The Oculus founders got $2.4m of free seed funding via Kickstarter. Let’s say that had been a traditional Angel or Seed VC equity round for 25% of the company. Those seed funders would have got, in aggregate, 25% of the $2bn that Facebook paid, which is a substantial $500m.
I believe that the Oculus Facebook deal will accelerate the equity Crowdfunding revolution. Yes, this is good news for the future, even if a lot of people who gave free funding to Oculus via Kickstarter in return for a beta product and a T Shirt feel a bit burned today.
FWIW, the terms were clear, the folks who ponied up cash were promised an early version of the product and got what “it said on the tin”. As Matt Asaypoints out on ReadWrite, this is the same issue as people who contribute to open source and watch an entrepreneur get rich.
Personally I think how millions of people make a living as we emerge out of the Great Recession – the crowdfunding story – is more interesting than how a bunch of overstimulated people ramp up the stimulation to the max on the dial – the VR Oculus story. Page views – the currency of the Internet – will undoubtedly prove me wrong.