Leveraging the Collective Intelligence and Effort of Digital Crowds

October 31, 2015

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 tackle a range of problems such as innovation problems and funding startups. 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 to make your contribution. Please create appropriate tags for your post. Please also respond to and comment on three other posts per module. Feel free to use graphics, data, videos and links to other sites to corroborate your points.

Please prepare a two minute pitch about your blog entry before the class.

Submitted (136)

Threadless: The Continuing Success of one of the older Crowdsourcing companies
Alexander Soley
Last modified on October 29, 2015 at 11:26 pm
Freakanaut design (sold out) One of the most well-established crowdsourcing design companies is Threadless (est. 2000), a design company that does not create designs but instead sources them from its users and sells them. The users create designs to put [...]
Wikipedia, the Father of Crowdsourcing
Last modified on October 31, 2015 at 12:52 am
Wikipedia can probably be said to be the father of internet crowdsourcing. Building on a non-for-profit business model, Wikipedia launched a free, web-based, multilingual and collaborative encyclopedia in 2001. Aiming to be “The sum of all human knowledge in one place” [...]
Domino’s Pizza Mogul – Crowdsourcing Pizzas via Social Media
Last modified on November 2, 2015 at 5:56 pm
Pizza Mogul: "Create a pizza. Get a slice of the profit."
A/Z Testing: Crowdsourcing the ad creation process
Asaf Lifshitz
Posted on October 31, 2015 at 11:24 pm
rather than having your ad agency come up with only a handful of ad options, why not crowdsource?
Lay’s Do Us A Flavor Pushes Consumer Engagement Beyond Point of No Return
Jon Malankar
Posted on October 28, 2015 at 1:42 am
The votes have been tallied.  A victor has been chosen.  The winner of the Lay’s Do Us A Flavor contest for 2015 is…Southern Biscuits and Gravy!  After receiving millions of submissions from consumers all over the U.S. and logging millions [...]
The Netflix Prize: Crowdsourcing to Improve DVD Recommendations
Last modified on October 31, 2015 at 12:55 pm
Netflix utilized crowdsourcing to develop innovative solution to improve its recommendation engine by 10%. The 3-year Netflix Prize attracted 44,014 submissions, and was ultimately won by a team that had combined algorithms after the second year of the contest, proving [...]
Why We Should Crowdsource Cannabis Research
Last modified on November 3, 2015 at 3:00 pm
Crowdsourcing can revolutionize cannabis medicine through leveraging the power of personal narratives and the strength of global cannabis advocates.
FOOD52 Makes Every Food Enthusiast Feel like Emeril
Posted on October 31, 2015 at 6:04 pm
Food52 allows food enthusiasts of all experience levels to partake in collective cooking content creation.
GasBuddy: from a friendly gas price whisperer to a data analytics giant
Posted on October 31, 2015 at 1:53 pm
Have you ever felt the frustration of driving down the highway with a freshly filled gas tank only to find out that 2 miles down the road the next gas station had a lower price? Well, GasBuddy is here to [...]
Amazon Studios: Crowdsourcing Feedback to Produce Content
Last modified on October 27, 2015 at 8:15 pm
Through soliciting customer feedback on its pilots, Amazon Studios determines which shows to greenlight before producing a full series.
Can the HBS case method for learning be exported to earlier stages of education?
Posted on October 30, 2015 at 10:51 pm
The HBS case method leverages crowdsourcing inside the classroom to enhance the learning process. By exchanging perspectives, defending different points of view, and building on other’s ideas students teach and learn from each other. The role of the professor is [...]
Lessons from Duolingo’s Effort to Support Free Language Learning from Crowdsourcing
Last modified on October 31, 2015 at 3:28 pm
@duolingo crowdsourced text translation platform allows users to learn a new languages online for free
AngelList Syndicates: Crowdsourcing the Limited Partner role
Posted on October 31, 2015 at 5:35 pm
AngelList – an investing platform with the tagline “Where the world meets startups” – has historically been a platform where angel investors could review self-created profiles from aspiring entrepreneurs (think LinkedIn for startups).  If an angel investor liked what they [...]
Betabrand: Because the Market Demands Bicycle Suits
Posted on October 30, 2015 at 6:52 pm
Yoga pants that double as dress pants? Reflective blazers for biking to work? “Executive” hoodies with pinstripes and cuffs, or “Academic” hoodies with tweed and elbow patches? “Sock Insurance” in case the laundry eats one of yours? If the market [...]
Quora: Quality and profitability are still open questions
Last modified on October 27, 2015 at 12:25 pm
Quora has turned to the crowds to create a high-quality Q&A site, but maintaining quality and building profitability may remain challenging.
NASA is Getting Crowdy and Saving us from Asteroids
Donald Frump
Last modified on October 30, 2015 at 4:09 pm
Crowd sourcing the hunt for potentially dangerous asteroids.
The Demise of Digg: How an Online Giant Lost Control of the Digital Crowd
Sean L
Last modified on November 1, 2015 at 3:17 am
Digg's inability to prevent fraudulent voting allowed power users to take control of the site's content and undermined its mission to produce democratized news.
Nextdrop: sourcing from the crowd when the crowd doesn’t have internet access
HC Watcher
Posted on October 31, 2015 at 3:00 pm
Nextdrop, a tech start-up in India looking to solve water utility logistic issues, is breaking many rules. They are a for-profit company, but they plan to make their money from solving a social issue. They are a tech company sourcing [...]
Spacehive: Crowdfunding Civic Projects in Great Britain
Last modified on October 28, 2015 at 5:43 pm
Spacehive democratizes urban planning by funding projects directly through the crowd.
General Mills Crowdsourcing – Will they pull it off?
Last modified on October 29, 2015 at 10:35 pm
General Mills - One of the largest branded food manufacturers in the USA is turning to crowdsourcing for everything from new products, packaging to process improvements. Are they trying to do too much? Will emerging food entrepreneurs partner with them [...]
50% + 1 Rule
Posted on October 31, 2015 at 11:37 pm
Successful professional sports team are no longer solely owned by one wealthy individual. The 50%+1 rule is the perfect fan-owned team model that creates both high revenue and fan engagement.
Quirky to a Fault
Clay W
Last modified on November 3, 2015 at 3:00 pm
Quirky was the crowdsourcing innovation platform of the future, until it wasn't
Waze, or how to crowd-source your way
Last modified on October 30, 2015 at 1:31 am
From a modest Israeli start-up to one of the highest valuation during its acquisition by Google, Waze embodies the success of crowdsourcing ventures, and allows for a much cheaper method of data collection than that used by major corporations - [...]
VerbalizeIt – Emerging from Failure
Posted on October 30, 2015 at 5:45 pm
How human powered translation on the go is emerging from failure