Amanda Palmer is an avant-garde US musician who has made Australia her second home.
Yesterday she achieved the unthinkable, asking fans to contribute to the recording of her new album and raising over $400,000 in just two days.
The campaign is still open until the end of the month and Palmer set her target for only a quarter of what she has achieved so far.
The medium Palmer chose was Kickstarter
, a site that should be well-known to Smarter readers for its crowdfunding potential as with Pozible, its Australian counterpart
While Palmer may not resonate with the traditional model of a small business or entrepreneur, having split from a major label back in 2008, she now fits that bill. All promotion, marketing, publicity, touring and artwork is something she has to find and manage funds for, a fact made clear by her video for the campaign, filmed in the streets of Melbourne.
It certainly helps that she's incredibly creative; Palmer has amassed an army fans both here and overseas using social media stunts like ukele performances in the back of a cab and user-generated submissions for song lyrics, despite the fact that sometimes they're a bit too racy for the general public. She's also commissioned her friends - and never understimate the value of your mates - to create a series of artworks around the record which she will tour alongside next year.
This comes down to one of the primary rules of success in creative industries; make your business other people's business. While that doesn't mean we need to hear what you ate for lunch today, allowing others to collaborate on projects, asking for advice and rewarding fans (the new angel investors of the music industry) can make the kind of astronomical difference that Palmer would be revelling in today.
The distribution model for music has been a matter of heated debate over the last decade, but as Palmer's success attests, if you have the talent, the only thing you need to get your work made and out into the public is you. Unlike some of the failed experiments on the site, Palmer hasn't offered anything to backers that she can't viably achieve (top honours including her taking you out for Thai dinner), which makes her business idea - in this case, a record - all the more attractive. For all the criticisms
of the crowd-sourcing model, when it works, it really
Do you have a crowd-funded success story? What do you think about creating something from nothing using only the help of your peers? Let us know on our Facebook page
See also: Pozible and the benefits of crowdfunding your next business idea