Wayde Fishman grew up outside of Boston, but began visiting the Hawaiian Islands since the age of 7. After pursuing his education in design, photography, and illustration, he made his lifelong dream of permanently moving to Oahu come true in 1998, leaving the hard edge lifestyle of the Boston Suburbs behind. HIs passion for Hawai’i, it’ s culture, wildlife, diverse environment and the sustainability are evident in his current crowdfunding project on RocketHub called Price for Paradise. We caught up with Wayde to get insights on his current campaign, and how he launched his latest new media endeavor.
What was the inspiration behind your “Price for Paradise” project - and how did it come about? How did you build you team?
*The inspiration behind the “Price for Paradise” has been a long one…Many years ago a Book was published here in Hawaii called “THE PRICE OF PARADISE, Lucky We Live Hawaii?” written in 1992. It was a well recieved book about the Struggles of living in Hawaii and the high cost of living and how many who live here barley make ends meet or just pack up and leave their Family and culture behind. However the Book was written more like a TEXT BOOK and not about real people or the real Hawaii that people live and breathe everyday. There is a HUGE difference between the book called the Price “OF “Paradise and our Docu-Drama the Price “FOR’ Paradise…The Book was about the Price OF…WHICH was simple mathematics and told you the numbers, facts and percentages…Our Project Docu-Drama series is about the Price FOR….as in HOW, WHO, WHY and WHERE…HOW are these people fighting FOR Paradise? WHO are the people of Hawaii and what is their Story? Why do they go through the struggles and hardships to stay in Hawai’i and make ends meet when they could pack up, move and have a much easier life somewhere else? Where did they all come from…Are they Native Hawaiian? Are they Locals Born and raised? Did they come from the Mainland or another Country? No matter Born in Hawai’i or coming from the Mainland or another Country…there is one thing that binds us, that brings us together…The Spirit of ALOHA…A place where Dreams come true…OR…a Place where many come to start over in life. Unknowing to MANY outside Hawai’i…Hawai’i is the #1 Place to START YOUR LIFE OVER. Many come here from all over the world to get a fresh start…maybe because they are running away from thier demons and mistakes of their past or maybe to get a fresh start and heal from tragic events…one way or another there are Strories to be told here…Colorful, exciting, beautiful, tragic, unimaginable and shocking stories lie here on this islands and yet no one knows of them.
The Project came about because we noticed a disturbing trend…”The Lies about Paradise”…People outside Hawai’i have had a wild imagination for far too long and fantasy like view of what Hawai’i is and what it means because of what has been sold to them for so long from Travel companies to Hollywood movies. Hawai’i isn’t a Fantasy, it’s real, it’s raw…The people who live here have reallives, we eat, we sleep, we work hard and play harder…We succeed, we fail, we live and we die here, but what surprised people the most about Hawai’i is the drama here…because you’re on such a small island everyone knows everyone and everyone has friends and enemies her as well and it’s very hard to avoid confrontations. Hawai’i is not everything people think it is and we want to open peoples eyes and show the outside world who HAWAI’I is, who its people are as well as the conflicts and issues we face here today as a small business owners, young family members, single parents, hard working middle classer as well as people moving to Hawai’i.
Our Small business guide team called “THE CORE” as well as the team for this crowdfunding project is exactly the essence of what HAWAII IS! Both teams consist of the total “MELTING POT” that makes up Hawai’i people…Kanaka Maoli (Native Hawaiians) Locals (Those Born & Raised) and Kama’aina…KanakaMaoli, Locals, Kama’aina… Native Hawaiian, Polynesian, Korean, Filipino, Chinese, Japanese, Portuguese, Caucasian, European, Brazilian, Black, Mexican…The list goes on…We’re not going to sugarcoat or re-imagine who and what Hawai’i is the way Travel Magazine and Hollywood has. Hawai’i Nei is a real place with real people from all over the world who are trying to make ends met in Paradise. Hawai’i is a place that many consider HEAVEN by those who are succeeding and HELL by those who are failing and struggling, but at the end of our day of struggle or success, when the sunrises and sets, we reflect and know that even if we struggle here and can barely make ends meet we still stay because there is an energy here…the mana of the islands…a spirit…the spirit of aloha…it’s in everything and everyone you meet…it’s something that is worth the struggles and the price to live here and in that we know how “LUCKY WE ARE TO LIVE HAWAII”…this, for all of us here is “The Price For Paradise.
What has your experience been launching a “new media venture” through crowdfunding?
*If it’s your first time launching a new Media Venture through crowdfunding it will be a huge learning curve, you need to do your research before even launching one…I would say several months ahead of a project launch to understand how the crowdfunding system works…You need to put a decent video together to bring the audience in…after doing research on other project it became clear we needed our project to POP, with good descriptions of our project, the people working with us and why the project is so important not only to us, but to our funders. IMAGES can help in bringing an audience in as well who may be interested in funding you. You also need to do a healthy bit of research to see what gift donations you will be offering and what works best with your project. The experience has been exciting and heart pumping, but also a struggle and one of disappointment as well so far. Sometimes what you and your team envisions and how important and urgent you believe a project to be, may not resonate and be so urgent to an audience. We had done our best to get our point across and the urgency of our project. The Funding has now stalled and we are now about to go into another phase and see if we can rally some new funding. I think you need to do something special every week or two to “RE-LAUNCH” the project again…if you let it leave peoples mind too long you may loss the connection between the Funders and the Project. Once they shut it out, it’s over.
Any advice for others looking to crowdfund a similar project?
*To have any real chance from my experience so far in Crowdfunding you need to first plan your LAUNCH DATE…You need to have a LARGE Social MEDIA pull and Campaign to push the project on all networks like Your own Website…Twitter, IG, Facebook with Groups and your Like Pages and even have an EVENT and invite everyone to the Launch so you can start off strong…If you can bring in other Friends with Big Social Media pull to help you push your Crowdfunding project, that’s even better! You need to be persistent…you need to post and re post on your social media networks every other day…talk about the urgency of your project and how it will bring to light something or help others if people donate to the project. I found that th biggest disappointment so far is relying on others to help you or push the project…I imagined in my head how much funds would come from our own Social Media Network and how much would come from everyone else…75% of the Donations so far have come from our Network only. We miscalculated this and so we would rethink how we go about getting others to help us fund a project. Everyone needs to be on the same page and when you launch a Crowdfunding project like this you need to remember that the only people that are TRULY PASSIONATE about it are the ones who created the project in the first place and put it out there.
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