Mob wisdom means business

So-called 'crowdsourcing' lets companies create massive focus groups, garner fresh ideas, and even predict the future

But the real carrot for companies looking into crowdsourcing is the knowledge that, when it comes to forecasting, wisdom is collective.

But for all its upsides, crowdsourcing does not work for every project or company. As a rule, crowdsourcing best fits structured transactions -- such as assigning keywords to an image, buying and selling stock, taking phone calls -- as opposed to more amorphous, customized tasks such as developing a marketing plan or corporate strategy. Let's not forget, opening the gates to the masses does open your company to the usual risks.

Netflix's predictive recommendations project, for example, almost burned corporate shorts when two computer scientists from the University of Texas were able to determine that for movies other than the 100 most popular, user ratings and the dates of those ratings when coupled with reviews found elsewhere on the Internet could be used to identify sources which were supposed to remain anonymous.

Yet for many organizations, there is just too much untapped knowledge within the company walls to forgo giving crowdsourcing at least an in-house chance.

As "The Wisdom of Crowds" author Surowiecki says, "Set aside the question of trying to reach outside the organization. One of the things that companies need to do a better job of [is] tapping the collective knowledge of the people inside their organizations. Just doing that would be an important first step."

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Lena West

InfoWorld
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

David Coyle

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.

Kurt Hegetschweiler

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

It’s perfect for mobile workers. Just take it out — it’s small enough to sit anywhere — turn it on, load a sheet of paper, and start printing.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?