14 Mar, 2010
Posted by Bhavin Turakhia
Most of us have heard of the NetFlix million dollar competition (read here, here and here) that lasted 3 years, attracted 51,000 contestants from 186 countries, all competing AND co-operating to build a better recommendation engine for NetFlix so that users of NetFlix can get more accurate movie suggestions. The winners – BellKor”s Pragmatic Chaos – a team from AT&T research took the $1 million prize by providing the winning algorithm. The innovations and ideas generated on this subject during the course of 3 years was a feat unachievable by any single corporate research division.
Crowdsourcing (as coined by Jeff Howe of Wired Magazine) has been gaining considerable traction as a feasible, scalable, practical and even cost-effective method of getting stuff done – whether it is design, development, ideating, problem solving and more. We are not unfamiliar with the concept – everyone who has ever used Wikipedia has used a product of crowdsourcing. Over the last several years, many web applications and portals have emerged that have taken crowd sourcing to the next level by webifying the process and making it accessible to the masses. Taking a page from Auren Hoffman and Joe Kraus” articles – it has never been a online casino better time to be an entrepreneur. What used to take millions of dollars, swanky offices, expensive 64-way sun solaris boxes, and an elite team, can now be achieved by a single person with a smart idea. Think about it. All you need is a great idea. Dont have programmers? Make your way to TopCoder or Rent-a-coder and hire a just-in-time team. Need to give your brand visibility? Head over to crowdSpring or 99 Designs and get a logo and a look from hundreds of contributors for cheap. Need servers? You can now run on the same scalable infrastructure that Amazon and Google run on. From design and marketing, to development and deployment – you can avail the best of the resources realtime without offices, infrastructure, capital or people. Crowd Sourcing and Cloud Computing will take innovation and starting up to a whole new level.
Enough of a digression though – having spent a better part of my Sunday researching Crowdsourcing – here is a compendium of resources for your benefit -
- Look who”s Crowdsourcing – http://www.wired.com/wired/archive/14.06/look.html
- A collection of >100 successful crowdsourcing examples – http://crowdsourcingexamples.pbworks.com/
- Manual tasks
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