Monday, January 21, 2013 is a very important day. That is the day that I will be launching my new venture, and I’m hoping that you will be a part of it.
The new venture is called SemanticLaw, and it will be a free, online legal research database. It will compete directly with Westlaw, Lexis, Fastcase and others. The key thing here is that my site will be free, available to lawyers and nonlawyers alike to research legal issues whether for clients or for themselves. As you might expect, this project is going to cost a lot of money, especially since I’m going up against such large corporations. How, you may ask, am I’m going to get the money to do such a thing? And the answer is I’m going to use the crowdfunding site Indiegogo.com.
Crowdfunding is the process of raising money from “the crowd” through donations to get projects off the ground. In this case, I’m using fixed funding, which means that if I don’t raise my target of $225,000 by the end of the campaign, I won’t get any money at all. And I chose that option for a couple of reasons. 1st, anything less than $225,000 simply won’t be enough to get it done. 2nd, it gives my donors the assurance that their money won’t be taken or used unless I actually have complete funding in place. And there are rewards for your donation, such as the opportunity to be deeply involved in the process as a beta tester, to receive recognition on the site, or to have your name, business, or cause exclusively promoted in the site’s forum.
Obviously there’s a lot more to tell you but I want to keep this short. You can read more about it here on my blog or here on my Facebook page or follow my campaign here on Twitter. I am also on LinkedIn. Here’s what I am asking you to do:
A. Go to my Indiegogo page on Monday, January 21 and make a pledge. Crowdfunding is not unlike the movie business in that it’s important to have a good opening.
B. Spread the word among your friends, family, colleagues, and social network. Feel free to copy and/or forward this message.
Thank you so much for taking the time to read this message and helping me disrupt the legal research industry by spreading the democratization of the law.