Check out our curated Weekly RoundUP of the breaking and must-read news – How a Trump presidency affects real estate crowdfunding; why bike companies are turning to public money; CrowdFlower announces a scientific advisory board to combine AI and crowdsourcing and more …

Crowdsourced products sell better when they’re marketed that way

Read how crowdsourced products sell better and can be more profitable.

What makes this cue sell so well? A series of more controlled follow-up studies revealed that consumers perceive customer-ideated products to be based on ideas that address their needs more effectively. In short, a product appears to be of higher quality if marketed as customer-ideated. Think of being in the market for a lunch box for your kid and seeing Yumbox marketed as “made by moms.” Or consider Red Chili, a climbing shoes brand created by a user-entrepreneur who prominently uses the slogan “Only climbers know what climbers need” on his website. If you respond to these cues like our study participants did, you likely will infer that something ideated by users will fit your needs better. However, when customers want to feel close to and affiliated with like-minded others and when they think users know better what other users need, there might be a hidden extra value to using crowdsourcing. It might not only constitute a promising route to better new products but also help marketers set their products apart from the competition by actively communicating the source of design to customers.

Is crowdfunding better than a bank?

New data suggests that crowdfunding has starting to show impressive returns. More details here.

In it AltFi reveals that since 2011 there have been 955 crowdfunding rounds, from 751 companies, across platforms like CrowdCube, Seedrs, SyndicateRoom and others. Of these businesses that have raised funds from ordinary investors, 88 have formally stopped trading, while 79 are showing signs of distress.The vast majority are still trading and are growing in value, and if you’d invested across every business that has crowdfunded since 2011 you’d be earning an annual return of 8.55% on paper. Compare that to the 0.25% that most easy access savings accounts are offering, or the 2-4% you’ll get if you lock your money into a longer-term saver, crowdfunding appears to offer a good return compared to your bank. The big caveat here is that crowdfunding’s cash returns only appear if the businesses you’ve backed actually sell to another business or float on the stock market. “Our conclusion on the face of the data is that these results are positive. At this stage the success rate of crowdfunded companies is impressive…”

How a Trump presidency affects real estate crowdfunding

Here is what Trump presidency means for real estate crowdfunding.

Jordan Fishfeld of Chicago-based CFX Markets speculated that from a purely financial markets standpoint, Trump’s presidency and the Republican legislature that comes with it could be “…an opportunity for growth in this industry, albeit a costly one. One of Trump’s main platforms was that regulation is hurting business…I think we can expect to see a reduction in oversight and regulation, which should benefit the flow of capital to small and medium-sized businesses, which will be tremendously beneficial for crowdfunding.” Coyne reiterated the idea that Trump and his Republican-led Congress would help the markets by scaling back regulation, specifically quoting Trump’s criticisms of the Dodd-Frank financial regulation law that was one of the crowning achievements of Barack Obama’s first term. He also expressed a sentiment shared by Jordan Uditsky, a real estate attorney with Gould and Ratner, about Trump’s plan to rebuild the nation’s infrastructure and its positive effect on the real estate industry.

The rise of crowdfunding: Why bike companies are turning to public money

Companies continue to launch new products through crowdfunding and this is why:

“It’s great to access required capital for a project without debt or equity,” said Nick Slone of Spurcycle, a small California company whose artisan bicycle bells were launched in late 2013 after a wildly popular campaign on Kickstarter. “Some companies turn to crowdfunding as the only option, unable to get a bank loan or attract interest from investors. Certainly it would have been unlikely that we could have secured $300,000 from these sources. Even if we could have assembled a dozen investors and been fine giving up some equity, would we have wanted more owners complicating future decisions? Probably not.” On the surface, then, crowdfunding is, indeed, all about the money — but even successfully funded campaigns often have to seek additional investment to get a product off the ground. From the outside, the amounts sought by some crowdfunding campaigns seem like more than enough, but development costs can significantly exceed those figures.

CrowdFlower announces a scientific advisory board as it works to combine AI and crowdsourcing

Artificial intelligence and machine learning experts join CrowdFlower scientific advisory board.

Now CrowdFlower bringing on more experts to shape the development of that technology. Specifically it’s formed a three-person scientific advisory board, made up of Barney Pell (founder/co-founder of startups including Powerset, LocoMobi and Moon Express, who also led an artificial intelligence team at NASA), Anthony Goldbloom (founder and CEO of Kaggle) and Pete Warden (a staff research engineer at Google, where he’s the technical lead on the TensorFlow Mobile machine learning project). “With all these different customers and all these different applications, we wanted them to be confident that they’re going to get a high-quality algorithm,” said Biewald. (He was previously CrowdFlower’s CEO and now serves as its chief data scientist and executive chairman. He’s also a friend of mine from college —although we really only talk about CrowdFlower now, which is kinda sad when you think about it.) “One way to make sure all the product decisions we make really reflect the cutting edge was to get some of the world leaders come in and look at our product.”

Carrobot: the world’s most powerful car display

Check Carrobot C2, a car heads-up display with full voice control for navigation, phone calls, messaging, music, and more.

The Carrobot C2 is a multi-functional, holographic heads-up auto display that provides hands-free access to your phone, GPS, and advanced crash protection. Carrobot C2 is the most useful personal driving assistant to keep you safe and make the journey more efficient and enjoyable. The Carrobot C2 is a multi-functional, holographic heads-up auto display that provides hands-free access to your phone, GPS, and advanced crash protection. Carrobot’s C2 is the safest auto HUD display in the market. Equipped with a transparent LCD screen, the C2’s holographic display projects virtual images 8 ft. beyond the windshield.The device uses a high brightness Thin-Film Transistor LCD screen as the imaging source, which is 30 times brighter than an iPhone screen . The screen even automatically adjusts to brightness, making it safe & easy to transition from day to night. Keeping safety in mind, Carrobot has developed cloud-based computer vision technology for facial recognition, lane monitoring and spatial recognition. Carrotbot C2 Pro can warn you if you start to veer out of your lane or are too close to adjacent cars. The driver-facing camera can even recognize facial patterns, immediately flagging distracted driving before it becomes a safety issue.

Image: cyclingtips

There are many fantastic stories out there. What else caught your eye this week? Did you come across some breaking news or a good thought piece? Please do share them with us…