Advantages to Crowdsourcing

In recent years, crowdsourcing has become an accepted approach for leveraging the “wisdom of the crowd”. Perhaps one of the best examples of crowdsourcing is Wikipedia. Traditional encyclopedia companies used to employ hundreds of people to research a vast range of topics. Wikipedia has managed to put together a much larger online encyclopedia by harnessing the power of crowdsourcing. In Wikipedia’s case, this involves countless different people who are volunteers who each undertake small tasks that make up the greater whole.

Crowdsourcing is being used by a wide range of companies of all sizes to solve knowledge and innovation problems. Correctly utilizing crowdsourcing can be beneficial to almost all types of businesses. Here are some of the reasons why.

1) Cost savings. For certain types of projects, the traditional model of hiring or engaging one person or company to solve a problem for you can lead to unnecessarily high costs. For example, the difference between going to a photographer and commissioning her to take certain photographs versus going to a stock photography website can be significant. The photographs on the stock website are likely of the same or better quality as that of the photographer, but will cost significantly less money overall than the photographer would charge. Using a crowdsourcing platform to request custom photos and paying only for the one(s) you want at a price you set is another cost-saving way to use the crowd.

2) There is power in numbers. The universe of available labor accessible through online means is difficult to overstate. At any given time of the day (or night) there is an army of contractors with skill sets ranging from editing to coding to inventing to musical composition who are ready to assist you with your projects at a lower cost and faster turnaround time than traditional resources. If you need your website redesigned, a product designed to solve a particular problem, or want some quick photo editing done? These are the types of jobs that crowdsourcing is made for.

3) Crowdsourcing = free publicity. Crowdsourcing doesn’t have to work just for finding contractors to do jobs for you. Crowdsourcing also works to help further your brand. For example, say you have a new product and you are struggling to come up with a good name for it. Why not use social media or a crowdsourcing platform and crowdsource for the name? You will be inundated with suggestions and you will have driven lots of traffic to your site in the meantime.

4) You can find some very talented people. You may not be looking to hire someone, but it is entirely possible that crowdsourcing will put you in contact with people who fill a role or share your vision so completely that you will want to hire them. At the very least, it will put you in contact with numerous people who can help you down the road.

Crowdsourcing raises a number of unique legal issues.  For example, it is essential to clearly define the scope of your relationship with the crowd and who will own what rights in the finished product. Having someone create a new app or invent a new product for your company creates intellectual property that you will want to ensure belongs to you once the job is finished.

Our law firm is familiar with these nuanced legal details. If you’re considering crowdsourcing for your business, please don’t hesitate to contact us for a consultation.

Share this on...Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedInShare on Google+Email this to someone