What are you supposed to do when you get a genius idea for a new product? Entrepreneurs come up with a solution: crowdsourcing.
Ben Kaufman, founder of Quirky – a social product development company, said that when he started two of his successful businesses, Mophie and Kluster, he received thousands of emails from people from all over the world telling him they have an idea that he could market. He then had his own idea: he started Quirky, a website where people pay $99 to submit their suggestions for a product. The best suggestions are turned into real products and the person that comes up with the winning submission receives 30% of the revenue.
This is not the only successful story of a crowdsourced business. Threadless, a community-based t-shirt company is said to sell millions of items a year. Graphic artists submit new designs every week, but the chance to win the $2500 prize is very small because of the high number of competitors. However, the founders of Threadless say people do this just for the sake of being creative.
Local Motors are conducting a similar business, but to a higher level, by selling a car created through crowdsourcing. It’s only model, the Rally Fighter, has sold 105 at $50,000 each. It’s designer was awarded with $20,000 and now, to maintain the interest of the public for this car, there is a contest for people who come up with ideas for refining it’s components. There is also a contest for designs of cars that are less likely to become real anytime soon, but the reason behind this is to “maintain excitement”, say it’s founders.
Nevertheless, these crowdsourced-based businesses are becoming an important member in our society today, as it gives the opportunity to entrepreneurs to have access to an unlimited source of ideas, but also keeps the community creative and people have a voice now to say what they want.