Crowdsourcing and New Product Development

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.