Couple of days back, we tried to understand the definition and importance of crowdsourcing.
Today via this post would like to highlight some important advantages and disadvantages of Crowdsourcing. Without much time utilization, here we go.
- Get the work done for cheap – This is why crowdsourcing is done for most of the times. The task to be done is crowdsourced to a sea of heads. They fight tooth and nail to give you the best bang for your buck.
- Provides more value for your money – With large number of choices to choose from, even though the cost is high, we get lot many options. Like in the case of LG crowdsurcing it’s mobile that I discussed in the previous post, even though if the winning design is not used to develop a model the entries can be used for idea generation of hundreds of phones to come.
- Hassle free – No need to envisage tasks to be done. Get the finished forms and then pay for the best option. No need to maintain those employees and no need to track the whole process in development.
- Great Marketing Tool– As of now more than the benefits out of the design that LG crowdsourced, LG drew more eyeballs via the news that went viral about LG crowd sourcing. I don’t see great phone models coming but I do see good links going back to the news on Google.
- Talent comes searching for you – In case if you wanted that critical task to be done; you would have hired new employees. Those who are the right fit for the role. You would have spent $$$ attracting them. Now crowdsoure the task and rather than you searching talent, Talent comes running, searching for you.
- Stop that futile R&D – Not necessary every task that you do has to be a success. To get new products developed companies have to invest in R&D. And in case if the experiment fails you lose. Contrary to this in crowdsourcing the same thing can get done in a cheaper way. Yes even R&D is getting Crowdsourced.
- Good tool for head hunting or outsourcing – That’s where I see a long term benefit of crowdsourcing. Incase yours is a web design company and you frequently crowdsource your job to couple of people who are the same all times, you know this relationship can be converted into a contractual outsourcing. Further more this can be even utilized incase if you are looking for polished professionals to recruit.
- Crowdsourcing the wrong thing – We discussed that R&D is also getting crowdsourced but in case if you have an idea or a task to be done, there is an assumption that it will not be leaked. Make sure whatever information you provide while you crowdsource even if gets leaked you don’t lose anything.
- Whose stuff is it anyway – A major issue that I see with Crowdsourcing is that of copy rights. If Nokia claims that the artwork that LG has used by crowsourcing is a Nokia copyright, then what? It’s true that LG need not pay the royalties but would have to at least withdraw that phone off the market. What if while the crowdsourcee participates in the contest he also provides the same design to Nokia and before LG comes up, Nokia throws a similar piece in the market. The genuineness of the crowdsourcee needs to be checked.
- Wrong Marketing – At times Crowdsourcing can result in wrong marketing by passing the bad word of mouth publicity. Take for examples an automobile company tries to crowdsource its next model design. In case if the end product is proved not good from the comfort aspect and not good in aesthetics, who is to be blamed? People will simply say that the company no where takes quality seriously and rather tries to crowdsource to get the work done in pennies.
- At times you have to give that buck – For saving the crowd from crowdsourcing providers who are just trying to fool certain websites mandate you to guarantee you at least 25 options to choose from but once you get you have to chose from those 25 and pay the price. Now not necessarily you get that eye catching website you dreamt of but still you have already escrowed the money and hence you would have to live with it.
- Ideas are open – To impress you there would be people who will show you a glimpse of what they can offer, this can be risky because if you wanted a completely unique product, there are chances others too had an eye on it. And you paid for it where as others just picked it from your order page free.
- You get it cheap but it can’t be costlier – That’s an irony. Take for example to get your job done you can outsource, and by paying more you can get better results (mostly). While in crowdsourcing this might not always be true. There are various individuals satisfying your need; some might be OK with a 100 dollar bill while others try to get at least 250. The prices are random and by increasing them, you not necessarily increase the quality of work, so to say.
- Disputes will be there and hence can’t be treated as a Business Model – This is what I strongly feel is a huge disadvantage about Crowdsourcing. Getting one or two jobs or more done is simpler. But trying to integrate this to your existing Business model doesn’t seem to work at least for now. Also if you visit any of these forums where crowdsourcing is going on, what you find is one or two participants post original ideas and couple of other’s simply mimic the same altering tidbits of it. Now they can be ceased on that particular forum but if ideas get leaked across the internet there’s basically no way out. So disputes are bound to be there. (Until some disruption in seen in this area.)
I hope I helped you providing some initial advantages and disadvantages of Crowdsourcing. I will wind up concluding this as a great tool. A tool which can make or break the game, so I do suggest you to plan well in advance and take advantage of this new opportunity.
“You can’t expect to meet the challenges of today with yesterday’s tools and expect to be in business tomorrow.” source thinkexist.com