Monday, November 27, 2006

The creativity of swarms (= crowdsourcing)

I discovered this Wired article about Crowdsourcing in Kai Fischbach’s new blog Open Business Models. It describes how professional photographers selling their pictures on the Web for $150 per shot are put out of business by Web sites like iStockphoto . Millions of amateur photographers are putting up their photos there for $1 per picture.
The same has become true for videos, where companies can get video clips from Web sites like iFilm at a fraction of the price it costs to produce such a video. The other two examples in the article, the innocentive marketplace who is outsourcing chemical and pharmaceutical research to individual researchers, and P&G’s connect&develop program sending out technology entrepreneurs on a global hunt for new product ideas are well-known examples of highly successful collaborative innovation also.

Recently I stumbled into another great example, when I was speaking at the 125 year anniversary of Telekom Austria in Vienna. Besides eating delicious Sacher Torte in the Hotel Sacher, I also learned about individual TV in the Austrian village of Engerwitzdorf. This Telekom Austria project gives real power to the masses – every inhabitant of the village can put up her or his own TV program or movie. There is even a self-selected “council of elders” who makes sure that sex videos don’t make it into the program. The Engerwitzdorf project has now been ongoing for a few years, and has been recognized by different national and international prizes and awards.
There is no stopping the creativity of swarms!!!

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