Kevin Burton just pinged me about a crazy idea he's just had:

"Around a month ago I started playing with some community funding activities to see if I could continue funding TailRank simply from the good will of the community.

I have to admit that I was REALLY blown away how well this worked. So far we've made over $1600! Pretty impressive actually.

Unfortunately this is only a shadow of what's required to run a startup. The VCs and Angels in the valley certainly have nothing to worry about.

I still think this idea has legs. If only we could pull it off! All that would be needed to build Startup 2.0 is a bunch of geeks and an active community. With Adsense it's really possible to fund a good idea - all you need is traffic.

...

What if people could "donate" their traffic to a company (or Open Source project) they like so that they can use their Adsense revenues for funding? This would allow small teams with a good idea to work on their project full time! "

Crazy, but it might just work.