We are currently in the era of “crowd sourcing” which in other words refers to the situation where people have started to come together to innovate. Knowledge of individuals has become easily accessible to the organizations, which in turn are trying to draw maximum benefits from them. Competitions and reward systems are examples of ways in which these organizations derive the best possible solution for complex problems from the abundantly available resource base of individuals. For this model to become successful “networking” is a very important factor. It is also important to note here that this vast pool that is actively involved in the process of innovation could also be the final users or consumers of the product under innovation. The entire process can be encapsulated in to a cycle where the customer by involving himself in the process of innovation finds out solutions to his own problems and thus cascading to value creation. This can only be achieved in a collective networked economy with contributions from all directions.
This networked model leads to the creation of a more knowledgeable society with keen awareness leading to a holistic growth apart from improved customer interaction for the organization.
Example 1: App store - Apple
This was an innovative model centered on third party or networked pool that developed smart phone applications for iPhone. IPhone in itself is one of the best disruptive innovations of the modern day in the smart phone category. Launched in 2008 succeeding the launch of iPhone 2 App store as measure to prevent usage of non-apple applications by jail breaking, it has achieved remarkable success as high as 40 billion paid app downloads by 2013.
The model of app store is very simple where a third party develops an app for app store, the necessity of which is understood from apple forums or individuals wish or developer’s wish. The developer must be registered with apple (mostly customers themselves) and has to submit the app developed by him. Upon review by apple staff the app can either be accepted or rejected based on the quality of the app developed. If accepted the app is available for download through iTunes Store on iTunes. The user can download the app on payment of an app fee of which 30% is taken by apple as commission and the rest 70% is earned by the developer. App store has been a great success profitable to apple, the third party developer and ultimately catering to a large number of networked users.
Example 2: Linux- Ubuntu
Ubuntu is an operating system developed by canonical ltd and in the year 2004 its first version Ubuntu 4.10 was launched. From then on it has successfully introduced free open source OS every year as improved versions over the preceding ones. It supports various free source softwares and windows softwares. These softwares range from open office till video editing tools that are developed by people who want to use customized softwares and Ubuntu offers the platform to do so.
Once tested and accepted successfully upon usage by the large consumer base the softwares developed on Ubuntu platform becomes paid software that can be downloaded by paying a particular nominal amount.
The major advantage linux Ubuntu provides is the fact that it acts a testing OS for various other softwares and software developers who get valuable feedbacks through Ubuntu forums. Here changes and additional requirements of the customers are understood and worked upon by experts who also are consumers of these softwares.
Latest initiative by Ubuntu is its mobile os and app development wing which develops free source mobile apps
This article has been authored by Ankit Tibra and Madhusudan TV from IMT Ghaziabad
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