Crowdsourcing Week Europe: lessons learned

Crowdsourcing Week Europe: lessons learned

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Crowd Expedition visited Crowdsourcing Week Europe in Copenhagen. In three days, we talked to more than twenty experts and listened to many presentations. What are the most valuable lessons learned? An overview.

First of all, it’s important to mention that Crowdsourcing Week is about more than crowdsourcing. It’s about collaboration, innovation, crowdfunding, new ways to create value, social entrepreneurship and sharing. In short, the three day festival covered several topics and we can’t possibly do justice to all of the insights the speakers provided. But we’ll try to highlight the most important ones.

1. The potential is huge, but it’s only the beginning
Speakers like Sean Moffitt and Shelley Kuipers showed great examples of what you can do with crowdsourcing. According to Roland Harwood, the issues you can solve with crowdsourcing are limitless.

But what the speakers also illustrate, is that a lot has to happen before crowdsourcing and collaboration become mainstream. According to Vasilliki Baka (IT University Copenhagen), more and more companies experiment with crowdsourcing. But they’re not close to using it up to it’s full potential. “Either they use it for customer enagement, or for employee engagement. They need to be more open in general,” she says.

2. Traditional companies can reinvent themselves
One of the most inspiring talks came from TextMinded: a translation company. They started out as a traditional agency for translating text and one day changed they’re businessmodel radically. They now use crowdsourcing to provide faster and cheaper translating for their customers. TextMinded makes use of the capabilities of people all over de globe, so language options are limitless.

3. Crowdsourcing requires boundaries and communication
Another great example is LEGO Group. Troels Lange Andersen tells us how his companies uses crowdsourcing for marketing research and to boost innovation. Lego makes use of the creativity of their fans, but clear boundaries and agreements are essential. “You need to be clear about what you can and cannot do. Communication with the crowd is key. It’s also very important to set the record about legal rights, share of profit and intellectual property.”

4. Facilitating is a great business model
New technology and a different mindset lead to new businessmodels. Companies like Google, Facebook, Ebay and AirBnb are succesful because they facilitate their customers. Ebay is an enormous warehouse; without a single product in stock. Same goes for the biggest competitor of the hotel industry: AirBnb doesn’t own property, it owns a website. And data.

But for these businessmodels to work in the long run, the owners have to start thinking about privacy and trust. Steve Jennings (NordicDei) explains how they can use trust to create more value.

Want to see more about Crowdsourcing Week? View the presentations on SlideShare and check out our video channel!