Dixon has a package of thoughts on crowdfunding that are all pretty interesting — http://cdixon.org. Often these posts pre-sage a big A16Z deal so unless I missed something stellar, it is due up.
Here he is on people:
>> 5. Most successful seed investors will say that it is mostly about investing in great people, and it is very hard to evaluate people even after multiple in-person meetings. If founders are going to be evaluated online without in-person meetings, great care has to be taken to make sure the evaluation mechanisms are sufficiently nuanced and reliable. (The counterargument is that this might be true when individual professional investors evaluate startups. In the aggregate, the crowd can outsmart individual professionals even with fewer direct interactions.) << I think he wrong on both sides of this one. It is actually super easy to judge at least one class of people: great people. Great people do great things and have a record of achievement before them. Private investors or great crowds all the same can judge great creators. So here is what I think: accomplished people can do anything they want in crowdfunding land and raise zillions through celebrity. It is going to pull the U further to extremes not fill out the middle. VCs think they are smarter than most CEOs, while users I think admire the great ones.