Throughout 2016, millions of users from around the world visited crowdsourcing sites to participate in incentive competitions and other crowd-based projects.
While the present scale is significant, organizations and individuals are just beginning to realize the value of “Innovation Management" as it's now called: the art and science of cultivating new, better, and disruptive concepts and products. To provide some perspective: One million people is less than 0.3% of the United States. For additional perspective, one million people make up less than 0.01% of China.
Understanding this, the growth potential for crowdsourcing paints an exciting picture for the new year.
Keeping Momentum from 2016
2016 saw crowdsourcing provide spectacular results for organizations of all shapes and sizes-- in a world where less than 1 out of 1,000 people understand or participate in crowdsourcing. But imagine the possibilities when participation and awareness quadruples. Crowdsourcing is growing a future where companies, governments, organizations, and individuals can ask millions of the best and brightest to chip in, to collectively shape the way our species answers our most challenging questions.
Big Crazy Vision
Millions of users don’t even represent the tip of the iceberg. The world-changing goal of crowdsourcing as a whole is one of developing platforms that house billions of users. While you might argue that niched problem-solving doesn't require billions of innovators, governments and other entities are recognizing crowdsourcing as the tool to revolutionize civic and consumer participation. Active platforms create space for community solutions to be developed and chosen in a digital town square-- a form of real-time democracy and intellectual evolution at a scale our species has never seen before.
The only obstacle?
In a world full of divisive and sensational fake-news hijacking the attention of 87 million humans each day, it’s an uphill climb to draw people’s attention in the direction of grounded, rational, and rewarding incentive competitions. But, crowdsourcing is gaining ground every day:
The Future is Bright
Still, in its infancy, the crowdsourcing space is noisy, chaotic, and full of steep learning curves as platforms, users, and sponsors learn more every day, in each challenge. But, just as the arc of history is in a long bend towards justice, the arc of innovation is a long (but exponential) bend toward equal access to recognition and open, global participation.