THE BLOG

Election 2016 -- Crowdsourcing the Next President

02/26/2015 05:28 pm ET | Updated Apr 28, 2015

If we assume that part of President Obama's election victory in 2008 was due to his ability to "reach out and touch" so many via the Internet and social media whereas his opponents, be it Hillary Clinton and then John McCain, missed out...

And if we assume that feeling reached out to by Obama when people didn't feel the same by his opponents truly differentiated him...

We will conclude that the Internet and social media has fully arrived as a force to be reckoned with in election campaigns.

Flash forward eight years. All serious candidates for president will have made the Internet and social media a significant part of their campaign efforts. And all of them will be looking to establish the "brand" that they will promulgate far and wide. That is something we're already hearing a great deal about with regard to Hillary Clinton.

By definition, many marketers will tell you that your brand is your promise. Whether it's buying from Whole Foods, Zappos, Amazon, Costco or McDonald's, their brands indicate that you can pretty much expect and rely that your experience with them will be similar from store to store. And all the candidates are busy determining what their "promise" should be to get elected (vs. what in actuality it turns out to be afterwards when they have to deliver on it).

Many other developments have occurred in the last eight years. These included the box office phenomenon, Avatar, the advent of crowdsourcing and crowdfunding, and the ability of the Internet and social media to drive the creation of services and products specifically tailored to them where the Internet imitates life and life imitates the Internet.

With this new ability to have the Internet and social media dictate the creation of what we all want and need and the elimination of what we won't tolerate and stand for, the time and opportunity to identify and select the best person for the office of president is upon us.

To that end, what would happen if we "crowdsourced" the next president and ostensibly, the leader of the free world, by eliciting from the Internet the profile of that person who would best serve us, and I mean all of us?

What if we all weighed in on that profile according to the following criteria:

  1. The capacity to engender hope, trust and confidence that will not wither in office - a way to identify the qualities that will do that would be for people to weigh in with positive adjectives and adverbs that a candidate consistently embodies over time and negative adjectives and adverbs that they never embody
  2. Relevant experience, expertise and results in getting things done - must have a track record of strongly influencing others and in being able to access resources and the cooperation from people with opposing views
  3. Values - as determined by their track record of votes and decisions made and policies supported vs. mere words with an accompanying compelling and convincing explanation that rings true to their constituency (not merely their party)
  4. Judgment - track record regarding effective judgment calls regarding vision, strategy, people and in times of crisis and explanations of those that ring true to their constituency
  5. Declarative leadership - track record of declaring their positions and strategies vs. (weakly) explaining them (It was the Declaration of Independence vs. the Explanation of Independence)
  6. International credibility - a track record of being able to meaningfully and effectively interact with leaders from around the world

After collecting that data and from it constructing an the avatar that best represents that profile, we would then match the candidates that come forth to it and see who is the best fit for the "hope in our stars."