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Bryan M. Wolfe
| December 19, 2013
Op-Ed: Coin Shows How To Manage Crowdsourcing Projects
Coin, the Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) connected digital bank card won’t be available until next summer. Already, however, we’re seeing indications that the folks behind Coin intend to make it a success. This week, Coin’s developers unveiled the Coined Backer’s Club. This special site allows early backers to “take a peek behind the curtain at the people, technology, and ideas” that go into making Coin. The Coined Backer’s Club, as its name suggests, is only open to those who have donated $50 to help fund the project. I’ve had a chance to visit the site. Although I won’t give anything away, I can say the site represents all that is good, and should be expected of, crowdsourcing projects. As anyone who has backed a Kickstarter, or Kickstarter-related project will tell you, communication between the developer and their backers is key. Without steady communication, backers often get nervous about their investment. Without passing on information, developers can sometimes lose sight of the goal to make backers (and future buyers) happy with the finished product. The first Coin video: http://youtu.be/w9Sx34swEG0 It’s still too early to know whether Coin will become the next Pebble watch, or fail like many crowdsourcing projects have in recent years. Based on what I’ve been seeing on the Coined Backer’s Club website, Coin looks like it could be the former. On this site, Coin is offering timely updates about the project. At the same time, the Coin team is actively engaged in conversation with backers to manage expectations, and to solicit suggestions. The bottom line: This is exactly how a crowdsourcing project should be handled. Kudos to them for the steps they have taken. AppAdvice will be following Coin's progress as it gets closer to launch. To learn more about Coin, check out our original report, and our first followup. For additional information, visit the official Coin site at onlycoin.com.