Competing with or Against Crowds

March 26, 2018

Read The Full Prompt

In this module we have examined how firms can leverage digital technologies to harness the power of collective intelligence from the crowds to create value and capture value. For this assignment you have three options:

1 – Pick one industry where no firms have leveraged crowds, and come up with a crowd-based business model that may potentially transform the industry. Describe how you plan to create and capture value. Explain why the crowd will participate, and why your crowd-based model is better than the current model employed by the incumbents.

2 – Describe a company that is using crowds (external or internal) in an innovative manner. Describe how they incentivize participation and manage the crowd. What are the challenges? Describe how value creation and value capture occur, and the growth potential of this business.

3 – Companies often struggle with crowds as well. Describe failed crowdsourcing efforts and explain how and why the company failed. Given what you have learned in the course, what would you do differently?

Create an approximately 500-750 word post at to make your contribution by 6pm on March 26. Please create appropriate tags for your post. Please also respond to and comment on three other posts per module before class. Feel free to use graphics, data, videos and links to other sites to corroborate your points.

Submitted (84)

Is Amazon’s Mechanical Turk breaking down?
Posted on March 26, 2018 at 1:09 am
Workers are disgruntled in Amazon's MTurk marketplace, but can they successfully demand more rights?
Homejoy’s Not So Joyous Demise
Posted on March 25, 2018 at 1:47 pm
Homejoy's inability to solve the customer retention problem prevented it from reaching a path to profitability.
A Quirky attempt at crowdsourcing inventions
Posted on March 24, 2018 at 10:43 pm
How Quirky’s unusual approach to idea generation left them without the high-quality products necessary to achieve success
Rethinking The Grocery Shopping Experience
Curtis Christensen
Posted on March 26, 2018 at 5:21 pm
Grocery stores haven't changed in decades. A crowd-sourced "GPS" for the store can revitalize the experience.
Crowdsourcing the U.S. Military’s Next Combat Vehicle
A.J. Steinlage
Posted on March 26, 2018 at 5:59 pm
Can the Department of Defense crowdsource the next ground combat vehicle?
Posted on March 25, 2018 at 6:10 pm
Crowdsourced reviews for businesses might seem commonplace and mundane today, with Yelp commanding a valuation of $3.4 billion and 145 million average monthly unique visitors. Yet the company’s beginnings in 2004 demonstrate how leveraging the crowd was not always an [...]
Google Voice Search
Last modified on March 26, 2018 at 10:53 am
Google developers crowdsourced linguistic data to give Voice Search more mojo.
Facebook: Crowdsourcing Disaster Response
Mike M
Posted on March 25, 2018 at 4:39 pm
Harnessing the power of crowds for humanitarian efforts following disasters.
Peers Crowdsourced: The ultimate solution to recruitment and training
Posted on March 26, 2018 at 5:50 pm
What if you can crowdsource your peers' knowledge of you to help your recruitment process, the training that your employer provides to you and your personal progress?
Crowdsourcing Your Next Chip Flavor: Lay’s “Do Us A Flavor” Campaign
Brittany W
Last modified on March 24, 2018 at 6:43 pm
A blog post on the positive and negative aspects of Pepsi's Do Us A Flavor Campaign. Do the results of crowdsourcing campaigns signal long-term consumer interests or are they just short-term fads?
FORE! How Crowdsourced Rulings Failed the PGA Tour
Ross Galloway
Posted on March 26, 2018 at 5:33 pm
Allowing viewers to call-in rules violations improved accuracy, but this improvement was more than offset by frustration with the massive influence a TV viewer could have on a golf tournament.
CrowdMed, a virtual Dr. House
Saurav Patyal
Posted on March 26, 2018 at 3:52 pm
CrowdMed is an online platform that connects patients with difficult medical conditions to a medical community that uses its collective intelligence to find the right diagnosis.  When a patient has a rare condition or non-specific symptoms, getting an accurate diagnosis [...]
Leveraging Crowds: Making Stadiums More Efficient
Posted on March 26, 2018 at 2:55 pm
Can you use the crowd to achieve ultimate dynamic pricing?
CookUnity – a New York food delivery start-up of home cooked meals prepared by a community of local Chefs.
Posted on March 26, 2018 at 3:11 pm
A New York food delivery start-up of home cooked meals prepared by a community of local independent Chefs.
Fundrise – Real Estate investment for everyone?
Posted on March 26, 2018 at 11:40 am
Fundrise is a private real estate investment platform that allows average individuals with low capital to invest in real estate.
Amazon takes on Hollywood
Last modified on March 26, 2018 at 3:58 pm
A Big Tech company reinvests the old American classic by harnessing the power of the crowd.
LEGO Ideas – Attracting creative builders
Posted on March 26, 2018 at 3:18 pm
Outsourcing product ideation
Accenture – Professional Services Giant Leveraging the Crowd?
Last modified on March 26, 2018 at 6:01 pm
With $100M market cap, >$35 billion in revenues, and 425,000 employees, Accenture is arguably the largest professional services firm in the world. With no products, Accenture’s greatest asset is its people… they sell human capital. Therefore, decisions about how to [...]
Building Together: How LEGO leverages crowdsourcing to sustain both innovation and brand love
Last modified on March 26, 2018 at 5:48 pm
LEGO has created an online community of nearly one million members and is using crowdsourcing both to select new product ideas and provide their most loyal supporters an outlet to share their creations. building a platform to crowdfund classrooms
Last modified on March 25, 2018 at 8:20 am is a non-profit crowdfunding website connecting individual donors and teachers / classrooms in need. They successfully built a platform where 75% of gifts are from donors who don’t share ties to those making the request by building trust, transparency, [...]
Apple ResearchKit – Crowdsourcing Medical Research
Last modified on March 26, 2018 at 5:40 pm
Apple ResearchKit - Crowdsourcing Medical Research. Is it a good idea by Apple? Why is Apple well positioned to deliver such a framework? Has it been successful?
The Largest Secret Santa Exchange in the World
Posted on March 26, 2018 at 3:59 pm
RedditGifts lets you exchange gifts with strangers on the internet, and it's less creepy than it sounds.
RealtyMogul – Is Crowdfunding Real Estate Investment Worth It?
Posted on March 26, 2018 at 3:33 pm
RealtyMogul is a real estate crowdfunding platform where investors, real estate investment sponsors, and borrowers come together to create mutually agreeable real estate investments.
Crowdsourcing for Cash – Cryptocurrency Mining
Posted on March 26, 2018 at 4:50 pm
Bitcoin has taken advantage of distributed computing. What other resources are underutilized and ripe for crowdsourcing?