Get flash to fully experience Pearltrees
What portion of your cell phone’s myriad features do you use? Market research shows that most mobile phone owners use less than 20 percent. The innovation that matters isn’t what the innovator offers; it’s what the customer adopts. And as organizations recognize this, they’re starting to use their customers as a source of innovative introspection. In industry after industry, a shared model for innovation adoption is emerging. The most valuable “platforms” — the tools and technologies used internally to discover, design, and test new products and services — can be creatively and cost-effectively sold or lent to customers, clients, and prospects.
Every business has customers who are sure they could design the products better themselves. So why not let them? Crowdsourcing is the unofficial (but catchy) name of an IT-enabled business trend in which companies get unpaid or low-paid amateurs to design products, create content, even tackle corporate R&D problems in their spare time. Crowdsourcing is a subset of what Eric von Hippel calls "user-centered innovation," in which manufacturers rely on customers not just to define their needs, but to define the products or enhancements to meet them.
Crowdsourcing is the practice of obtaining needed services, ideas, or content by soliciting contributions from a large group of people, and especially from an online community, rather than from traditional employees or suppliers. Often used to subdivide tedious work or to fund-raise startup companies and charities, this process can occur both online and offline. [ 1 ] The general concept is to combine the efforts of crowds of volunteers or part-time workers, where each one could contribute a small portion, which adds into a relatively large or significant result. Crowdsourcing is different from an ordinary outsourcing since it is a task or problem that is outsourced to an undefined public rather than to a specific, named group.