If asking customers to "pay what you want" seems like a good way to kill a business, then telling them "don’t give us a penny" sounds like suicide. But Jeffrey Rosen’s digital game store does just that –and it’s making money and saving the world in the process. When Humble Bundle started selling collections of low-budget "indie" PC games in 2010, it invited customers to name their price and to specify how the payment should be divided, between creator, store and a pre-selected charity. "We let people give it all to charity if they like," says Rosen, "so they trust us and feel good about their purchase." Now the company’s also selling games for major publishers including Electronic Arts and Warner Brothers, expanding into music and audiobooks, and has received more than $4.5 million in backing from Sequoia Capital, SV Angel and Y Combinator. Best of all: In December, the company announced it has raised more than $50 million for charity over the last four years. "That’s when it really clicks," says Rosen. "It’s like ‘Wow, we’ve done something really good.’"
Image courtesy of Walter Smith for Forbes