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Crowdsourcing: What It Means for Innovation

Tue, 06/16/2009 - 5:42am
John Winsor

Editor's Note: Any creative professional should have an opinion on "crowdsourcing" and the other euphemisms for web-based work-replacement initiatives. This issue raises many questions. Do you outsource work now in your company? Do you freelance your design work to others? Do you use the web to get work? Are you planning to go independent and start a company? Will you outsource your work? I'd love to hear your answers and ideas on teh subject. How do you feel this trend will change design?

(Business Week) -  Some have predicted that crowdsourcing is the future of the marketing, advertising, and industrial design industries. The phenomenon, they argue, will accelerate creativity across a larger network.

Others, meanwhile, have predicted this practice of opening up a task to the public instead of keeping it in-house or using a contractor will be the demise of those businesses because of the downward pressure on prices. If LG crowdsources a new cell phone design on CrowdSpring for $20,000, as it did recently, what happens to the old model of paying a design firm millions of dollars for the same project?

So which is it? Does crowdsourcing represent the beginning of the end of creative organizations? Or does it herald the beginning of something bigger and transformational for those agencies—and for business in general?

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