Using your network to help you, help you

Barriers to entry can be overly burdensome -- for instance, does the bar exam really prove your legal chops, or is it merely a strong indicator that you can find crappy hotels off Stemmons without getting lost? Dropping barriers in the group-funding game, Crowdtilt.

Founded by a Dallas micro-finance junkie, Crowdtilt's a streamlined tool allowing users to "group fund anything", be it a cause, a business endeavor, or a buddies-trip to Big Bend -- as opposed to similar services that only allow users to post artistic projects, forcing you to call your W TX trip "Fandango II: Escape from Arthur Andersen. Dallas.". How it works:

  • Describe what you're seeking cash for in a few sentences or many impressively long paragraphs, and post pics if you've got 'em.
  • Set both a goal amount (when the campaign will close) and a "tilt" amount: the point at which you'll have enough funding to skip town proceed.
  • Use their Facebook app to spread your plea like a virus only Dustin Hoffman can stop, or tweet it directly from the campaign's page.
  • Check "Campaign Details" to see how far you've got to go; check whose pictures/avatars pop up in the "Campaign Community" to see who's given -- unless you're funding a campaign to save Community, in which case, don't bother, you'll only get depressed.

Donors will only be charged once you hit the tilt point, easing their minds and preventing you from being responsible for unused funds, which you'd probably just use flaunting the law by easing barriers to entry on Harry Hines.