‘Support something meaningful. It’s as simple as that’.
This is the headline on the indiegogo webpage, where The Perfect Winter crowdfunding campaign is hosted. This was my first time running such an endeavour, although I contributed to a few in the past. The idea is brilliant: instead of searching for a lot of money from a few major sponsors, companies, brands or the keyholders of any business areas (and banks, let’s not forget that), it searches for a bit of money from a lot of people. It’s actually kind of revolutionary because it frees the entrepreneurs from the corporative agendas, and puts the idea directly to the test within its target audience. Although it does involve a lot of work (more than I anticipated, oh yes), the thought of skipping a step in the financial chain is very rewarding, and the creator of the concept, product or service gets to feel what is the economic value of its ‘thing’.
Academic considerations aside, it is also a very emotional thing. The perfect Winter is a personal idea, that can only be valued by people who think more or less like I do – outdoor sports and adventure lovers, nature enthusiasts and, let’s be honest, dreamers of some sort. Some people do not get the appeal of spending a winter in a cold, snowy, foreign place, leaving your job and risking professional, social and family consequences. But the ones that can see beyond that – such as you, who are reading this, I suppose – did probably get a smile when you first heard or read about this project. I know I would. So, when you – the supporters of this campaign – put your contribution in, despite all the effort and hardship to earn your salary, you deposit more than the €€ value. There is a bond and and a vote of confidence that I take very seriously. I will do my best not to let you down, because from this moment on, The Perfect Winter is no longer a solitary travel, we are in this together. And believe me, I am so, so thankful for each and every one of you who contributed.
This emotional side was unexpected, to be honest. I was aware of the work, and I was aware of the process, and the networking effort, and the marketing, the persistence. But I was not aware of the gratitude I would feel whenever people would contribute. Nor was I prepared to the sarcasm of the nay-sayers, and the indifference of a few close ones. But hey, it’s all part of the experience. And the negatives are wildly compensated by the positive vibes when someone I hardly met long ago sends me a message ‘great idea, I hope you accomplish your goal. I put in my contribution’. And not to forget the help from the sponsors, who made all the perks possible, and actually believed in this project while it was still in a very early stage.
‘Vestir a camisola’ (to put on the uniform, in a free translation) is a portuguese expression for dedication to a cause. I like to think of myself as someone that does that in everything I put myself into, and is a quality that I really appreciate in people. I cannot thank enough to all of you who ‘vestiram a camisola’ of The Perfect Winter!