April 25, 2012
I think this is an overdue step, as it will facilitate small companies and startups like we have never before seen. The professionals (VCs) haven't proven that they are really any better than this than the crowd (in fact may be worse), rather they just have a monopoly on capital, and sometimes money can be false validation.
Are these investments riskier, yes. Will some people lose some money? Yes. Will some people make some money? Also yes. People will do what is in their best interest and won't just run out and throw their money away. We allow people to spend as much as they want on lottery tickets, they should be allowed to drop $25 a piece on 100 startups.
Please don't regulate this out of existence. Allow it to find its sweet spot. I can see a cap of some sort on any given company, or total % of income invested in aggregate, but please allow people the freedom to make some decisions and take some risk. If there is no risk, there is no return. And sometimes, in an overly regulated situation, there is still sytemic risk, even after the potential return has been stripped away (see the stock market over the last 10 years).
I have my fingers crossed.
Palo Alto, CA