Today, instead of a phrase, you're hearing the word "Crowdsourcing". A different word with a different definition, but ultimately driving toward the same goal as the ancient proverbs: Harnessing the power of multiple minds to creatively solve problems.
Note: I'm not including crowdfunding in this post, as I covered it in a three-part series I wrote last year. While it is arguably a type of crowdsourcing, crowdfunding harnesses the finances of the crowd to bring a new idea to life vs creating and expanding upon the ideas themselves.
|Image courtesy of Salvatore Vuono / FreeDigitalPhotos.net|
The advantages of crowdsourcing? Even in fashion, one of the more difficult industries for an emerging designer to break into, as the Smartplanet article states, "...a rising new class of fashion businesses that, instead of handing down mysteriously conceived designs from on high, is turning to the crowd to decide what to make, and how much of it."
There are a multitude of crowdsourcing sites creating business solutions, such as web design, graphics, microwork, and microtasks. A few notable crowdsourcing sites include:
- gengo: An online translation service that uses a network of more than 7,500 pre-screened and rated translators to provide high-quality translations in 33 languages. (TechCrunch)
- InnoCentive: Crowdsourced solutions to business, social, policy, scientific, and technical challenges from 300,000 diverse and creative thinkers and problem solvers from nearly 200 countries.
- PatientsLikeMe: A data-sharing platform, where patients can share and learn from real-world, outcome-based health data.
- waze: A community-based traffic and navigation app where 30 million drivers share real-time traffic and road info, either passively or actively. Gamification and social networking are included.
After the flattening of the world and normalization of globalization, it's easy now (thank you, hindsight) to see just how inevitable and incredibly creative the concept of crowdsourcing really is. What better way to harness the expertise and experience of people both in our communities and around the world to creatively solve problems?