FAQ


Q. Can anyone become a member of FirstRateCrowd?

Answer: Anyone who is 18 years or older and signs the site's Terms Of Service can become a member.


Q. Are there any membership fees?

Answer: No, both members and the public have free access to the site. Members will be able to participate on the site and the public will have viewing privileges.


Q. What is the second phase of the business venture?

Answer: The website you are currently on, the FirstRateCrowd forum, is the first phase of the community business venture. The second phase will start after the community meets the open challenge. Then, the necessary business software and resources will be in place to fulfill the goals of the organizational plan. This will be heralded by the launching of the community's new and greatly expanded website.


Q. What is the "company" the community will be taking over and directing?

Answer: The company refers to the FirstRateCrowd platform which is owned by Antilope LLC.


Q. Can I buy stock in the company?

Answer: No, not at this time. Our long term plans include the eventual goal of an IPO (Initial Public Offering). Members and others will have the ability to own stock in the enterprise at that time.


Q. Why is there such an emphasis on reducing economic inequality?

Answer: Most people are woefully unaware of the detrimental effects of economic inequality upon themselves and society as a whole. Many of the negative aspects of our world, from war and terrorism to poor health and a lack of education, flow from this one common denominator. Future prospects for the great majority of individuals in the United States and the world in general are bleak to say the least. Economic inequality will maintain these individual in ruinous and marginalized lives unless action is taken now to reduce this trend.

As a starting point, watching the short video by Richard Wilkinson in our Educational section on economic inequality is the most effective way we consider one can acquire the major concepts on this issue in the least amount of time. The video is a powerful and well done documentary on the subject matter. It vividly helps members and the public understand how economic inequality is directly detrimental to the quality of their lives right now.


Q. Why should I become a member of FistRateCrowd?

Answer: Unless you are currently in the upper echelon of the 1% economically, the prospects of you enjoying a full and prosperous life have become greatly diminished. FirstRateCrowd provides a mechanism to turn this degraded state of affairs around on your behalf. It is an existential proposition whereby you can change the outcome of your own future; this creates a better life for you and those you care about.


Q. How are you different from the Occupy Wall Street movement?

Answer: The OWS movement was a protest movement. Although they were successful in bringing about an awareness to the public about aspects of economic inequality, they were ineffective in bringing about functional change. FirstRateCrowd on the other hand stresses action over protest. This brings about true functional change. By having the financial wherewithal, due to our company's profits, and a collective wisdom of our crowd, by our community selecting projects focused on doing good in the world to reduce economic inequality, we can bring about significant and meaningful change. This is a true change, not merely social awareness. Frankly put, we have the bite and not just the bark.


Q. Can I write my donation off on my taxes?

Answer: No. Because we are a for profit organization, the IRS will not allow you to write your donation off on your taxes.


Q. What do you mean when you say the community will own the company?

Answer: By ownership we mean the community eventually owns the majority of the profits and runs the operations of the platform. The reins of control for the company are gradually turned over to the community using a powerful, yet flexible system of controls. The more the community participates, the more the operational functions and profits are turned over to them; the community does not, however, own the LLC (limited liability corporation). With the eventual goal of an IPO (Initial Public Offering), members and others will have the ability to own stock in the enterprise at that time.


Q. How will the $800,000 the community crowdfunds be used once it is collected?

Answer: After our community funds the project, 60% of the funds received will go towards the development of the site's formal computer software. The remainder will be allocated towards startup and operational costs associated with the second phase of the venture. This is detailed in our business plan.


Q. Who will develop the software in the second phase of the project?

Answer: After a nationwide search, we have narrowed the field down to one company in the United States we have confidence in. They are mid-range with regards to price, received good reviews, have the ability to meet our design specifications in a timely manner, and are sophisticated with an international footprint needed to take on a large scale project of this type. The actual name of the company will remain redacted for now to protect the proprietary information of the community.


Q. How can I help?

Answer: There are two very important things you can do right now to help. This includes actively participating on the forum website and donating financially.

Once becoming a member of FirstRateCrowd you can participate in the forum discussions on the website. By listening to what others have to say, and adding your own knowledge and experience to the discussions, you give direction and insight as to how we should move forward to achieve our goals. Reaching out to friends, family, and colleagues by letting them know about our website is another important form of participation.

Your financial donation to the site helps to ensure the project will be a success and your voice gets heard.


Q. What will happen to the funds that are donated if we do not meet the $800,000 goal to launch the second phase of the project?

Answer: Any donations collected will go to maintaining the basic structure of FirstRateCrowd so it can continue operating while advertising and doing outreach programs. This will increase our membership support base. For example, if we were to do an Indiegogo funding campaign in the future and do not meet our funding goal, we will still be able to take a percentage of the money collected for our organization. This will allow us to continue advertising and do more outreach for members. Then we can do another Indiegogo campaign or other forms of outreach at a later date until the final funding goal is met.


Q. Will FirstRateCrowd members be able to work on projects not related to reducing economic inequality?

Answer: Yes, certainly. Our ability to do good in the world to a large extent will come from our financial success. As long as a project meets our organizational principles and it has our community member's approval it can be done.

Projects not directly related to reducing economic inequality, that is, those that are considered only for financial gain, allow our organization to grow. This gives us the power to accomplish other projects that are related to reducing economic inequality. Projects not directly related to financial gains, but showing great promise to reduce economic inequality, are also considered by our members if it is the will of our community. This balance of project selection will be maintained by the community members voted into the various organizational positions and those members who have voting privileges. They will decide the direction our organization takes by selecting which projects we work on.

As an example, the FirstRateCrowd platform will be using advertisements related to the content of our various crowds to earn income for our organization once we are in the second phase of the project. These crowds and their related advertisements are not necessarily related to reducing economic inequality directly but the overall effect is to support our platform financially in its goal to reduce economic inequality.

The ideal project is one that not only reduces economic inequality directly but also gains financial resources for our organization. The FirstRateCrowd platform is an example of such a project. It provides the needed financial gain from our advertisements and simultaneously supports the platform which is, in and of itself, an example of a company reducing economic inequality due to its inherent structure. Other ideal projects will present themselves in the future for our members to consider.


Q. Why can't the community members participate more in developing the company right now?

Answer: There are some practical considerations which limit the level of member participation in the first phase of the project. Until the proper organizational structures are put into place in Phase 2 of the project, chaos and confusion are more likely to ensue than success. This issue is addressed by Dr. Heetun in her special message to our community members and is presented here again for your consideration:

A special message to our community members from Shameem.

Dear community members,

We are launching the website and welcome all your comments. The community will have the opportunity to execute all the beneficial ideas and suggestions you offer in Phase 2 of the project. Kindly bear with us until that time.

I understand the need for our community members to be more involved in the initial planning and development of the project. It is, after all, your own project. But the forum website, as it is currently functioning in this first phase, does not have the needed capabilities to involve the community in much of the basic development of the early business plan. However, once the project is fully funded and launched in the second phase, the site will have the necessary software and resources set firmly in place. This will allow for a much greater level of end-user participation. Our community members will then have the opportunity to contribute significantly to the development and direction the company takes.

Although I wish otherwise, we will all need to be patient and wait until this level of community involvement can be achieved in a realistic and meaningful way. As it is ultimately your project, your voices will be heard.

Shameem




Q. The financial profits in the Operational Overview look great at the time the community takes over the business. Which assumptions are these based upon?

Answer: We are highly confident in the numbers presented. Highlights of these two assumption areas in general are as follows:

1) Revenue from advertisements

The community is highly motivated to meet the open challenge as is presented so they can have their own company.

a) The final gross monthly advertisement sales revenue estimates are both conservative and realistic. First, it is expected the number of crowds on the platform will grow from an initial 29 to at least 100 at the end of the challenge, two years following the formal launch. This figure includes crowds not already named such as Space Exploration, Atheists, and LGBT, just to name a few. The 29 starting crowds, and others as they come on line, are expected to evolve into sub-crowds. For example, the book crowd will most likely transform into fiction, non-fiction, romance, cooking, religious, Harlequin, and a whole host of other varieties. Each one of these could evolve even further, for example with the religious book crowd branching into: Christian, Muslim, and Hindu sub-varieties and so on.

b) With a full membership of 1,024,000 individuals at the end of the challenge, and an estimated 100 crowds, each crowd will have an average of 10,240 focused individuals supporting it. This figure does not even account for the many individuals who will visit the site as non-members who will be eligible to make advertisement purchases. To meet our sales figures, each average sized crowd will need to sell approximately 6.8 advertisements/month. Given the enthusiasm of the members within each crowd and the nature of the targeted advertisements, we believe this revenue from advertising is achievable.

2) Operational costs

The entire project was designed to reduce operational costs from the very start. This is expressed in our spreadsheet analysis. These includes the following pre-planned factors fashioned to keep the operating costs at a minimum.

a) The project is web based and decentralized to avoid the larger costs traditionally associated with a brick and mortar business.

b) The use of Independent Contractors will help to keep overhead costs to a lower limit compared to the use of traditional employees.

c) The design of the software to be used by the community in the second phase of the project will be 90% automated with minimal manual intervention. This will help maintain a seamless flow of productivity while keeping the operating costs low.


Q. How can I add a Youtube video to my post?

Answer: Adding a video is very simple. All you need to do is place the URL of the video between the URL tags. An example would be to add the URL like so, [url]video URL goes here[/url]

Once you've added the video link between the 2 URL tags, the link to the video will become active. Here's an example from another post.

https://youtu.be/UTX7Cxq8aGc

Here is where the URL tag is located in the tool bar:

Image

Please let us know if you have difficulty doing this. Thank you.