“Crowdsourcing - I can see how useful this is, but I’m having a hard time thinking of what I’d use it for exactly.” This is by far the most common reaction to an explanation of how easy and broadly accessible crowdsourcing (getting work done on-demand) is now through Smartsheet.
I guess this shouldn’t really be that big of surprise. Any time a new technology enables something magical, it’s a little hard for folks that haven’t been noodling on it for a long time to consider how it can change their everyday lives.
Three of my favorite examples are so commonplace now, it is hard to imagine life without them.
- “The wireless music box has no imaginable commercial value. Who would pay for a message sent to no one in particular?”
- Associates of David Sarnoff responding to the latter's call for investment in the radio in 1921.
- “Television won't last because people will soon get tired of staring at a plywood box every night.”
- Darryl Zanuck, movie producer, 20th Century Fox, 1946.
- “There is no reason anyone would want a computer in their home.”
- Ken Olson, president, chairman and founder of Digital Equipment Corp. (DEC), 1977.
Of course, these inventions all developed into world changing technologies. The early skeptics simply lacked the vision to see how they might be useful, largely since they had no existing frame of reference. As the creative minds of the time began tapping the reservoir of possibilities in each, entire industries grew around them.
It’ll be pretty tough to match the economic impact of the 3 examples above, but with the internet flattening out the planet and information work accounting for a growing percentage of the high value work, I predict that paid, technology powered crowdsourcing will grow in excess of 100% per year for most of the next decade (over a Billion dollars in the next 5 years).
In the spirit of helping further jump starting that growth, we held a short Twitter Event to provide an idea session on how to wrap your head around getting started with Smartsourcing (our crowdsourcing technology) in your business. Here is the organized Twitter feed of the discussion. We didn’t get anyone else wading in with questions or comments, but as usual, question began arriving over the course of the day following.
There are a wealth of other examples on this blog as well as on the Smartsheet Blog. As always, feel free to contact me to get started.