BusinessWeek – Smart Crowdsourcing Guidelines

BusinessWeek has written a second article about crowdsourcing in it’s Inside Innovation supplement. The first article, Consumers as Creators opened crowdsourcing to a wider audience and this once should do the same.

Companies have been outsourcing to India and China for years. Now they are taking it to another level by using social networks such as MySpace, Second Life, and a multitude of virtual communities to solve their most gnarly business problems. Business model innovation is happening at a lightning clip. First there was outsourcing, then open-sourcing, and now crowdsourcing.

There are mentions for iStockphoto, SecondLife, Threadless, John Fluevog and Ducati.

Current TV is used as a shining example of crowdsourcing where a project has brought in great results at a low cost.

The suggested key guidelines to smart crowdsourcing are:

  • Be Focused
  • Get Your Filters Right
  • Tap The Right Crowds
  • Build Community Into Social Networks

Crowdsourcing is a new and nascent business tool for innovation. Used properly, it can generate new ideas, shorten research and development time, cut development costs, and create a direct, emotional connection with customers. Used improperly, it can produce silly or wasteful results. Crowds can be wise, but they can also be stupid.

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