Crowdsourcing is Corporate Jargon

Crowdsourcing is Corporate Jargon

Crowdsourcing is tainted so let’s gift it to corporations for their Power Point presentations.  It belongs to those who use the millennium’s broad bandwidth of human connection to capture creative innovation for personal or corporate profit.  It’s Jargon. Crowdsourcing is using the innovation of a crowd with similar interests to further a cause. Ultimately, in most cases, this means financial profit.

It’s not evil, but let’s get real, crowdsourcing isn’t innovation as much as novelty. Structuring a business around crowdsourcing is doing little more than upping your pool of freelance talent in order to put downward pressure on price and upward pressure on uniqueness. The former almost always happens, the latter is much tougher to achieve. [see iStockPhoto]

The tendency is to focus on what something triggers; what it can do to us (fear) and for us (profit). Where will it take our business? What can I do to harness the new thing? Conduct a SWOT analysis. Crowdsourcing models are an answer for what we can do to take advantage of motivated people through technology and its broad reach. It does little to answer how our interconnectiveness (is that a word?) will change creativity or its landscape.

Chris Anderson

TED conference curator Chris Andersen’s characterization, “Crowd Accelerated Innovation”, is the foundation for why we are in a creative awakening.  Finding the best and learning from a larger pool is why we pay heed. The pool is really a stream filled with potential geniuses who are showing passion, knowledge and skill while screaming, “look at me”. We look, learn and long for the spotlight to shine our direction.

The crowdsource model is a plan to capture innovation for a purpose.  Crowd Accelerated Innovation however, is driving the ideas, skills and dreams of creative individuals. The spotlight is on; everyone is on stage in a global “Gong Show”. Crowdsourcing is a funnel while Crowd Accelerated Innovation is a megaphone.

What seems to be easy to forget is that people are doing it for themselves; answering, “what’s in it for me?” Equally easy to forget is that money clouds passion by focusing on an end game that rarely has anything to do with passion’s origin. For the creative, “what’s in it for me” is not a plan to make money; money is an attractive by-product not a root creative passion.

In this TED presentation, watch what Chris Anderson has to show us about Crowd Accelerated Innovation:

Creativity, Crowd Sourcing, Innovation, Passion

One Response to “Crowdsourcing is Corporate Jargon”

  1. Bruce DeBoer Says:

    This is a comment I made on Don Giannatti’s blog who commented on this post. You can find that blog here: http://wizwow.posterous.com/

    In my opinion Crowdsourcing shows some legit breakthroughs in scientific innovation but I’ve yet to see any in our fields of design and advertising; still waiting. [I have further opinions as to why that I won't touch here.] I share your skepticism when it comes to Crowdsourcing design but I’d direct you to the idea of Open Source design which is more of a creative management practice than a tool to take advantage of connectivity. Companies like NewKind.com are broad thinkers in this area.

    I admire Chris Anderson’s take on Crowd Accelerated Innovation. As a photographer, think back to the 80′s when we all eagerly thumbed through source books like Alt Pick and Black Book to help gauge our industry standing and find new approaches to shooting. Hell, I used to ask art buyer friends to call in books just so I could see what others were showing.

    Fast forward: Now, we are overwhelmed with imagery to the point of wanting to turn away to concentrate on forging our own expression. This has done more to accelerate my talent and innovation than anything else in the past 15 years. Clearly most people can say the same thing.

    In my opinion, Crowdsourcing is the corporate shiny object that is distracting us from what’s really going on and could quite easily keep companies from competing at the same level as an Apple Computer for example. You won’t find THEM crowdsourcing will you?


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