Crowdsourcing has revolutionized the way in which several companies and initiatives in the work world: from new funding models to delegate tasks to even ordinary people.
The term ‘crowdsourcing’, a word that comes from the union of the English words crowd and outsourcing was coined in 2006 in an article in the magazine Wired and emerges as a model of ‘outsourcing’ or outsourcing based on the use of human talent or ‘multitudes’ external to a company or a project.
The idea is to get resources, whether financial or human capital, to meet specific objectives, which can range from tasks such as creating audiovisual products collaboratively to collect some money to catapult a venture or manufacture of a product .
It is important to consider two elements are configured as the engine of crowdsourcing: the ‘crowd wisdom’ concept widely explored by James Surowiecki in his book The Wisdom of Crowds, and ‘will’.
The first refers to knowledge that can be found in people and that may come to play a decisive role in their projects. The wisdom of the “crowd” is an asset that today not only tell startups to develop their projects, but also large companies that have managed to drive based on the intervention of his followers activities.
The will, for its part, is the engine of the actions around the “crowd” the impulse to individuals involucrate and take sides: it is not a “must do” but a “want to do” which carries this model to be successful in many instances initiatives.
Based on the above two basic elements – wisdom and will – other models that generate open innovation, knowledge, data and value collectively, with a focus on devising products also exist.
Such is the case of Quirky, a platform for co-creation designed for inventors around the world through it, people share product ideas, resort to collaboration to modify them, improve them and finally bring them to execution. During they reinforce a community where knowledge is exchanged constantly towards making inventions.
A different model is the one used platforms like ‘ TaskRabbit ‘ “microtasking” or “microtasks”. In this case, a person postulates a specific task or need (to the market, pick up a medical examination, assemble a piece of furniture, etc.) and a fee for someone to help resolve it.
Members of the community are available to perform this task and receive remuneration in return. To ensure the smooth functioning of the model, the platform requires that for each service provided, who perform tasks receive a rating by those who receive help. Thus a reputation system that generates a quality guarantee and served it up is created.
The ‘crowdshipping’ is another model recently explored seeking to solve a common problem: the shipping of merchandise or goods from point A to point B.
Friendshippr platform that coined the term, found a simple solution we have often used naturally, and transformed it into a business model: ask a favor to a friend. The application uses the basis of networking users to know who and when traveling to the required destination, establishes a communication channel to make the application and thus avoid shipping costs of conventional messaging services.
The ‘crowdspeaking’ fixes problems that can cause the noise generated by the over-social information in time to convey a message networks, and has been used from artists to politicians through Thunderclap, the pioneering platform model.
The idea is simple: use the extent that each individual in social networks to spread messages of mass and simultaneously. Posits a person wants to spread the message that defines the day you want to do and determines a minimum number of ‘backers’, ie people who make available their best to support the cause. As in the ‘crowdfunding’, in this case only it takes place if the postulated action project receives the minimum number of backup profiles.
The “crowdranking” used by platforms like Reddit or Upbeat, is to use the judgment or taste of the “crowd” to classify content; In the first case, news and links circulating on the Web; in the second, songs.
This is important because the model to empower people to rate the content generates a high level of participation and empowers users for it is they who decide what information or content has more value.
The most popular type of crowdsourcing is the “crowdfunding” or collective financing model under which products or projects are funded by taxpayers interested in them through a platform.
Kickstarter and Indiegogo are arguably the two best-known crowdfunding platforms globally and have funded a number of projects in a very wide range of specialties, from albums of artists, through cameras to capture pictures 360 to drones taking pictures in high definition.
In the case of Latin America include Idea.me, crowdfunding platform that has allowed artists, educators, social entrepreneurs and innovators over seven countries in the region to finance their ideas.
The model generally works as follows: the project creator sets a target capital gain and a deadline to collect it date so that people who are interested in the project do make donations so that it can meet the financial goal for their development.