The names Jason Best and Sherwood (‘Woodie’) Neiss may not immediately 'ring a bell’ but apart from being amazing entrepreneurs, their vision, bravery and perseverance made them further an idea that is already transforming the investment industry.
And despite everyone telling them they were crazy and that it was impossible to change the way the financial system works, they both put on their ‘entrepreneur hats’ and went to Washington to push the idea of what eventually became the Jobs Act.
They crafted the framework that now makes debt and equity crowdfunding legal and feasible.
Crowdfunding is probably to finance what the telephone meant for communications. It will eventually disrupt the investment industry and will leave a lot of people along the traditional value chain wondering 'who moved my cheese?’.
What makes Crowdfunding such a powerful idea is that it simply makes sense. It is a straightforward solution to use the internet to get more capital straight from private pockets into businesses without having to go through the obstacle course of traditional finance. It boosts private enterprise which in turn drives the economy and creates jobs.
And that is why it comes as no surprise that the US House of Representatives passed the crowd funding bill with a staggering 95% of votes in favour. It got a nearly full bi-partisan endorsement in a time when the House was more known for its ongoing political jolting!
Add to this that it took only 460 days from the time our friends first turned up in Washington to the day the bill got signed into law by the US President in 2013 and you understand that this idea doesn’t only have legs, it has wings too!
What I want to share with you today is a great podcast hosted by my friends Chris and Mark of Capitalist Exploits in which they speak with Jason Best and Woodie Neiss about what it took to get Washington to adopt this idea. It is the true story behind what made crowdfunding possible. It's also one of the best podcasts I've heard in a long time!
I strongly urge you to listen to it, not only because for the obvious reasons of gathering insights about crowd funding, but also to absorb inspiration from how they achieved something that everyone believed was naive and impossible.
It's one of my favourite blogs out there. I highly recommend signing up to their email list.