process that has made finance fundamentally unfair since the beginning of time," explains Danae Ringelman, co-founder of leading crowdfunding site Indiegogo, "... where your success is based on how lucky you are to know a VC or to know an executive at a big studio."

Crowdfunding is changing all that, she explains: "It's putting the power back in the hands of the people... who are going to benefit from these ideas coming to life... and giving them the power to vote with their dollars."

On Friday, Ringelmann, Christian Lane, and Tim Stevens, the editor-in-chief of Engadget, appeared on AOL Jobs' Lunchtime Live to discuss the future of crowdfunding, its upsides, pitfalls and how you can "create your own job" off the generosity of strangers. Tune in to watch the highlight reel below, or click here to view the whole interview on YouTube.

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Claire Gordon

Staff Writer

Claire Gordon has contributed to Slate's DoubleX, the Huffington Post, and the book Prisons: Current Controversies. While an undergraduate at Yale University and a research fellow at Yale graduate school, she spoke on panels at Yale and Cornell, and reported from Cairo, Tokyo, and Berlin.

Follow Claire on Twitter. Email Claire at claire.gordon@teamaol.com. Add Claire to your Google+ circles.

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Gerd Fehlbaum

Reminds me to a chain store called "Bin Inn" in New Zealand. Great! I love the concept! Get going all over the world with THIS! We are turning subjects of packaging industry... Get down to THE JUICE! When the last pack of Kellogg is empty, we realize that we cant eat card board!

April 03 2013 at 11:25 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Tee

Also I think it's great that these guys followed their dream, the idea is far from new. Co-op markets all over the country have been doing this for decades. I volunteer for one in Mt. Ranier, MD and as a single person I love the fact that I can just get a cup of rice or flour etc...when I need it, instead of a whole box that I may not use for months.

March 25 2013 at 12:18 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
abourge458

A "Niche" thing maybe but... The price savings for customers interested could be substantial.

Though I didn't bring my own bag, I used to buy puffed rice ( Low-cal filling snack while dieting) in Generic brand bags. Tasted the same as in the boxed brand and nearly half the price.

March 22 2013 at 4:35 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
pkruger97

What kinds of businesses do best in the world of crowdfunding?

March 22 2013 at 12:41 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to pkruger97's comment
GNR2K6

Weed

March 26 2013 at 3:18 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

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