Crowdsourcing is the New Black

Crowdsourcing is the New Black

Crowdsourcing is the New Black

Crowdsourcing and crowdfunding has changed the way creatives bring their work to the masses.

Crowdsourcing has changed the way many start-ups, indie artists, filmmakers, musicians and writers seek to bring their works to the masses. And why shouldn’t it change the landscape for such endeavors? Crowdsourcing is one of the most innovative new means of bringing talent formerly unnoticed or underfunded.

While crowdsourcing has become a go-to source of funding it is also something that like most things, now has abusers of the services. These cynical abusers of crowdsourcing either put up campaigns where they have no intention of following through, essentially defrauding the backers, or abusers who put up nonsensical campaigns that erode and take away from the hard working creatives seeking the funding to bring their creations to the masses.

So how do we continue to keep crowdsourcing as “the new black”? Easy, with integrity, strategy and planning. Anyone considering a crowdsource campaign needs to conduct due diligence and make a realistic strategy to get the product, app, or whatever it may be into production or through the creative stage. Crowdsourcing remains the new black as long as it remains a bona fide way of supporting up and comers and genuine creatives with drive, ambition and unappreciated talent.

Yes, when any campaign begins, it goes up against many well known participants, with contemporary examples being crowdsource campaigns for movies by Spike Lee and Zach Braff. It is too easy to become bitter and claim they are taking money away from the indies who need the funding. But this is not the case. The Spike Lees and Zach Braffs are using a new method of turning their talents into films or whatever, and that only benefits all.

Keep crowdsourcing viable and make a business plan for your campaign. ask yourself, “what is our mission statement?” and write it down. When you are in doubt of anything in the creation of the campaign, simply go back to that mission statement, and if what you are stuck on does not jibe with the mission statement, use it to change and rewrite that part of the strategy for the campaign. And above all else, live up to your word. Deliver the product the backers have spent money to bring to life. Give frequent updates on the campaign updates page. I have run two successful crowdsource campaigns, and yes, they are the new black, but they are work. Work requires more than effort. It requires integrity and motivation. Keep those in the crowdsource platform and it is a guarantee that crowdsourcing will remain “the new black” for years to come.

Ubuntu-Edge-hopes-to-blitz-Galaxy-S4-iPhone-5 v2

Is Ubuntu Crowdsourcing the Most Radical Smartphone Yet?

Ubuntu-Edge-hopes-to-blitz-Galaxy-S4-iPhone-5 v2With eight days left in its thirty-day campaign to raise $32 million dollars, Ubuntu looks like it’s going to come up short in their bid to crowdfund the Ubuntu Edge smartphone. This is far from shocking as this would have meant that the aggressive thirty-day crowdfunding campaign would have more than doubled the record amount raised by the Star Citizen video game over the course of an entire year. The Edge aims to be the next generation smartphone, a device far more powerful than current smartphones and one that doubles as a PC. Ubuntu aims to bring its desktop and mobile technology to the mainstream while also luring Android users into its smartphone. The phone would simultaneously run Android and Ubuntu’s mobile Touch software.

So what is Ubuntu in the first place? Unless you’re a Techcrunch addict or building the infrastructure to your company’s network, it is likely Ubuntu and its Linux-based open source software are under your radar. Started in 1991, it was the first open source and free operating system developed. In a sense, Linux was an early example of a crowdsourcing platform. Anyone from developers to curious beginners could use the platform and collaborate to build their own version of a Linux-based operating system or application. Even if you want nothing to do with Linux, 80% of your pockets are lined with it as Android was built on the platform. Ubuntu has the world’s most popular free operating system, utilizing Linux in a user-friendly conventional desktop form.

Why the Edge and Why Crowdfunding?
The concept of the Ubuntu Edge project seems obvious. Why not look for the best upcoming tech and throw it together to stay ahead of the competition? As Unbuntu’s founder Mark Shuttleworth explains, the industry giants are the roadblocks to introducing new smartphone technology. Phones are built with the goal of selling tens of millions of copies. Manufacturers simply do not want to include up and coming technology until it is proven that the hardware can be affordably manufactured at high volumes. Since there is no testing ground or small scale experimental production in the industry, the innovative progress of the market runs at the pace accepted by the mainstream manufacturers. Think of it as playing safe; even a heavily marketed phone with the “best” technology is not really showing the consumer what technology is really capable of.


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Contribute to funding and share in the benefits of a smart sensor Challenge!

We’re trying out a new crowdfunding initiative, which is still in its very early stages. Here’s what we can share with you already – if you’re interested in knowing more, get in touch!

Do you have an interest in new technologies in smart sensor systems? We’re looking to run a Challenge in this space, and half the funding has already been pledged by a government entity. We are looking for individuals and organizations that would be interested in contributing to the prize fund. Minimum contribution is $1000 and we are looking for a minimum of $50,000 in pledges. This is a great opportunity for anyone who is interested in open innovation Challenges and the smart sensor space, but is not ready to fully fund the project alone. If you’re interested or would like more information, please contact by April 26th, 2012.

Girl with water

Crowdsourcing meets Crowdfunding to improve lives

Girl with waterIn 2010 we announced the Global Giveback Challenge Series – an exciting 3 phase partnership with GlobalGiving, a peer-to-peer philanthropy marketplace, and the Rockefeller Foundation to crowdsource solutions to problems facing vulnerable communities.  We are excited to be entering phase 3 of the series:

Phase One: Identify dire problems that could be solved via the InnoCentive Global Solver Community.  Global Giving crowdsourced ideas from its then 800-partner membership.

Phase Two: From the submissions, four water-related Challenges were developed and posted to the InnoCentive Challenge Platform, and awards of up to $40,000 per Challenge were offered by the Rockefeller Foundation.

Phase Three: Crowdfund implementation of the solutions.  The Challenges and their solutions are now posted to GlobalGiving for funding. For the month of February, The Rockefeller Foundation is matching every donation 200%.

More information on each of the projects is below.  This is a rare opportunity to see InnoCentive sourced solutions through to implementation.  To donate to one of these projects, please visit the Global Giveback Funding Challenge page

  1. Design of an easy-to-use method to purify water from Lake Victoria in Uganda, making it safe to drink. Proposed by the EDGE project, this Challenge sought a way to provide 100 homes with water filters that would improve upon current filtration systems for the cost of one gallon of bottled water in the developed world. Submitted by Chris Schulz, an environmental engineer from Denver, Colorado, the winning design is simple, low-cost, user-friendly, and effective against almost all bacteria, protozoa, and some viruses. EDGE will assemble and distribute filters to their partner community in Uganda this summer, allowing hundreds of individuals to go about life without fear of intestinal disease and parasites, empowering people to break the bonds of abject poverty.
  2. Sunlight/UV-light Dose Indicator. Proposed by Fundacion SODIS in Bolivia, this Challenge sought a visual sign of water that had been exposed to a sufficient dose of sunlight or UV-light for disinfection. A team of four graduate students from the University of Washington developed the winning solution: a solar disinfectant indicator that is self‐contained, self‐powered, low‐cost, durable, and reusable. Composed of off‐the‐shelf components and proven technology, the indicator should withstand a minimum of 10 years of use.
  3. Design of a low cost Rainwater Harvesting Storage Tank for a Wetland Region in Kerala India. Proposed by Rainwater for Humanity, this solution was provided by Mario Rosato, who also won an award for his solution to The Economist-InnoCentive Challenge, The Capture of Atmospheric Carbon to Address Global Warming. Rosato proposed a rainwater catchment tank that could be constructed of panels made from bamboo fiber, coconut husks, or other vegetable fiber conglomerated with cement. Implementation of this solution has the potential of reducing the cost of rainwater harvesting by 60 percent.
  4. Small-scale River Turbines for communities along the Amazon River. Proposed by Green Empowerment, this Challenge sought a design for a river turbine to generate power for villages, schools, and medical centers in the Amazonian jungle in Peru. Alain Lemyre, a weather forecaster from Quebec, provided the winning design: an improved river turbine model that is appropriate for the region, technically and economically accessible, and constructed with materials available in developing countries.

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