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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Starbucks often gets credit as an early success story of a big business putting Web-based crowdsourcing into action. Dell's IdeaStorm gives a virtual nod to My Starbucks Idea for inspiring its own ideas site, for example. Based on the force.com platform, the Starbucks site solicits ideas and feedback from its customers. Ideas break down into three categories: Product, Experience, and Involvement. Since the site's launch in 2008, caffeine junkies have ruled the roost: There have been more than 24,000 ideas tagged "Coffee & Espresso" alone, by far the top sub-category. Starbucks adds a social aspect to the mix: Other users vote on submitted ideas; there's even a leader board to keep score. The Ideas In Action section tracks suggestions that the company is taking seriously, from review through launch. A recent example: Starbucks just made Hawaiian Kona coffee available in all its stores as a result of a customer idea.
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.