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Four Reasons You Should Use Crowdsourcing

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How many times have you said it?

How many times have you said -- "only if I had two more people," "only if I had a bigger budget," "only if I had more time."

These are all common statements that plague companies of all different sizes. You understand this better than anyone -- you are a slave to the "resource mambo." It keeps you up at night because you are lacking resources. And the lack of these resources can adversely impact your products success.

But what if I told you, that you could have access to an on-demand workforce -- a labor as a service, or cloud labor, as it is also referred to. There are a number of companies that provide a service marketplace -- Freelancer.com, quickly comes to mind. A company such as Freelancer provides a marketplace that connects you to a pool of on-demand workers.

And what kind of work could this on-demand workforce do? Well, they could do anything -- really. Currently, DARPA is crowdsourcing a new manufacturing platform -- "vehicleforge.mil" -- which is meant to allow a global community of experts to improve the manufacturing of complex systems.

Now while DARPA is on the leading edge and addressing a specific need -- you need to understand where crowdsourcing can be of the greatest benefit while mitigating your risks.

There are a number of benefits that crowdsourcing offers -- here are 4:

  1. A workforce which is cloud-based and is available whenever and wherever
  2. Access to a pool of industry experts (expert sourcing)
  3. The opportunity to off-load microtasks to a workforce
  4. The possibility of reducing capital/operational costs while improving time to market

Ultimately, a business case must be developed for the use of crowdsourcing. And it is not so different from when you are selecting a vendor for a specific project -- determine the time frame, define the acceptable risks, allocate the budget, define all tasks/milestones and protect your intellectual property.

What are some other thoughts you have on making the business case for crowdsourcing?