Crowdsourcing and New Product Development

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Mention crowdsourcing in a room full of product developers and you're sure to see some concerned faces. 

While there are plenty of uses cases including content creation and labor-intensive tasks like research, arguably the best idea is for product ideation and problem solving. 

Crowdsourcing allows you to harness the intelligence of hundreds --perhaps even thousands -- of people to generate ideas or solve problems. There are now a number of websites where you can solicit creative minds for help with simple tasks like designing a company logo (such as 99designs). With crowdsourced design, a logo may cost $200 instead of $400, and with websites like Upwork, you can connect with multiple designers in a short period of time.  

The benefit of crowdsourcing for idea generation or problem solving is not just the ability to leverage thousands of ideas -- it can also help you control costs. If you cannot afford your own research and development (R&D) team, or if you have a limited budget, offering a fixed prize can keep your project out of the red.

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5 comments

DennisW 01-16-2016 1:39 PM

The potential problem with crowdsourcing a concept is copyright, trademark and other IP related risks if not already secure. Large corporations fish these waters for unique concepts and ideas. If you do not have a war chest of at least 20 to defend a patent you essentially do not have an enforceable patent. It has truly become a first to market world and a creative strategy to do so most often negates widespread exposure.

DennisW 01-16-2016 1:39 PM

The potential problem with crowdsourcing a concept is copyright, trademark and other IP related risks if not already secure. Large corporations fish these waters for unique concepts and ideas. If you do not have a war chest of at least 20 to defend a patent you essentially do not have an enforceable patent. It has truly become a first to market world and a creative strategy to do so most often negates widespread exposure.

DennisW 01-16-2016 1:39 PM

The potential problem with crowdsourcing a concept is copyright, trademark and other IP related risks if not already secure. Large corporations fish these waters for unique concepts and ideas. If you do not have a war chest of at least 20 to defend a patent you essentially do not have an enforceable patent. It has truly become a first to market world and a creative strategy to do so most often negates widespread exposure.

DennisW 01-18-2016 7:39 PM

War chest of a least 2 million

CareyD 01-19-2016 4:45 PM

I have run several R&D Organizations that used IP attorneys, Copyright and patent filings to protect our work.  Even then, it is a slippery slope.  I agree 100% with DennisW in his assessment.

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