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Is Crowdsourcing Really Free?

Posted by: Bruce Nussbaum on July 19, 2006

Is free labor really free and is crowdsourcing really without cost, asks Ideaport, a new blog for me and an insightful one.

Roger Dennis, author of Ideaport, has been in the innovation design biz for a while, working with Egg and others.

To me, he’s raising a critical question here: “The use of ethnography coupled with the harnessing of customer generated product ideas sounds great and gets people excited, but in practise it’s expensive and time-consuming.”

Dennis recommends a book by Anthony Ulwick—“What Customers Want.”

There is a lot of blah-blah about crowdsourcing these days and the economics of it are very important. Is it really free. Is the quality really good? Is it truly creative (on that we know—lots of it is wildly creative). These are serious questions. Thanks Roger.

Reader Comments


August 23, 2006 4:22 PM


in the same concept, look at this website that I've just noticed This is a further step on the crowdsourcing as it aims to design and sale electronic products for the first time (it's hardware development and not software for this time). It looks promising but it's just started. I'd recommand you to join this community, who knows it can work and you can potentially earn money.


July 15, 2009 10:12 PM

Hi Bruce, I do understand your concerns but your view is too much pessimist. Major experiences on open innovation are really good and bring good results. One detail is: how much open will it be? One excelente well-focused example is which creates controlled groups of innovation. This way it keeps confidentialy and agregates just relevant knowledge/people.
Moreover, it's free of charge. Enjoy it!


July 19, 2010 3:27 PM

When you're in not good state and have no cash to go out from that, you will require to receive the credit loans. Just because it should aid you definitely. I take short term loan every time I need and feel myself OK just because of this.

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Want to stop talking about innovation and learn how to make it work for you? Bruce Nussbaum takes you deep into the latest thinking about innovation and design with daily scoops, provocative perspectives and case studies. Nussbaum is at the center of a global conversation on the growing discipline of innovation and the deepening field of design thinking. Read him to discover what social networking works—and what doesn’t. Discover where service innovation is going and how experience design is shaping up. Learn which schools are graduating the most creative talent and which consulting firms are the hottest. And get his take on what the smartest companies are doing in the U.S., Asia and Europe, far ahead of the pack.

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