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The boundaries of crowdsourcing and how it relates to open innovation

The boundaries of crowdsourcing and how it relates to open innovation

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Published by Crowdsourcing.org

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Published by: Crowdsourcing.org on Dec 14, 2010
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02/03/2013

 
The boundaries of crowdsourcing and how it relatesto open innovation
Ross Dawson, December 14, 2010 4:01 AM US PT
I was recently asked to do an interview for the Turkish version of CNBCeBusiness magazine on crowdsourcing. I'm not sure whether the article willappear online - I'll share it if so. In any case here are the answers I gavethe interviewer:
1) The term "crowdsourcing" first coined by Jeff Howe in a June 2006Wire Magazine article. Does "crowdsourcing" is a new way of saying"open innovation"? Do these two terms have the same meaning? Or does crowdsourcing differs from open innovation? 
Crowdsourcing and open innovation are related but distinct concepts.Crowdsourcing covers many approaches, which I summarize as µtapping the minds of many¶. These can include service marketplaces, competitionplatforms, idea platforms, and prediction markets. In fact, all of theseapproaches can be applied inside organizations as well as externally,helping to tap some of the µcognitive surplus¶ of employees. Openinnovation is about looking outside the organization for new ideas and products, in what can be any number of ways. Often this is done oncrowdsourcing platforms, but sometimes, as Procter & Gamble does, it islargely about seeking the best existing unexploited products in the market and adapting them for its own marketing pipeline.
  
 
2) Some of the well-known companies partner with universities to callfor students to participate in their award winning competitions. Is it anexample of crowdsourcing? Or does crowdsourcing mean calling for crowds within an undefined boundaries? Because the term"university" shapes the boundaries, like the education level of peopleis determined when you call for only university students to participateto your competition. 
Crowdsourcing is not necessarily about fully open groups. As long as theprocess taps a ³crowd´, in other words many people, then it iscrowdsourcing. In fact crowdsourcing results can often be better when younarrow the pool to more qualified people. Victors & Spoils, the first crowdsourced advertising agency, only works with and wants to get contributions from the best. While graphic design crowdsourcing platform99designs is open to all, Logoworks uses only a select group of designers.The best approach depends on what you want to achieve.
  
3
) Crowdsourcing is currently employed by a large number of companies. If you think about the life cycle of crowdsourcing, whichlevel is it at right now? Introduction, growth or maturity?
 
In a corporate context, the use of crowdsourcing is still in the very early days, but beginning to pick up rapidly. While we can mention largecompanies such as IBM, Procter & Gamble, Boeing that are using crowdsourcing extensively, many others have not even begun the journey.

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