The problem with Crowdsourcing

The Problem with Crowdsourcing {yeah – it’s not all good!}

crowdsourcing-crowdsI’ve been watching from afar in regards to the whole “crowdsourcing” phenomenon that has gained significant traction over the past few years. Almost entirely thanks to the “interwebs.”

And I’m not sure where I stand on it yet.

The ideas and projects are so far and wide. Some noble. Some genius. Others leave me scratching my head – both from the requestors – and even those that fund those people. Something seems awry (like the Little City Book Store in Hoboken – it just seemed like they didn’t have enough money).

But is this new trend a necessity?

Before I get into the nitty gritty – part of me thinks that the “old way” of getting an idea out in the forefront might be dying.

That used to mean – coming up with an idea, either having (or saving) money to produce a prototype, then marketing, building, selling and shipping whatever it is/was. Many times you’d have agents or silent investors that would guide you to your mass market.

Perhaps that “old way” (which some would say belonged to the “old school boys”), and may have had some kind of restrictions, controls, and other roadblocks depending on who you didn’t know. Yeah – it might have been what you can call a “private club.” Sort of like how the music industry used to be.

Marketing 101 – or Marketing “re-invented?”

What bugs me most about many “crowdsourced” projects I’ve run into – is that people have ideas – but have what I see as little effort into progressing that idea other than writing a few sentences or writing their campaign (plea) for money.

That’s not a bad thing necessarily – but a lot of times I see these pleas as being lame. Half-assed.

And in some instances, a fairly good idea (some guy designed an iPhone case with a built-in selfie-stick – which I hate) and the Chinese knocked it off just based on his images in the Kickstarter campaign in under a week! Holy crap!

But really – crowdsourcing – a form of Socialism?

Back in the day – you wanted to make something – you had to run the risk yourself.

Investing in today’s crowdsourcing programs also have risks. Not as much as the former “silent investor” plans of days past. These days you get a “reward,” which is often equal or worth more that you invest for being an “early adopter.”

And being a crowdsourcing “pleader,” also has risks – especially if you come up with idea after idea that stink – you end up with a fairly permanent “reputation,” which sucks to no end on the interwebs. Sticks around for awhile unless you have a “breakout” moment.

Kind of strange, right?

But now everyone thinks they can crowdsource any obscure idea

I guess that is what perplexes me the most. Is the sheer number of projects out there for consideration.

I suppose it’s the same as any “talent show” audition – where thousands show up – but only a few dozen get selected. Same goes for the crowdsource people. Except you get to see them all before anyone vets them out.

Another thing that rubs me the wrong way – I’ve seen project after project get funded – not because it was a brilliant idea, no. More because the campaign contained craftily-written passages about why people need to pay now.

Like almost every campaign has to dress it up to the Nth degree. And contain every single one of Eddie Bernays’ famous “Secret Tricks” to sell anyone anything based on emotion and guilt.

The trend is noticeable to anyone with a milligram of a discerning eye.

But it all happens so fast and far – that I doubt most people can see the big picture.

crowdsourcing

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