We looked at 10 applications of the crowdsourcing concept for business. They cover the broad disciplines of marketing, advertising, product development, customer service, public relations, human resources, outsourcing, project management, Web development, coding, social media, and quality assurance. In some cases, crowdsourcing is the business. Some companies, such as Netflix, have put a mighty fine price tag on their crowdsourced efforts. Others, like Dell and Starbucks, utilize the concept on
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Vitaminwater's approach was a delicious mix of marketing and product development. In 2009, it gave consumers the chance to hack their hydration in on online lab that allowed them to pick the company's next flavor. It also tacked on a $5,000 prize for the person that designed the new beverage's label. Vitaminwater's Facebook page played an integral role -- the "lab" was really just a Facebook app -- and produced a good example of the natural intersection between social media and various deployments of the crowdsourcing concept. The winning flavor, Vitaminwater Connect, was announced in 2010; the label even included the Facebook logo. Social media continues to be a big part of the company's public presence: Today, Vitaminwater's Facebook page serves as its official Web site.
Building A Mobile Business MindsetAmong 688 respondents, 46% have deployed mobile apps, with an additional 24% planning to in the next year. Soon all apps will look like mobile apps – and it's past time for those with no plans to get cracking.