Leveraging the power of the crowd to solve a Business problem is not a new concept. It has been done for years and in the UK it can be traced back to at least 1714.
In 1714 – British Parliament offered £20,000 to the first person who could invent a device to determine a sailors longitude at Sea.
Using crowdsourcing to solve a problem is a very commercially astute proposition as most of the time the prize fund being offered by the competition organiser will be less than the monies expended in R&D solving the issue. However for an individual company the kudos of winning can now gain you global recognition and business (See Goldcorp Below)
The Canadian gold mining group Goldcorp made 400 megabytes of geological survey data on its Red Lake, Ontario, property available to the public over the Internet. They offered a $575,000 prize to anyone who could analyze the data and suggest places where gold could be found. The company claims that the contest produced 110 targets, over 80% of which proved productive; yielding 8 million ounces of gold, worth more than $3 billion. The prize was won by a small consultancy in Perth, Western Australia, called Fractal Graphics.
Even though using crowdsourcing is not new, different ways to accomplish this are continually evolving (See my post of May 3 on Funded Apps). However to date there are still very few platforms which can allow you and me to crowd source for anything we need until now.
There is a new site called Prizes.Org which allows you to do just that. Have you every wished you could offer a financial prize to solve your problems? Why not try this site out there are people wanting you to “name their unborn children”,” plan their honeymoons” and even design logos.