We do not see things as they are; we see things as we are.
Even the most complex crowdstorming cases we have discussed began as simple ideas. Giffgaff saw the opportunity to give more power to customers.1 Then they focused on how they would enable customers to run core parts of the business. LEGO wasn’t sure whether a handful of fans might be interested in helping to resurrect Mindstorms. The Quirky team experienced the power of lots of rapid feedback. They handed out 3,000 notepads at a 2009 conference and asked people to design iPod accessories. When the resulting product was a hit, Quirky was born to scale the process.2 In fact, no matter the domain or size of the business, all of our cases began with a simple question—“What if?”
While the search pattern goes back more than 100 years, the more complex crowdstorm patterns have only been a few years in the making. We’ve done our best to capture what is working today, but as you are reading this, we know that people are making improvements. They are asking “what if?” and revisiting everything from incentives to community management policies, from new coalitions to new metrics for monitoring. Testing, then, may be the most important part of the process, once you get started.
Fortunately, the same people who help to solve problems from business strategy to packaging design are just as willing to help you sort through the best ways to organize the crowdstorm process. Your crowdstorm participants are very ...