Crowd-funding museums through comics!


I believe many of you are familiar with the website theoatmeal.com. Well, the artist of these comics, aside from his creativity and humour, is known for his devotion to one of the greatest scientists who ever lived, namely, Nikola Tesla. His devotion to Tesla went up to the point that he started a crowd-funding project in through which he wanted to purchase the land of the former laboratory of Nikola Tesla (http://theoatmeal.com/comics/tesla). And as he said “This campaign wasn’t about crowd-funding a video-game or financing a start-up or creating a new gadget. It was about righting a wrong.” Now I know most people will not be able to visit this museum and would have more benefits from a new gadget, but a museum devoted to one of the biggest inventors that ever lived will teach the future generations about what our generation was not aware of.

As the author stated again:”Mr Tesla, we’re sorry humanity forgot about you for a little while. We still love you lots. Here’s a Goddamn Museum”.

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Well, his project worked and in November 2013 the land, which originally was for sale for 1.6 M$, was bought by a non profit organisation, funded by the crowd-funding project of theoatmeal.com. (http://theoatmeal.com/blog/tesla_museum_saved). However, the project money that was collected was only enough to buy the land. Building the museum would take an additional 8 M$.

Furthermore, his contribution was not ended here. The author of theoatmeal.com asked Elon Musk, one of the major stock holders of Tesla Motors, to donate money to the new project of building a museum, to which Elon Musk replied that he would help and he donated 1 M$ to building the museum and promised to build a Tesla supercharging station at the parking lot for the cars. However, the museum needed more money and the supporters and the author created a new crowd-funding project (https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/buy-a-brick-for-the-nikola-tesla-museum). In this project, however, people can buy and personalise their own bricks which will be used to build the new museum. This is not all, supporters can also buy shirts and hoodies to support the new project.

To conclude, the power of the Internet can be used for many things and I believe that this example is one of the best because it shows us how the creativity of a comic artist can build a museum devoted to Nikola Tesla.

So, in your opinion, is it the support and creativity of a famous comic artist that made this project successful? Or is it the historical value and righteousness of the project that made it successful?

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One thought on “Crowd-funding museums through comics!

  1. I think it is both. When it comes to successful crowd funding, there needs to be a fan base already familiar with the product, as well as an interesting aspect to the project that will entice outsiders to engage in supporting the project. The overall combination of familiarity to some and importance to others leads to a strong foundation for a successful crowd funding endeavor. Additionally, rewards are provided for contributors, which is another means of having a successful campaign.

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