Crowdsourcing: How the power of the crowd is driving the future of business
How were a bunch of part-time dabblers in finance able to help an investment company consistently beat the market? Why does pharmaceutical giant Proctor and Gamble repeatedly call on enthusiastic amateurs to solve scientific and technical challenges? How can companies as diverse as iStock and Threadless employ just a handful of people and yet generate millions of dollars in revenue every year? The answer is that they all draw on the power of Crowdsourcing. First identified by journalist Jeff Howe in an article in “Wired” in June 2006, Crowdsourcing describes the process by which the power of the many can be harnessed together on the internet to build and to innovate. Now, in his eagerly awaited book, he shows precisely how this has become possible – how complex social, technological and economic developments have fused together to make Crowdsourcing an increasingly powerful force in more and more areas of our daily lives. And in the course of showing how Crowdsourcing is going from strength to strength, he investigates why it is that Crowdsourcing communities are so smart – why intuition rather than deep knowledge can lead to major breakthroughs, why a collection of dilettantes often seem to know more than lone experts, and why Crowdsourcing causes ideas to snowball and yield astonishing results. Crowdsourcing is now a part of our lives, whether we’re aware of it or not. If we’re to benefit from what it can achieve, we need to understand where it’s come from and how it works – and where it’s taking us.