What to watch out for when starting your own Crowdsourcing.
When companies create a mandate to invest in open innovation and Crowdsourcing, they often make the mistake of thinking that it’s simple to execute, and in most instances, it’s not. You will need to develop:
1. An audience. To Crowdsource successfully, you need a Crowd, and not just any Crowd, but one that has expertise, experience, is motivated, and above all, engaged. You will need to maintain the Crowd, cultivate it and provide enough for them to do to stay interested.
2. Legal agreements. What will happen with intellectual property? How is confidential information treated? How do you deal with ideas? What about the nightmare that some companies have gotten into with university IP? How do you protect yourself from seeing confidential information unintentionally?
3. A balance. How much can you ask from people before you need to pay them? What will incentive them, what will excite them? Motivation of Crowds is full of complexity and nuance. Not all participants engage in Crowdsourcing for the same reasons – are you addressing all their motivations, or are you leaving an entire group out of the mix? People participate for all sorts of reasons, such as for the challenge of working of a difficult problem, interacting with other very smart people (if it is a team challenge), networking opportunities, intellectual curiosity, building their reputation, and of course financial reward.
4. A platform. You will need to advertise your project, and provide a platform for receiving submissions. This platform needs to work properly, ask for just the right amount of information and speak to your target audience. Registration must be simple.
Getting all of these things just right is crutial, and being off target on just one of these things may make or break your program.
There are companies such as Collective Brain that already have all of these things in place, such as motivated Crowds, legal agreements, a network of successful platforms, plus we have a process that executes projects quickly and effectively.