BY PRAYUKTH K V
April 2014Figures culled from various data sources as of April 2014
Crowdsourcing is a method of getting ideas, content, support or other types of
solutions from a group of people. Coined by Wired magazine in 2005, it means
using the Internet to gather solutions to virtually any problem or task from people
all over the world. Most famous example - wikipedia
Hierarchy within organizations often limits creative output
By limiting the company’s initial ideas to only those with executive authority,
creativity amongst the captive technical workforce is stunted
Ideas of a few are usually implemented by the masses
Crowdsourcing has been successfully used through customer surveys and the
sourcing of input for product development. Today, it has become the preferred way
of accessing the intellectual property of the masses thanks to the popularity of the
internet and social media.
Appeals more to the smaller businesses out there
Industrialised crowdsourcing is
the enterprise adoption of the
power of the crowd that allows
specialised skills to be sourced
from anywhere and at any time when it is needed.
This creates the potential to move product
development from the traditional lifecycle into
something that can tap into crowdsourcing as an
Crowdsourcing is a great way for brands to boost
loyalty and engagement
Defining the problem
Getting the right audience to participate
Giving them the right incentive
Giving them enough time
Crafting a policy for managing crowdsourcing
Staff viewing it as a threat to their jobs
Maturity of IT in the organisation to derive the level
Building capacity and capability
Who leads the charge?
Identify areas you need help in – product
development, marketing, recruitment etc.,
Identify target segment profile
Figure out how to reach them (outsourced platforms
or inhouse ones)
Find out ways to incentivize crowd engagement
Evolve a process to collate, analyze and
Obtain buy-in from management and employees;
share objectives and goals in a transparent manner
TIPS OR CROWDSOURCING PRODUCT
Ask customers to create a
Ask them what are their favorite
What are the desired features?
Ask them to come up with a
product name/tag line
Which product option would
they love to buy?
Participants must be diverse. Including employees from all business units
within the organization, customers/potential customers and freelancers is critical.
Participants should be encouraged to share their unique ideas without fear of ridicule. Avoid
“herd thinking” by providing incentive for unique perspective and contributions.
Prepare comprehensive participation guidelines outlining expectations clearly
Figure out the right platforms to reach out to participants (would you have to be in more than
one platform simultaneously? The answer is no)
Determine the best method for collecting, organizing, and aggregating the information you
receive. Prediction markets, online forums, and wikis are useful tools, but often serve a
different purpose. Remember, the best ideas come from collective wisdom and are often not
represented in any individual contribution.
Figure out ways to make participants feel special; If needed give them a larger ‘feel good’
objective (like Toyota)
Throughout the process, constantly communicate with participants to provide new
considerations, feedback on ideas, and information on how their ideas are being used.
Coca-Cola– Coke now uses a more open business model, assuming an increasingly prominent position in
corporate crowdsourcing. Its open-sourced “Shaping a Better Future” challenge asks entrepreneurs to
create improvement-ventures for the project-hubs of youth employment, education, environment and health.
In addition, its “Where Will Happiness Strike Next?” series of short films and TV-commercials relies on the
social media-input of Coke customers, contributing ideas about creating happiness. Coke also seeks
crowdsourced online suggestions for marketing, tying social media to co-creation.
Unilever– Despite its globally-recognized and respected
research staff and facilities, Unilever understands the value of
collaboration with innovative partners from outside the firm. It
seeks external contributions from anyone with useful input into
such diverse project challenges as storing renewable energy,
fighting viruses, reducing the quantity of sodium in food, creating
cleaningg-products that pollute less, and changing consumer
behaviour to encourage enhanced sustainability, among many
other projects. The firm invites crowdsourced, open innovation
Nokia–Nokia’s Ideasproject defines itself as a global community
devoted to open innovation. It focuses on consumer-derived
collaboration across 210 nations to improve the viability of Nokia
products in all markets. The Ideasproject is valuable because it
draws on the consumer-experiences of participant-innovators to
generate new ideas about the kind of products they seek from
Nokia. Nokia shares revenues generated from crowdsourced
ideas with Ideasproject participants.
In 2008, Starbucks launched its crowdsourcing platform ‘My Starbucks
Idea’. In this hub, customers can share ideas regarding everything linked to
the brand. Visitors can view all the ideas published, while subscribers can
submit, vote or comment posts. Then, a team of ‘Idea Partners’ –composed
of Starbucks employees review ideas and present the most popular ones to
key decision-makers of the firm. An online section named ‘Ideas in action’
lists the ideas that are in process and that will be soon launched in some
stores. Starbucks give credit for the authors of implemented ideas but no
financial reward are given. Community members’ main motivation when
submitting ideas is to help improving the brand, not to get money.
My Starbucks Ideas:
Braille Starbucks menus and gift cards ” for visually impaired persons
Discount shipping to military bases
Splash sticks minimize coffee splashes
Starbucks energy drinks
Stores’ donations of unsold baked goods, packaged food items, and
coffee to local organizations