Crowdsourcing: Why the Power of the Crowd Is Driving the Future of Business (Google eBook)

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Crown Publishing Group, Aug 26, 2008 - Business & Economics - 311 pages
28 Reviews
“The amount of knowledge and talent dispersed among the human race has always outstripped our capacity to harness it. Crowdsourcing ­corrects that—but in doing so, it also unleashes the forces of creative destruction.”
—From Crowdsourcing

First identified by journalist Jeff Howe in a June 2006 Wired article, “crowdsourcing” describes the process by which the power of the many can be leveraged to accomplish feats that were once the province of the specialized few. Howe reveals that the crowd is more than wise—it’s talented, creative, and stunningly productive. Crowdsourcing activates the transformative power of today’s technology, liberating the latent potential within us all. It’s a perfect meritocracy, where age, gender, race, education, and job history no longer matter; the quality of work is all that counts; and every field is open to people of every imaginable background. If you can perform the service, design the product, or solve the problem, you’ve got the job.

But crowdsourcing has also triggered a dramatic shift in the way work is organized, talent is employed, research is conducted, and products are made and marketed. As the crowd comes to supplant traditional forms of labor, pain and disruption are inevitable.

Jeff Howe delves into both the positive and negative consequences of this intriguing phenomenon. Through extensive reporting from the front lines of this revolution, he employs a brilliant array of stories to look at the economic, cultural, business, and political implications of crowdsourcing. How were a bunch of part-time dabblers in finance able to help an investment company consistently beat the market? Why does Procter & Gamble repeatedly call on enthusiastic amateurs to solve scientific and technical challenges? How can companies as diverse as iStockphoto and Threadless employ just a handful of people, yet generate millions of dollars in revenue every year? The answers lie within these pages.

The blueprint for crowdsourcing originated from a handful of computer programmers who showed that a community of like-minded peers could create better products than a corporate behemoth like Microsoft. Jeff Howe tracks the amazing migration of this new model of production, showing the potential of the Internet to create human networks that can divvy up and make quick work of otherwise overwhelming tasks. One of the most intriguing ideas of Crowdsourcing is that the knowledge to solve intractable problems—a cure for cancer, for instance—may already exist within the warp and weave of this infinite and, as yet, largely untapped resource. But first, Howe proposes, we need to banish preconceived notions of how such problems are solved.

The very concept of crowdsourcing stands at odds with centuries of practice. Yet, for the digital natives soon to enter the workforce, the technologies and principles behind crowdsourcing are perfectly intuitive. This generation collaborates, shares, remixes, and creates with a fluency and ease the rest of us can hardly understand. Crowdsourcing, just now starting to emerge, will in a short time simply be the way things are done.


From the Hardcover edition.
  

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Review: Crowdsourcing: Why the Power of the Crowd Is Driving the Future of Business

User Review  - Shaun - Goodreads

This was a decent read with many interesting insights about the "power of crowds". As a group we're smarter than individually. I would rate this book 3.5 stars and I thought it was pretty good, but not amazing. Read full review

Review: Crowdsourcing: Why the Power of the Crowd Is Driving the Future of Business

User Review  - Rahul D'cunha - Goodreads

Nice book about a recent idea that has really caught on in the United States.Probably the future of funding which makes it really exciting and an interesting proposition to ponder over Read full review

Contents

INTRODUCTION
1
O llT THE CROWD CREATES
7
0 HOW WE GOT HERE
21
Drawing the Blueprint for Crowdsourcing
71
Democralizing Um Mwms of PrmIunn
98
Gets Done
177
O 7ll l TH E CROWD THINKS
247
CONCLUSION
278
Acknowledgments 301
300
Copyright

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About the author (2008)

JEFF HOWE is a contributing editor at Wired magazine, where he covers the entertainment industry among other subjects. Before coming to Wired he was a senior editor at Inside.com and a writer at the Village Voice. In his fifteen years as a journalist, he has traveled around the world working on stories ranging from the impending water crisis in Central Asia to the implications of gene patenting. He has also written for U.S. News & World Report, Time magazine, the Washington Post, Mother Jones, and numerous other publications. He lives in Brooklyn with his wife and children.


From the Hardcover edition.

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