In the past couple months, I have been made aware of crowdsourcing sites such as kickstarter and indiegogo. For the uninformed (as I once was) it is an online platform where small companies can raise capital by advertising their product to a wide audience. Typically this is done by showcasing their product, and by giving incentives for supporters (ex if you pledge $50 you will get $60 worth of merchandise, etc.)
I was initially hooked by the amazingly successful Kings of War campaign on Kickstarter. I am sure in line for a lot of swag once it is produced!
Letely I have been impressed by a few other active fundraisers for miniature-related projects. The first is a small project to have the illustrious Kev Adams sculpt some pirate goblins: http://www.indiegogo.com/pirate-goblins?c=home
Basically the guy is going ahead with the goblins regardless of funding levels, but you can get a better deal through the preorder. I will be down for some of those, as I can never seem to get enough goblins... The greens are already done, and the models really look stellar! (photo taken from the indiegogo page)
Speaking of which, a new project on indiegogo by Titan-forge miniatures: http://www.indiegogo.com/drakskullsmenace showcases their plans for an undead greenskin army! I like this, as there is a distinct lack of quality undead greenskins. Sure, there are the awesome skeleton orcs from the old GW cursed company (I painted these up a couple years ago):
But those were only one pose, and have been out of production for years. I think this will be a pretty successful project, mostly because I like the concepts and models. Not sure if I will have the funds to join in, but its pretty cool to look at!
I say as long as we get a steady stream of high-quality, reliable projects, crowdsourcing projects like these will be a big boost to the miniature industry!