Great Examples of Crowdsourcing for Corporations

Great Examples of Crowdsourcing by Corporations

It is no secret that we live in a globally competitive marketplace where constant innovation rules the day. A great invention today can quickly become obsolete tomorrow. Corporations must fully utilize their innovative potential in order to maintain competitive edge. It is no longer enough for corporations to rely on in-house staff at company headquarters to generate ideas. Data can now be transmitted around the world in the blink of the eye, and the most innovative companies are benefitting from creative talent wherever it might be found.

Crowdsourcing is one way in which they are achieving this. It is a method of problem solving with multiple sources of input, both internally and externally, combining to address an issue that a corporation is facing. The process can be used to inform long-term decisions about direction, or simply to find more efficient ways to complete day-to-day tasks.

Consider the following examples:

  1. Dell held a social-innovation challenge. It was a seven-year crowdsourcing project which involved students enrolled at the University of Texas. Students were encouraged to collaborate to develop ideas which, if implemented, might have world-changing implications. Winners were awarded a $50,000 prize. 
  2. Anheuser-Busch is the largest brewer of beer in the world, with one of their brands, Budweiser being a best seller in the United States. They decided to enter the craft beer market. Even though the craft sector is rapidly expanding, this was a potentially expensive risk to take if it were to fail. Using crowdsourcing, the company developed a network of taste testers who collaborated to decide on the best craft beers. The network spanned countries around the world and eventually converged on an amber lager. It was named Black Crown and became a huge success. 
  3. MIT developed their own platform for crowdsourced collaboration. They recently used it to encourage many around the world to develop ways of curbing the effects of climate change. Called ‘Climate CoLab’, more than 10,000 users participated and a $10,000 grand prize was offered. A team from the University of Calgary won.

Crowdsourcing is a very effective way for large and varied organizations to quickly elicit ideas and creative input from the wider populace. It’s a key element in any modern organization’s commitment to innovate.