August 25, 2011 · IGG

IndieGoGo Team: Meet Nicholas Fowler!


Nicholas Fowler


Nicholas grew up in San Francisco, has lived in Germany and South America and is actually a linguist-turned-developer (even won 3rd place in a Chinese speech contest once).  He loves to eat, is a self-confessed big transit and train geek whose usually fairly happy if on a train (except if it’s the Muni!). Born with a deformity of his left forearm and hand known as ulnar hemimelia, he’s had to make sense of the world with one "normal" hand and one very special hand and arm.  A massive live music-goer, he’s into Scandinavian electronic greats like Röyksopp and Karin Dreijer, poppy tunes from artists like Kylie Minogue and Yelle, jam bands like Phish and The Dead, funky and improvisational music like George Clinton and Zappa, and sassy hip-hop from the likes of Rye Rye and M.I.A.  He’s an animal fan, thinks his boyfriend is the sweetest man in San Francisco and chooses funny movies and shows over ones about invented drama, suspense and violence. He also volunteers at Ruby on Rails workshops to teach Rails in Spanish for the local community of Latino and other Spanish-speaking programmer-types with the organization RailsBridge (who reach out to groups who are underrepresented in the programmer community).

What do you think is the most compelling/interesting aspect of crowdfunding? 
The most interesting aspect of crowdfunding is its potential to revolutionize financing. I'm excited that IndieGoGo opens up new pathways for seed money to flow, and has the potential to allow people with great ideas to act on them, irrespective of their financial status or credit score, by letting them reach out to anyone who might want to support them. I like how it allows creative people to get creative about their financing.

What five things do you want to personally make happen this next year?
Move my ideas from concept to execution. Travel to Asia.  Get a nerdy tattoo.  Make significant contributions to IndieGoGo and develop as a professional software engineer.  Make sure my partner is happy in his employment.

Which place around the world do you dream of visiting and why? 
South Korea or Turkey. I love Korean eats, and I want to go to the source. Turkey seems like the perfect mix of sunny weather and beaches, and interesting ancient curiosities.

Which big idea or inspiring person recently excited you with their creativity and why?
Big Straddling Bus 

My next campaign on IndieGoGo will be for…
I'd like to test out a campaign to subsidize the cost of tickets to live music performances for low-income people. I once saw the blues musician Taj Mahal here in San Francisco, at the Independent, a venue right next to the Western Addition, an underprivileged and mostly African American neighborhood. It was odd, and even frustrating to see that the crowd filling this venue adjacent to a black neighborhood to see a legendary black musician was about 99% white. There was one obvious reason for this, and that was the prohibitive cost of entry. I believe that a musical experience like that can be very uplifting and inspirational, and I'd like it to be easier for everybody to have it if they're interested enough, not just if they're wealthy enough.