The Rise of the Crowd

Look at this article where Paul Sloane talks about Open Innovation and Crowdsourcing on the Rise

[…] Crowdsourcing is an extrapolation of Open Innovation in which you throw out a challenge to a group of people that you may or may not know and solicit their ideas and solutions for your issue. Many web-based companies specialise in different crowdsourcing fields. So if you want a name for a new brand of product you can get many suggestions by using the crowdsourcing site Naming Force. If you have a tough programming problem you could use Topcoder.com who will set the challenge for ace freelance programmers from around the world. Similarly if you have a difficult technical or scientific challenge you might use Innocentive or Nine Sigma.

What surprised me was his first example, just how cheap crowdsourcing is becoming, as to think of using it just for a private party!

Imagine that you are planning a big surprise party. You want it to be entertaining, spectacular, memorable and different. You could plan and project manage every element of the party yourself: the theme, venue, music, food, drink, entertainment, games, diversions etc. Or you could involve a number of people to help you with their ideas and their skills. One person could manage all aspects of the venue, someone else could design special decorations, another person could put together a music mix and so on. If you do it all yourself then you are in complete control, you have sole responsibility and you can keep the whole thing a surprise but you have to remember to do everything and it is only as good as your ideas. If you bring in a group of friends and experts to help then you can harness their imaginations; you can bounce ideas off each other. You have to delegate tasks which involves collaboration, supervision, letting go and an element of risk. Keeping the whole thing a surprise is more difficult but can be done. The choice between doing it all yourself and doing it with a group is the choice between a closed and an open model.

And we are also having it for free: my son asked his  crowd (his followers on Tumblr:-) for music advice… and we have been hearing a bunch of new groups during our holidays!  Before, a crowd was following  a public figure or a trend, now  crowds are being adressed for advice.   By the way, we discover very good ones 🙂

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