Daniel Ben-Horin relates some comments from Siegfried Woldhek about the Netsquared Innovation Fund's process:
"What an interesting experiment this is turning out to be. Implicitly at least three new criteria were added to the official, sensible list.
- The size of the mailing list
- The activism of the inner circle
- The 2.0 savvy"
But quite honestly, it pisses me off.
First, an innovation fund is not about you. If you want to plug into your network and get them to review the proposals and add their brain power to the mix, great. Ethically (in my sometimes high-handed brain), that email should invite people to the process... not to the action of voting for you. There should be a single very short sentence at the end saying something like, "Please don't forget to review our proposal
Virtually every email I got didn't explain to me why the group met the criteria of the Innovation Fund:
- Use the power of community and social networks to create change
- Use existing, or newly developed technology tools for social impact
- Have a plausible financial model
- Have a clear way to measure success
- Exhibit extraordinary leadership, passion and resourcefulness
- Exhibit a passion for social change
Advocacy is appropriate and good. Mobilizing your network to help you win by making your network part of the process is also appropriate and good.
Mobilizing your network to game a voting process suggests a weak understanding of how communities and social networks create real change (as oppose to raising a buck).