Innovation by Competition: How Challenges and Competition Get the Most Out of the Crowd

Posted by jartese on Jan 9, 2014 3:31:01 PM

Crowdsourcing has become the 21st century's alternative to problem solving in place of traditional employee-based strategies. It has become the modern solution to provide for needed services, content, and ideas. Crowdsourced ideas are paving the way for today's organizations to tackle innovation challenges that confront them in today's competitive global marketplace. To put it all in perspective, crowds used to be thought of as angry mobs. Today, crowds are more like friendly and helpful contributors. What an interesting juxtaposition, eh?

Case studies proving the effectiveness of crowdsourcing to conquer innovation challenge, particularly in the fields of science and engineering abound. Despite this fact that success stories involving crowdsourcing are plentiful, very few firms are really putting its full potential to use. Advances in ALS and AIDS research have both made huge advances thanks to crowdsourcing, just to name a couple.

Biologists at the University of Washington were able to map the structure of an AIDS related virus thanks to the collaboration involved with crowdsourcing. How did they do this?  With the help of gamers playing a game designed to help get the information the University of Washington needed. It was a solution that remained unattainable for over a decade until enough top notch scientific minds were expertly probed from around the world with effective crowdsourcing techniques.

Dr. Seward Rutkove discovered an ALS biomarker to accurately measure the progression of the disease in patients through the crowdsourcing tactics utilized in a prize contest by an organization named Prize4Life, who utilized our Challenge Driven Innovation approach to engage the crowd.

The truth is, the concept of crowdsourcing to innovate has been around for centuries. But, with the growing connectedness of the world due to sheer Internet access, the power and ability to effectively crowdsource has increased exponentially. It's time for corporations to realize this, and stop relying on stale sources of innovation. What we have here is a tale of two Approaches to target innovation challenge:

The Traditional - Hire multiple sources of talent in your scientific and research departments specific to a new need.

Crowdsourcing - Tap the unlimited potential of seeking solutions from all over the world. The best and brightest minds across the globe can all be reached through the right crowdsourcing techniques that can be implemented from professional firms that are skilled in this practice. Also, keeping all of your companies innovation sources in-house, the crowds never go away. Employees will come and go, and their ideas will go with them. Crowds are always available. A limitless resource that can be used "on-demand."

Topics: Innovation Insights

Follow InnoCentive

Search Blog

Join 5,000+ Subscribers

Recent Posts