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)

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.
Quantopian – Crowdsourcing the Alpha!
Last modified on March 26, 2018 at 5:20 pm
Quantopian provides tools and data for quant developers to come up with investment algorithms. After, freelancers create and share the algorithms, Quantopian managers evaluate them to pick the investable ones.
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.
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 [...]
Applause: Crowdsourced User Experience Testing
Posted on March 26, 2018 at 4:58 pm
Applause crowdsources 300,000+ testers located in 200+ countries and territories who get paid for testing digital products and provide user experience feedback and report glitches
Map Kibera: Empowering Africa’s Biggest Slum with Collective Wisdom
Last modified on March 25, 2018 at 1:15 pm
Kibera is the biggest slum in Africa, largely ignored by the government and the public due to its "invisibility". How crowd-sourcing approach changed the lives of people in Kibera, and what were the impacts?
Netflix for Books
Last modified on March 26, 2018 at 1:48 pm
What started as a social network for bookworms has turned into the largest site for readers and book recommendations with 65 million members, 2 billion books added, 68 million reviews. Goodreads leveraged crowdsourced reviews, a sticky offering (more you use [...]
NET. TV: Empowering citizen journalism through NETCJ
Posted on March 25, 2018 at 4:32 pm
Widen the scope of the report in a 17,000-islands country. Cheaply.
Making Millions Playing Video Games
Last modified on March 26, 2018 at 5:51 pm
Twitch is an online platform that gives video game steamers the ability to make money directly from the viewers they attract. Unlike many traditional content creators that must achieve a minimum size to attract ad buyers and corporate partners, or [...]
CrowdFlower: Powering the Human Side of Artificial Intelligence
Last modified on March 26, 2018 at 4:54 pm
CrowdFlower is solving machine learning's dirty secret - that humans are still needed to train the models we all rely on every day.
Learning New Lessons at Duolingo
Last modified on March 26, 2018 at 5:34 pm
Duolingo faces challenges with crowdsourced translations and is building new monetization plans.
Giffgaff: the ‘mobile network run by you’
Posted on March 25, 2018 at 5:02 pm
Launched as an experiment in 2009, Giffgaff is now the third largest mobile virtual network operator in the UK (just behind Virgin Mobile and Tesco Mobile), but the only one run by its own customers. Some have believed it is [...]
Friendsurance: Friends with Benefits?
Last modified on March 26, 2018 at 3:59 pm
Friendsurance has the ambitious goal of disrupting the multi-trillion dollar insurance industry.