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Definition: Crowdsourcing

Crowdsourcing means getting ideas from the crowd. It is the combination of two words crowd and outsourcing. The basic idea is to use the skills and intelligence of large group of online people for some specific goal which includes new product development, existing product/design/process modification, co-creation of ideas to solve a social problem etc.

According to The New York Times, “Crowds are a hit. Millions of people, connected by the Internet, are contributing ideas and information to projects big and small. Crowdsourcing, as it is called, is helping to solve tricky problems and providing localized information. And with the right knowledge, contributing to the crowd — and using its wisdom — is easier than ever.”

Getting crowd involvement gives access to a large talent pool available online which eventually results in more efficiency, less cost, more ideas and hence better innovation. A typical example of this model is Wikipedia which is the most popular online encyclopedia available. Anyone is allowed to register in Wikipedia and submit a new entry or modify the existing entry.

Crowdsourcing model is now getting adopted by more and more companies as they are finding it easy to use the model to generate new ideas an also increase their popularity. A typical example could be where people are trained and tested before they start working, they can view projects and choose from the list; and they are incentivized for their work.



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