Joi Ito's conversation with the living web.

We're getting close to the end of our fund raising campaign and I wanted to give you an update and ask you to consider contributing again this year if you're a past supporter and give for the first time if you're not. ;-)

Over a year ago, I took over the the role of CEO of Creative Commons from Lawrence Lessig. As you might imagine, following the founder and visionary leader was a daunting task and I have tried to focus my energy on the elements that I felt the most suited to execute on.

Larry and the founding board had laid the founding principles of Creative Commons and the organization had spread to a network of people in over 80 countries working to port, support and spread the idea of Creative Commons. What began as an idea had become a global movement growing geometrically with an adoption curve that would make any venture capitalist excited.

Over the last year, I've had the pleasure of working with an incredibly competent team of core paid staff and a network of volunteers who stepped up and developed into an extremely functional and efficient operating organization that makes me extremely proud to be associated with.

The organization has shifted from having to go around convincing everyone to use Creative Commons to having to work full speed to make sure that all of the people who want to use Creative Commons and work with our various projects got the attention they required.

Just in the last year, the White House, Wikipedia and Al Jazeera all adopted CC licenses and we now have over a quarter of a billion pieces of content licensed under a CC license. Our traction in both the science and education continue to increase.

While we have been working hard to try to develop a sustainability model, we have not yet been able to develop our "business model", we are still dependent on donations and contributions. The economy has impacted our contributions. Though more people have contributed to CC this year than ever before, the average contribution gone down. Corporate sponsorships have been even worse.

The situation reminds me of a startup which has raised money from friends and family and angel investors. The company is a wild success being the only player in the field with geometric growth and global reach. However, we're running short on cash and haven't turned the corner on the business model.

We really need your help to give CC enough runway to get to the point where in hindsight having and supporting Creative Commons as an essential part of the global infrastructure will be obvious to everyone. I need the support of you and the other angel investors who see the promise and the vision of this great idea and successful startup.

I realize that we are competing with many other important causes during this "holiday moment" but a significant contribution from you to our fundraising campaign at would go a long way in helping to solving one of the biggest problems holding back an explosion of creativity and innovation that the Internet has enabled. Thank you for reading this long post and thank you even more if you can contribute. ;-)

1 Comment

Inadequate cashflow is a real killer and as you are only too well aware is often the death knell for many great ideas. I'm not sure what you would call a significant contribution but I will give what I can. Really hope this works out for you all.

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