- Crowdsourcing is any sort of outsourcing that involves a large group of people actively participating in the project.
- The practice whereby an organization enlists a variety of freelancers, paid or unpaid, to work on a specific task or problem
- “Crowdsourcing is channelling the experts' desire to solve a problem and then freely sharing the answer with everyone” - Henk van Ess
2.0 Types of Crowdsourcing
2.1 Crowd voting
- 1% will create something valuable
- 10% will vote and rate submissions
- 89% will consume creation
2.2 Crowd funding
- Donations, Philanthropy and Sponsorship where there is no expected financial return,
- Lending and
- Investment in exchange for equity, profit or revenue sharing.
2.3 Crowdsource Design / Creative Crowdsourcing
2.5 Open Innovation
- Collaboration involving partners, competitors, universities, and users
- Corporate Entrepreneurship, especially through corporate venturing, start-ups and spin-offs
- Proactive Intellectual Property Management: to buy and sell intellectual property and so create markets for technology
- Research and Development (R&D): to obtain competitive advantage on the marketplace
Open innovation allows people from all aspects of business such as investors, designers, inventors, and marketers to collaborate into a functional profit making reality. This can be done either through a dedicated web platform to gain outside perspective, or used with only internal employees.
2.6 Community Building
Communities of practice are formed by people who engage in a process of collective learning in a shared domain of human endeavor: a tribe learning to survive, a band of artists seeking new forms of expression, a group of engineers working on similar problems, a clique of pupils defining their identity in the school, a network of surgeons exploring novel techniques, a gathering of first-time managers helping each other cope.
2.7 Collective Knowledge / Intelligence
- Access To-The-Moment Expertise – the best source of knowledge for any organization remains outside of their walls. The users are the ones who know better how to use (and how to fix) any product or service – even in cases where it remains the organization’s responsibility to assist them (cable providers needing to reset a modem, for example). The users usually know first, before the organization, problems and likely solutions and workarounds. Being able to access them faster than traditional methods means the organization can get a head-start in warding off calls from customers, acting proactively in certain instances, and deliver effective answers to those calls that do get through.
- Validation For Their Actions And Knowledge – in those cases where an organization does create a knowledge entry the access to the Collective Knowledge provides validation. There is nothing faster to know if a fix or new feature works that releasing it to users. The problem until know has been to find sufficient users to test and ensure the new or fixed feature works as expected (and does not break anything else). Thanks to online communities and Collective Knowledge these issues can be quickly and efficiently solved, tested, and released to the entire population – with almost immediate validation.
- Feedback For Their Products And Services – leverage for the collective knowledge has to extend beyond the traditional customer service functions typically associated with KM. Feedback, and the routing of the information to research and development departments as well as other places throughout the organization, is one of the hidden values of Collective Knowledge. It has been proven that users are more “truthful” (or less biased in a better sense) in online communities where Collective Knowledge typically is collected. The ability to parse the information they provide, distill insights, and use those to improve products and services (or even create new ones if necessary) is the underlying power of co-creation events associated with social networks.
- Reduced Costs Through Indirect Outsourcing – although much has been done about reducing the costs of knowledge generation and maintenance by letting users handle it in online communities, the reality is that it is not always true. In some cases, the costs will likely increase as the need to accommodate unknown processes and elements associated with knowledge may result in extra personnel, licenses, or even lengthier processing time. However, Marketing has proven that generating market knowledge, previously done by market research firms over far longer times and at a much greater expense, from consumers on collective environments is faster and cheaper than previously done. Customer service has proven similar by offloading multi-channel transactions from man-powered ones to collective environments where other users provide answers. It takes finding the right use cases, and making sure that the knowledge generated supports the needs.
- Source Of Knowledge To Augment And Improve Repositories – in addition to the up-to-the-moment access to latest-and-greatest information, organizations can leverage Collective Knowledge to power, improve, and maintain their existing knowledge repositories. This source of knowledge, whether it is an original source creating the knowledge or a secondary force aiding in the maintenance and grooming of the same, is the ultimate leverage. Organizations that understand how to use these setups enjoy better knowledge bases, more complete and more relevant. The savings in resources and the benefits of delivering more effective solutions to their clients more than justified the time and patience to implement Collective Knowledge.