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InicioEntrepreneurshipThe Crowdsourcing Revolution: Discover How the Masses Can Boost Your Business!

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The Crowdsourcing Revolution: Discover How the Masses Can Boost Your Business!

Crowdsourcing, a term coined in 2006 by Wired magazine, is the practice of obtaining services or ideas from a large, undefined group of people, typically through the internet. Since then, crowdsourcing has become a key tool for businesses of all sizes to tap into the collective knowledge and creativity of the crowd. From product design to marketing campaigns, crowdsourcing is taking the business world by storm.

What is Crowdsourcing?

Crowdsourcing combines the words «crowd» and «outsourcing» and refers to a process where businesses outsource work, ideas or data collection to the public. The idea is simple: instead of relying on in-house teams or outside contractors, companies can harness the collective intelligence, creativity, and skills of people outside their organization. Crowdsourcing can be used for a range of activities, from research and development to customer feedback and marketing.

The Types of Crowdsourcing

There are several types of crowdsourcing, which include:

Crowdfunding:

Used to raise funds for a project or product by asking individuals, businesses or venture capital firms to contribute funds or loans in exchange for future shares or repayments.

Crowdtesting:

Used to test a product or service through a large group of testers or users, often through remote access, to discover bugs or defects that might be missed by a small in-house testing team.

Crowdcreation:

Used to generate new ideas or designs for a company, product or service. This type of crowdsourcing may involve contests or challenges open to anyone, with the goal of finding the best or most innovative solution.

Crowdfeedback:

Used to receive feedback or opinions on a product or idea through online surveys, discussion forums or other online platforms.

Why is Crowdsourcing Useful for Business?

The benefits of crowdsourcing for businesses are many, and here are a few:

Cost-effectiveness:

By outsourcing work to a crowd, companies can often save money on salaries, office space, and other overheads. Plus, with many crowdsourcing platforms offering services at competitive rates, businesses can reduce costs even further.

Speed and Efficiency:

Crowdsourcing allows businesses to access a large pool of talent or ideas in a relatively short period, and once a project is underway, a collective effort can move quickly towards completion.

Diversity of Skills and Perspectives:

With crowdsourcing, businesses can access a wide range of talent and expertise that they might not have in-house. This diversity can lead to better ideas, more efficient problem solving and ultimately, better results.

Innovation:

By tapping into the collective creativity of a crowd, businesses can generate entirely new perspectives and ideas that might be otherwise impossible to come up with alone.

Examples of Successful Crowdsourcing Campaigns

Here are some of the most successful and innovative crowdsourcing campaigns in recent years:

Doritos’ Super Bowl Campaign:

Doritos is well known for its crowdsourcing campaigns, and during the 2007 Super Bowl, they launched their «Crash the Super Bowl» campaign where they invited fans to create their Doritos commercial. The campaign was a huge success, generating more than 4,000 entries.

LEGO Ideas:

LEGO Ideas is an online platform where people can submit their own designs for new LEGO sets. If a design gets enough support, LEGO will consider turning it into an actual set. Notable successes include the Millennium Falcon from «Star Wars» and the «Big Bang Theory» living room set.

Etsy:

Etsy is an online marketplace where people can sell handmade or vintage items. Crowdsourcing is baked into Etsy’s model, as it allows users to suggest new items or features, which are then voted on by the community. This has helped Etsy to maintain its reputation as a platform for unique and innovative creators.

Threadless:

Threadless is an online apparel company that allows anyone to submit their T-shirt designs. The designs are then voted on by the community, and the most popular designs are made into T-shirts that can be purchased. Threadless has built a massive following by harnessing the collective creativity and passion of their community.

How to Use Crowdsourcing for Your Business

If you’re interested in getting started with crowdsourcing, here are some tips to help you:

Define your goals:

Before you start, be clear about what you hope to achieve through crowdsourcing. Are you looking for new ideas? Faster product development? Improved feedback? By defining your goals, you can better select the right platform and engage with the right crowd.

Choose the right platform:

There are countless crowdsourcing platforms available, so take the time to research and choose the one that best suits your needs. Some platforms specialize in design or feedback, while others are generalist and accommodate a range of activities.

Be clear about expectations:

Make sure that you’re clear about what you’re looking for from the crowd. Be specific about your deadlines, budget, and the task at hand. This will help ensure that participants understand what’s expected and can contribute effectively.

Engage with the crowd:

Once you’ve launched your crowdsourcing campaign, don’t be afraid to engage with the crowd throughout the process. Answer questions, provide feedback, and be transparent about how their contributions will be used. This will help build trust and encourage further engagement.

Conclusion

Crowdsourcing has revolutionized how businesses operate by using the power of the crowd to solve problems, generate ideas, and achieve their goals. By understanding the types of crowdsourcing, the benefits it can offer, and how to use it effectively, businesses can leverage the collective intelligence, creativity and skills of many people, to achieve success. Crowdsourcing is here to stay, and for businesses willing to embrace it, the sky’s the limit.

Michael Sullivan

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