An innovative business strategy always makes sense to any company. While one continues to seek creative ways to do business, crowdsourcing has steadily risen as one of the most disruptive forces at work. In just a few years' time, the model has successfully penetrated several mainstream industries like technology, R&D, investment, and design.
Currently, crowdsourcing is booming in Asia. A Chinese crowdsourcing site is touted as the biggest employer in the world. In fact, crowdsourcing has become so prevalent in China, that they have coined their own word - -Witkey- - to describe it. Earlier, New York City estimated that they got $10 million worth of innovation for just $20,000 when they used ChallengePost (a platform for technical competitions) to help improve transport in the city.
Essentially, crowdsourcing is a distributed problem solving model where the task is shared among a large group of people. This results in collective intelligence and improved quality that can be assessed. As such, it lets you move from the usual salary model to an output-based business. Companies today are utilizing outsourcing for everything – be it design, marketing and administration or innovation, fund raising and market research.
Brands that have deployed the model have achieved many benefits like cost savings, problem solving and, increased customer satisfaction. One of the most popular examples of crowdsourcing is Wikipedia. Rather than hiring writers to create their own encyclopedia, they let the crowd provide all the information. This resulted in the world's most comprehensive encyclopedia. In another instance, scientists used crowdsourcing in 2011 to try to find the origin of E Coli bacterium that killed 50 people in Germany. Recently, British scientists sought the "wisdom of the crowd" in order to analyze the genes of the fungus that caused the ash dieback disease.
An increasing number of organizations and even governments have recognized the power and wisdom of crowds. Iceland recently became the world's first crowdsourced constitution, drawing suggestions from Facebook and Twitter on how to run the country!
What's more, crowdsourcing is expected to be huge in the world of science. Cloud computing is opening new territories for crowdsourcing scientific solutions. It can give access to data sets and computing resources that researchers can work on. For example, a San Francisco-based company that is dedicated to hosting competitions for organizations is trying to crowdsource their own analytical challenges.
Without a doubt, crowdsourcing will remain powerful, given how much the industry has grown in 2012. Companies that involve customers in improving their products and services will go a long way in increasing customer satisfaction.