Product development and Crowdsource model

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Crowdsource, a term coined by Jeff Howe and Mark Robinson in 2006, is a web-based business model, which encourages distributed problem-solving production mock-up for organizations. In other words, one company posts an issue online and invites solutions from the worldwide web users. People from various corners of the world share their ideas to solve the problem and in return, the best idea gets rewarded by the company.


Benefits of crowdsourcing:

  • It’s cheaper: Crowdsourcing is a cheaper method to get your work done. You don’t need to hire professionals. It is an online process, so you don’t need to think about a meeting place, conference room etc. Moreover, you can get a wide array of choices, from which you can pick up the best idea for you. You also can select a couple of better designs for your future projects.
  • Talents follow you: In traditional scenario, you need to search for talents that would suit your bill. But when it comes to crowdsourcing, talents themselves come to your doorstep. No matter how critical the job is, if you employ crowdsourcing, you can easily get the task done by best industry brains. Of course, you need to offer them some incentives, but the result would be higher than the costs.
  • Crowdsourcing: A marketing tool: Many companies are often using social networking sites as a crowdsourcing platform. They not only create viral by posting links of articles, blogs, and videos, but they also successfully make news about the company.
  • It builds professional relationships: Crowdsourcing builds professional relationships for companies, which frequently offer crowdsourced projects to similar set of experts. These connections are useful when they plan to start a new venture and look for suitable professionals.

So, it is quite evident from the present scenario that product development largely depends on crowdsource business model. The following case studies will definitely vouch for that.

Fiat’s Mio: Fiat, the famous car manufacturing company, leveraged crowdsourcing for making a new car, Fiat Mio. With the assistance of Agencia Click Isobar, Sao Paulo-based digital agency, the automobile company had built a web platform to gather contributors. The project received more than 10000 ideas from 160 different countries. People from all over the world suggested what they wanted in their car. Team Fiat not only listened to their prospective customers, but they also implemented them to make the new car model.

Threadless’s tees: Threadless is an online t-shirt company, which offers three new tees and one reprinted tee every week for the online consumers. And the huge production is possible through crowdsouring. They arrange an online competition to crowdsource their new t-shirt designs. Anyone can join in the competition following the guideline provided by the company. Designs are given marks from 0 to 5. The competition remains on for two weeks and after that the results are announced. The winner gets $1,500 in cash and Threadless gift certificates worth $500.

InnoCentive’s challenges: InnoCentive, a Massachusetts-based R&D company crowdsources scientific projects to students and scientists. They post R&D challenges based on Applied Sciences, Life Sciences, and Chemistry. The problem solvers can submit their projects online, which process under a strict review. If the reviewer feels that the solution is accurate, the winner gets $10,000 to $100,000 for one challenge.

From these case studies, it is evident that crowdsourcing features an important role in Web 2.0 platform. Where customer interaction plays a major role, many B2B companies are opting for crowdsourcing, where best brains work together to offer the best product of its kind.


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