Manufacturing can be one of the key backbones of any country’s economy. Certainly is has been key in the United States for a hundred many years. It’s a topic Derek Singleton of Software Advice (pictured) wrote about today in a post titled Three Ways to Bring Crowdsourcing into Mainstream Manufacturing. He then kindly requested that I comment on it.
…Crowdsourcing product development in manufacturing can speed up innovation, but obstacles--such as intellectual property issues--are preventing it from becoming commonplace. My article suggests three ways to bring crowdsourcing into the mainstream:
- Ease into crowdsourcing for idea creation.
- Divide projects to protect intellectual property.
- Create a single file sharing system for design files.
Given your expertise, I thought you'd have some great insights to offer on this topic…”
In Derek’s post, he says,
“Marc Halpern, Vice President of Gartner Manufacturing Industry Advisory Service, recently suggested that crowdsourcing could fix manufacturing by leaning on crowds for some aspects of product design and development.”
I agree there is great opportunity in many minds coming together on a tough topic. Sometimes a solution is obvious to someone from a different field of expertise simply because they can see the problem via a different lens. Intellectual Ventures has been perfecting that approach for nearly a decade.
However, focusing on the title of Derek’s post, about ways to make Crowdsourcing mainstream in manufacturing, it’s useful repost some of my older material. Specifically, using eCommerce as a means to think about how to make Crowdsourcing mainstream in any industry.
It stands to reason that shopping for work done via an online on-demand workforce would need to meet these same criteria to become mainstream. My 2 year old research report goes into detail on this. In particular, the crowd needs to match the need, and payment rate needs to drive quality and timely response.
From the report:
Paid v. Free Crowdsourcing
Free Crowdsourcing in development, design, content creation, content review, question answering, etc is represented successfully in successful mega-examples like Wikipedia and Linux. And, it will continue to grow and evolve as a viable means to get productive work done by the crowd. It differs from Paid Crowdsourcing in that work gets accomplished only if it’s entertaining, emotionally fulfilling, or leads to recognition. Other work will simply not get done.
To drive this point home, here are a few simple examples:
Paid Crowdsourcing vendors provide business people with tools that ensure their work is completed by someone in a timely fashion, at equal or better quality than a full-time workforce. They enable the provision of monetary incentives along with other incentives, like recognition, that improve the likelihood of getting satisfactory results in a timely fashion.
The vast majority of work we need addressed would not qualify as fun, therefore, paid crowdsourcing is the path to mainstream. It should come as no surprise that the lion’s share of mature crowdsourcing examples is in the design and web development field. Clearly understood deliverables and lots of fun and recognition incentives (as well as being a good means to compete for clients) increase the likelihood of satisfactory results and reduce the need for high pay rates.
“… To achieve the objective of leveraging the knowledge of the masses, business must realize that to get the best answers, it is necessary to attract those who can give them, and these are the people who also best know the value of the knowledge they hold.”
So much to say on this topic, and so little time…