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Book review: Crowdsourcing: Why the Power of the Crowd Is Driving the Future of Business

My Rating: 7/10

If you have read Groundswell: Winning in a World Transformed by Social Technologies, Wikinomics: How Mass Collaboration Changes Everything, and The Wisdom of Crowds, Crowdsourcing: Why the Power of the Crowd Is Driving the Future of Business repeats many of the concepts that were well described in those books.

Crowdsourcing is a good book and provides plenty of background and detailed explanations around some of the well known “crowdsourced” companies such as threadless.com, topcoder.com, istockphoto.com, and a few others.

The basic concepts are as follows:

  • There are 1 billion Internet users with anywhere between 2 to 6 hours to spend per day;
  • There is a large portion of the population that is over-qualified for their day job and as such are looking for ways to use their skills;
  • Combine these facts with a drastic decrease of the cost of technology and increased power of technology and the possibilities are endless;
  • Most importantly ‘amateurs’ can now compete on the same ground as professionals in many fields;
  • As an organization, you cannot control what the crowd will do – the crowd decides what it will work on. The community will work on project of their interest;
  • You should start a crowdsourcing project with the intend to make money BUT you may end up making money as a consequence of collaborating with the crowd.

Overall, we are only seeing the beginning of crowdsourcing.

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