Bir Ventures is a virtual technology incubator where most of the work is crowdsourced. We take full advantage of current crowdsourcing platforms and so far we had been successful in avoiding major setbacks. Use of crowdsourcing helped us in developing three exciting products and brought them to the market within twelve months.
The explosive growth of the Internet and the ability to access it through smartphones and tablets has made conditions conducive to creating crowdsourced products by tapping into the skills of a multitude of users. If you need a piece of code written, just ask the people on different social media platforms for help and you could have programming experts contributing their code-writing skills to your project. You could be sitting in your home office in Colorado, and coordinate or utilize groups from the far corners of the globe to work on your business tasks.
So why should you crowdsource? And what are the implications of using it in your business? In this post, I will cover four reasons that may contribute to your decision of crowdsourcing some of your work. My next blog will offer specific examples from our experience at Bir Ventures.
1. Access To A Bigger Talent Pool
Crowdsourcing gives you access to a large talent pool with much wider and deeper skills in specific areas of business. The traditional way of recruitment does not allow the freedom or capacity to find this type of skill set to handle projects. You can call only a limited number of local candidates with requisite talent for an interview. These people may or may not have the required ability to effectively carry out your business tasks, or the ability to work with each other and to take a project through to completion.
Crowdsourcing, on the other hand, gives you access to a wide talent of professionals to choose from. You don't have to formally recruit them as employees of your company. You can choose to work with them for the duration of the project, as contract workers or on the basis of time-based remuneration.
2. Expert Talent
Today's business environment calls for tasks of increasing complexity requiring specialized skills. Crowdsourcing is one way to allot complex tasks to true specialists who can accomplish them in a timely and effective manner. It is one way to avoid project delays, because people judged it as incompetent are not allotted tasks which they will find themselves unable to do. Instead, they can concentrate on tasks which they are suitable for and can work on more effectively.
3. Outsource Repetitive Tasks
Projects that involve a large volume of work, or those that have a huge amount of repetitive tasks, are most suitable for crowdsourcing. You can break down the tasks and allot segments to a large number of workers from all around the globe and get the work done within minutes or hours. For instance, if you need 50 articles on a single topic, you can get 50 articles in five hours by crowdsourcing the writing work.
If you allot the entire project to one person, it might take a week to finish it. The person engaged on the writing work might find the whole subject boring and exhausting to get done. As a consequence, the quality of work will also suffer. Crowdsourcing can solve this problem by distributing the work among large number of writers.
4. Lower Cost
For repetitive and large-volume projects, it is possible to get quality work done at a low cost. If you outsource the project to workers from Philippines or India, where wages are much lower than in developed nations, it is possible to get high quality work for a fraction of the cost. Compared to that, hiring full-time workers and paying them well in addition to providing other benefits will inflate your project cost and overheads.
Crowdsourcing may not work all the time and for all projects. It is rather risky to allocate complex technical tasks to workers in remote locations who may not be able to grasp all the details. I will try to cover challenges in another post.
Please give your feedback and share your experiences because it will help me improve and it will motivate me to write more on this topic.