The collective flow of money is in crowd funding!
It started out with the music industry and according to this article from Wikipedia it dates back to ca.1997. I’ll remind you that typical “donate option” at free software websites has been common for years and is also a kind of “retro perspective crowd funding”
Till now crowd funding has been used mostly for creative projects (music, independent film, fine arts). We see that “new journalism / citizen journalism project have stated using this kind of funding.
Internet start-ups and other entrepreneurs are increasingly using crowd funding as a financial source. Even the US President Barack Obama embrace crowd funding by the “JOBS Act” that allows accredited investors to invest in equity crowd funding campaigns.
The skeptics will also tell us that crowd sourcing is risky, as criminals will use this phenomenon for creating frauds. I’m certain that is correct. Criminals have always used every possible way to cheat. Read THIS from TIME magazine about the subject.
Not all kinds of project are suitable for crowd funding. The most obvious areas is project that is non-profit (charity), or where the profit motif is absence (arts) or that the project is somehow perceived as great for mankind.
That means that e.g. environmental- , citizen rights movements, job creating projects and so forth will be able to meet a collective support where crowd funding is a great opportunity to fund a project.
I believe that also more traditional businesses will attract crowds for financial support, maybe even as a contra- reaction against what is perceived as “cynical and greedy finance acrobats”.
“Look out for the crowd – there is power in the voice of the masses!”