The Future of Crowdsourcing

As we have described it in this book, crowdsourcing concerns any activity that is able to be broken down and that can benefit from the diversity of a large number of people. On the other hand, the expansion of the virtual world towards the real world is still in process. Undoubtedly, an innovation proposed on Innocentive will subsequently take material form. For example, a new product may be launched based on the proposed innovation. However, there is a discontinuity in this process, as shown in Figure 6.1.

Crowdsourcing results in the suggestion of ideas that must then be transformed into products. This transformation phase has traditionally been managed by manufacturing facilities. The distribution circuit of the manufactured products to the crowd of clients is classic as well. Take the example of the manufacturing of logos for t-shirts. The design portion of production will be carried out as part of a crowdsourcing operation (as on Threadless, for example). However, the manufacture and distribution of the t-shirts will remain traditional.

As Chris Anderson has brilliantly explained [AND 12], the democratization of two new technologies – 3D printers and laser-cutting machines – has changed the game.

Figure 6.1. Discontinuity in the crowdsourcing process


These types of device, connected to PCs with CAD (Computer Aided Design) software and then connected ...

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