Courtesy of byrne7214, Some Rights Reserved

I’ve been working with Pisa University for years now: Prof.Davini and Prof.Cisternino are always a good source of inspiration and a good resource when things are getting interesting. I’ve just discovered that in the group of these good guys there is also Alberto Falossi. Alberto is together a geek and an economist, and expert of Social Media and a teacher (you can follow him on Twitter or Friendfeed too).
Alberto is going to present, at BetterSoftware 2010 (#bsw2010 on Twitter), Crowdfunding – Financing an idea with the Web:

PierG: Alberto, can you explain to all of us what crowdfunding is?  

Alberto: Crowdfunding means raising money online through donations or shares. It’s something that has always been around – online and offline. In the past it was mainly used for charity or for political campaigns, now is out there available for anyone thanks to the web and to social networks. You can use crowdfunding to fund activities like publishing a book or recording a CD but you can use it also for personal stuff like a special birthday, a trip or a wedding.

PierG: So is crowdfunding a real alternative? and what’s the rationale bewtween choosing crowdfunding or a more conventional sourcing strategy?

Alberto: Crowdfunding works when involved people share the same goal and trust who’s collecting money. So a good communication strategy is needed and a wise use of social media is a key factor: there are people who have many and many contacts in Twitter and that can collect thousands of dollars in few hours. Recently I’ve collected in the Kapipalist Manifesto ( the basic principles of crowdfunding.

PierG: And now my last question, very appropriate due to the topic of your talk: in your opinion why is it so difficult in Italy to start your own product company?

Alberto: On top of the old and well known shortage of financial support (seed and venture capital), in Italy we have a cultural barrier due to a poor risk attitude …. and this has a negative impact on the overall system.