What is Crowdsourcing?

Crowdsourcing uses a group, or “crowd”, to create something new, including a business, an idea, or a solution to a problem. The beauty of crowdsourcing is that it brings people together and unites them under one common cause. Thanks to the internet, crowdsourcing has become even more advantageous, allowing people from everywhere and every walk of life to participate in something bigger than themselves.

Because of its human nature, crowdsourcing spans industries and produces limitless potential outcomes. The goal of one crowdsourced project is often drastically different than the goal of another. While some crowdsourcing projects simply want to raise funds for a cause, others ask for total participation to the point that people change their entire lives in order to be a part of what’s being created.

At its heart, crowdsourcing is tapping into human potential and then taking action.


Where is crowdsourcing used most?

Although every sector has benefited from crowdsourcing in one form or another, the ones that most frequently rely on crowdsourcing in order to advance their field further are:

  • Marketing
  • Education
  • Health
  • Finance
  • Enterprise
  • IT
  • Science


How does crowdsourcing work best?

Crowdsourcing is most powerful when people are joined together in order to develop a solution to a problem. Whether that solution creates a new business, raises funds, or just gives a new way of looking at something, crowdsourcing is always powered by the ingenuity, generosity, and adaptability of human beings.


Which businesses have used crowdsourcing to get started?

There are thousands of examples of successful businesses and organizations that have used crowdsourcing in order to get off the ground. Some of the most well-known examples of crowdsourced success include:

  • Starbucks didn’t come into existence because of crowdsourcing, but it has become more popular because of it. One of the most popular crowdsourced projects ever, Starbucks announced a contest to help design their famous white cup, asking artists to use social media in order to share their unique designs. This type of crowdsourced marketing has been replicated by hundreds of thousands of businesses on social media since the original Starbucks contest took place.
  • The entire business model of Airbnb relies on crowdsourcing. Without people offering to rent their houses to strangers around the world, Airbnb’s product wouldn’t exist.
  • A popular freelance website, Fiverr crowdsources experts and professionals from nearly every niche and allows business owners and entrepreneurs to use their knowledge and skills in order to launch businesses, complete projects, etc.


What are the pros and cons of crowdsourcing?

One of the main reasons why crowdsourcing has become so popular in the last decade is because technology and the internet have made it so easy to bring people together. And while crowdsourcing is brilliant for encouraging new ideas and innovation, one of the other reasons why so many businesses utilize it is because it’s an affordable solution. Not only does crowdsourcing often save you time, but it saves you energy too, especially when you look at how much more efficient crowdsourcing can be.


Of course, nothing is perfect. While crowdsourcing has a lot to offer businesses, it does lack confidentiality, making it a less than ideal solution if you’re working on something proprietary or just a great idea you don’t want someone ripping off.

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