Chapter 20

Crowdsourcing as Advanced Business Model Innovation

In This Chapter

arrow Discovering the power of crowdsourcing

arrow Looking at ten things you didn’t know were crowdsourced

arrow Harnessing the power of crowdsourcing to improve your business model

If you've ever posted a video on YouTube, voted for an American Idol, read the Oxford Dictionary, or commented on Yelp.com, you've seen crowdsourcing firsthand. Merriam-Webster defines crowdsourcing as "the practice of obtaining needed services, ideas, or content by soliciting contributions from a large group of people and especially from the online community rather than from traditional employees or suppliers." Put in simple business terms, crowdsourcing gets many people, from customers and vendors to complete strangers, to contribute to solving a common task.

Typically, these “contributions” from the crowd are free. You can see how getting free anything from the crowd, versus paying employees or vendors, could radically impact your business model. Innovative companies from the Fortune 500 to mom-and-pop shops have used crowdsourcing to speed innovation, keep in touch with customers, create new products, find creative solutions, raise capital, ...

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