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Monday, August 2, 2010

The other side of crowdsourcing.

[This is a post I did last week on Brandflakes, save for a few tweaks here and there.]

The other side is really the *purer* side of crowdsourcing, a way I think it should’ve always been about: Take the bidding out of the equation and just share an idea that others improve on or alter.

This levels the playing field because neither side then has an unfair financial advantage over the other. This also lets an element back into the picture that’s been marginalized, if not forgotten completely: collaboration. I do not care if it saves a client money, crowdsourcing as currently practiced has corrupted that aspect of the relationship between client and creative.

Tracy Osborn has totally nailed this. She’s starting a company by pitching people to be her technical co-founder. (You can read all about the company plan here.) It’s for wedding invitations but really, it could be any product or service.

She’s put her idea out there completely. Her business plan, her fears, her hopes. There’s no agenda here because she’s already come up with the concept, so it’s not like someone else has to. Nobody will steal it either because, well, people would know who had the idea first. Where this really comes together for me is in the comments to the story.

They show how a community for the most part can improve, troubleshoot, or massage an idea while still remaining positive. It doesn’t *cost* them anything to share their experience(s), and in return, they help shape her business plan, in effect becoming her virtual mentor. One of them could even end up possibly becoming her partner too. (This approach is also something at the heart of a proposal for TV viewers to decide on which unseen TV pilots get aired.)

The wisdom of crowds can be a good thing—until you start bidding on it.

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