What Is Crowdsourcing?
Crowdsourcing harnesses the power of a community, using advanced social media technology
and knowledge of crowd behaviour, to collect, evolve and rank ideas and contributions to reveal
the strongest performers. Crowdsourcing can shorten time to market for new products, uncover
ways to cut costs or improve service levels, and heighten market success for new products or
enhancements. Companies, organizations and governments use crowdsourcing technology to
most rapidly and economically understand market needs, opportunities and priorities.
Crowdsourcing – The Process
Crowdsourcing invites crowds to submit, discuss, refine and rank ideas or other contributions via
the web to arrive at what have been proven economically as the most-likely-to-succeed solutions.
How Jeff Howe in a June 2006 Wired article described it..."Crowdsourcing is the process by
which the power of the many can be leveraged to accomplish feats that were once the province of
a specialized few."
As described by wikipedia..."Crowdsourcing is an online, distributed problem solving and
production model. Problems are broadcast to an unknown group of solvers via the Web in the
form of an open call for solutions. Users--also known as the crowd--typically form into online
communities based on the Web site, and the crowd submits solutions to the site. The crowd also
sorts through the solutions, finding the best ones."
Eric Schmidt, Google CEO talks about crowdsourcing in Don Tapscott's Wikinomics, 2007
saying.. Peer production is about more than sitting down and having a nice conversation... It's
about harnessing a new mode of production to take innovation and wealth creation to new levels.
What’s the business return been for crowdsourcing?
The payoff of crowdsourcing is now proven, when it’s applied right. There are four mature
methods to apply crowdsourcing in frequent use.
Market prediction - Be first to understand market desires
Who’s doing it: Sony with American Idol, Dell with its Ideastorm
Product innovation - Innovate with a higher success rate and most profitably
Who’s doing it: P&G, istockphoto
Research discovery - Find answers to problems that you can’t solve internally
Who’s doing it: Goldcorp in 2000, every company using InnoCentive
Brand collaboration - Get creative input to stay relevant to consumers
Who’s doing it: Dunkin Donuts, Heinz Ketchup, Converse
What are the business benefits of crowdsourcing?
Simply put, you get the brightest ideas from the masses… you own those ideas… and you can
apply them to your business to perform and often profit.
How are organizations using crowdsourcing?
There are four common ways that businesses apply crowdsourcing:
Product or business innovation
Learn more about these business cases in our blog. Also see how we scored the crowdsourcing
ROI by Intel, Procter & Gamble, Goldcorp and others.
How does crowdsourcing differ from online community?
Online community engages a crowd, whereas crowdsourcing gets the crowd to contribute. Web
community gets members profiled and conversing, can give them access to resources, and
creates a 2-way relationship the host organization.
Crowdsourcing is the means to tap communities for value. Crowdsourcing puts a call to the crowd
to input ideas, vote, and help prioritize the highest value solutions or directions for the business. A
community may contribute product ideas, direction on how to best enhance your business,
produce ad creative for your brand or solve a problem that has stumped your internal team. It’s
not unusual for the contribution of a crowd to be worth millions to an organization.
What’s the power of the crowd?
Studies described in Malcolm Gladwell’s The Tipping Point, Jeff Howe’s Crowdsourcing and Don
Tapscott’s Wikinomics show that a relatively uninformed crowd routinely out-predicts a group of
experts in a room. It’s now proven that more innovation comes from the hobbyists and
enthusiasts that are active online than a small group of experts collaborating in isolation.
See what business and thought leaders have to say on this topic – view Sound Bites.
Is crowdsourcing new?
The practice of tapping a crowd has long been used by business. In 1916 Planters Peanuts held
a contest to develop its logo. What’s new about crowdsourcing is how it uses web 2.0 technology
to rapidly, affordably reach a global crowd for open innovation. Crowdsourcing technology using
sophisticated algorithms based on deep knowledge of human behavior, equips business to distill
crowd input down to not just “what’s most popular” but what really is the economically most likely
to succeed idea.
What does Chaordix do?
We advise enterprises on how to effectively adopt crowdsourcing and equip them with the
technology to do so: the Chaordix crowdsourcing platform.
Our clients use Chaordix to give their crowds a web destination for open innovation. With
Chaordix, enterprises can call to their crowds whether that means the broad public, employees,
partners or other stakeholders to invite them to contribute to their business.
Who is Cambrian House?
Cambrian House is our founding, parent company…
Cambrian House began as a crowdsourcing community looking to discover software ideas. We
built a new crowdsourcing technology platform and build a global community that grew to over
50,000 members, largely entrepreneurs seeking to collaborate on startup ideas, and often attract
talent and money to build them out. Over 7000 business ideas were submitted, and refined by the
crowd, and through a multi-tiered voting system the most promising ideas were identified.
Several successful businesses were spun out including Mob4Hire.com, which in 2009 was
recognized as a RedHerring top 100 startup.
In early 2008, companies began to ask to use the best-in-class platform and we were approached
by a venture capital firm that wished to own the Cambrian House community. We transacted the
community and licensed our technology to them, and then branded our technology and services
Who are some of Chaordix customers?
Under NDA with a prospective client we can mention that we are working with IBM, Ipsos,
Decathlon, PwC, and the University of Oxford (UK).
Without NDA, we can say that we are working with PwC and are an invited member of IBM’s
Data Governance Council, and also say that our client list includes:
One of the world’s top five market research firms
One of the world’s largest computer companies
One of the world’s largest sports retailers
One of the world’s leading universities
Can you give some examples of successes?
Original Cambrian House community was very successful. It was started to Crowdsource new
business ideas and gained over 50 thousand members and more than 7000 contributions of new
Greedy or Needy is another success – it’s a vibrant community with tens of thousands of
members and over one million contributions to date.
Mob4Hire is another success – a business that came out of the original Cambrian House
community was deemed a RedHerring Top100 business in 2009.
The results of our client’s sites are their property, so we are not at liberty to share them.
What is your pricing model?
We offer our Chaordix crowdsourcing platform in a Software-as-a-Service model along with
services to plan and implement the crowdsourcing site.
Typically, there is a one-time up front fee for to configure your site, which includes all of our
consultancy as well, we share our expertise with you to get you on the right path. This includes
identifying the business goal for crowdsourcing, profiling the crowd, identifying the capabilities
needed and implementing a custom branded web experience
Then there is a SaaS monthly charge - depending on functionality/ how many users
Available community management and member recruitment services available.
If you prefer, we can bundle it all together in one price.
How long does it take to deliver a site?
We’ve delivered sites in as little as two weeks, but a typical time – start of project to site into
production is six to eight weeks.
How many employees?
We have full time staff of 15, with a network of retained contractors that bring our full team to over