At the start of this year, we had a rough prototype of a tool for people to make decisions together online. The basic concept was proven, but it was rough - it didn’t work on mobile, it was clunky to use, and its usefulness was limited to a relatively small number of dedicated people. We felt like there was so much more potential there - if only we could dedicate all our time to it for 6 months, we were pretty sure we could build something that had a shot at making participatory decision-making truly accessible.
We knew we needed resources to make it happen, but we didn’t feel right about any of the common methods used to fund software projects - selling advertising, selling users’ data, or being dragged off track by traditional profit-maximising venture capital.
So, in March, we went out to our community and asked for help, launching a crowdfunding campaign with an ambitious $100,000USD target. By the end of the month, we were completely overwhelmed by more than 1,600 extraordinarily generous people from all over the world contributing over $125,000USD to make it happen.
From then until now, we’ve had our heads down in intensive development, taking everything we learnt from the much-loved prototype ("Loomio Beta”), and building a whole new app (“Loomio 1.0”). Development has focused on 4 areas: Mobile, Accessible, Easy, Safe.
Now as of November 2014, we’re excited to announce that we’ve achieved everything we set out to in the crowdfunding campaign! We’ve invited in all of our generous crowdfunding backers as the first “pre-release” testers to try out the new Loomio 1.0, and we’re looking forward to releasing it to the general public in early 2015.
Thanks to the work the crowdfunding campaign enabled, Loomio has now supported more than 50,000 people to make 18,000 decisions together in 43,000 discussions. Our amazing community of international volunteers has made Loomio available in 30 languages, with more being added all the time.
These numbers make us pretty excited, but we’re really looking forward to seeing how much further and faster collaborative decision-making spreads once we release Loomio 1.0.
This project couldn’t exist without the support of thousands of people from all over the world.
We want to take some space to express our deep gratitude to the 1,649 supporters that pitched in to make this all possible:
Francois Bouregard - François is the founder of a democratically organised agile consultancy in Montreal called Pyxis Technologies. He surprised us with a massive contribution on the last day of the campaign.
When we asked François what was going through his head when he made the decision to donate to Loomio, here’s what he said:
Being more able to make decisions consciously, and at scale - I think that humanity needs that, so much. To see that some people were willing to put their heart and energy into that, and put it in the commons - that was it for me. So I said, well, this year, the money I’m going to give is gonna go to Loomio”.
As part of their reward, these contributors received a signed print of a Loomio-themed artwork by our amazing-illustrator and developer Hannah Salmon.
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