02 June 2008


The crowdsourcing revolution, users get paid?

In a recent evaluation of some social networking sites, we find that many sites are valued in the $20-$25 per user range for a one off purchase.

On that basis, and the traffic from this site based on unique users, that's me back to being a dot com (dollar) millionaire again then. However, finding a buyer is another matter.

Seriously though, I am rather surprised at the economic model at work here.

1. Clever programmers write some website software. If you're in the UK you're unlikely to get stock options for this.

2. Said website goes onto become hugely successful, clever programmers don't usually get to become millionaires based on this (bebo being one of the few UK exceptions).

3. Said website is then based on active users, who contribute content. This content then drives further user activity fostering a community some of which has commercial value in the form of advertising. Millions of users contributing content = crowdsourcing. Users build up the site "for free" rather than the pre Web 2.0 days of a company having to pay a 3rd party to do it.

We've moved from the Web1.0 days when you needed to pay content editors to have good content on your site (about.com) to Web2.0 when with a decent site site owners get this content for free. So what's next? I would suggest the next economic revolution on the net is that rather than taking the users for a free ride, they should be paid back in shares based on a proportion of the advertising revenue that their content generates. Then when the company is sold, they get cash for those shares and a reward for having built the site up rather than nothing in the way of a financial thank-you for making the site a success.

There's no such thing as a free lunch and personally I am rather surprised at the hundreds of hours people spend on social networking sites, building up value in those sites for a tiny number of shareholders who walk away with 9 figure payouts and the users who created that wealth getting nothing in return.

Crowdsourcing isn't that new, Adam Smith wrote in 1776 in the founding work of economics the wealth of nations that "the division of labour is the source of economic growth". So what about a fair day's wage for a fair day's work in 2008 then? Profit sharing plans for employees are nothing new in the US although still something of a novelty in the UK, is it such a stretch to extend this concept of profit sharing out to crowdsourced content creators?

People aren't slaves. They shouldn't expect to work for nothing. If the contributors to these sites simply downed tools and said "no more contributions until I get paid for them", the Internet would perhaps turn into a different place with more money being distributed out to the original content creators and less of it being sucked into the middle and the search engines that serve up advertising.

Who do you think is more worthy of being paid?

Is this the new economy?

Craig (posting to his own site).

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13 October 2007


Program it all

Will we see increasing programmability and customisation around the home? If not just to meet the needs of the consumer perhaps any company seeking to market environmentally friendly products would prefer to be selling products that can be easily upgraded and adapted?

Please vote for this idea on crowdspirit...


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21 January 2007


The hot 100 beta products

Nice to be involved with CrowdSpirit who are 18th on this list, ahead of Google and the second highest new entry.

CrowdSpirit also got a mention by Businessweek recently. Why not read the CrowdSpirit blog for the latest news?


28 November 2006


Crowdsourcing for consumer products - Web 2.0 hits manufacturing?

Crowdspirit launch on Techcrunch. Using Web 2.0 collaboration for inventing and improving consumer electronic products.

read more | digg story

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CrowdSpirit - crowdsourcing for consumer products

CrowdSpirit: Using Web 2.0 to transform product creation and distribution

Today sees the launch of the first public beta of the CrowdSpirit site, an international venture based in Scotland (Edinburgh) and France (Paris and Grenoble), which couples the power of crowds and the collaboration of Web 2.0 to reinvent the supply chain and product development cycle.

CrowdSpirit has been created to resolve the problem of popular consumer products taking too long to reach the market place, not always being in tune with the public's needs and being unduly held up trying to find a route to market. Even The Beatles, JK Rowling and the inventor of the wind up radio all had significant problems setting up a supply chain to get their market leading products in front of an adoring public. It is not in the inventor's or the public's interest for it to be so difficult.

CrowdSpirit believes that the general public and not commercial interests are the best advisers on novel product creation and are targeting the field of electronic products to turn their revolutionary manufacturing vision into reality.

A joint venture between veterans of the IT and electronics business in the UK and France and Grenoble EM, CrowdSpirit is harnessing the "power of crowds" to allow inventors and adapters of technology to take their products to market via a collaborative distribution channel which overcomes many of the difficulties that inventors have faced in the past. Furthermore this distribution channel provides opportunities for inventors, developers, distributors and manufacturers to contribute at different stages to enable the supply chain.

This is Crowdsourcing taken to the marketplace and has been hailed by Marc Benioff, CEO of salesforce.com, as "The next wave". Analysts believe the concept of product creation by companies that dynamically build the supply chain could be set to change the world of business. Sometimes labelled as 'prosumerism', Web 2.0 allows it to happen.

Web 2.0 has seen a massive generation of on-line content from blogs and video challenging traditional media companies. With the recent YouTube sale and the rapid movement of TV companies putting content on-line, Web 2.0 has only just begun. The media is, however, just one consumer space. CrowdSpirit is targeting the electronics sector initially and other sectors could follow as the Web 2.0 revolution extends outwards from on-line content through one consumer market after another.

Further Details

Business Model and the
team profile

Contact: the team by email on team@crowdspirit.org, or
Tel+[33] 6 86 87 25 49


10 October 2006



The crowdsourcing revolution is coming. Read the blog. Official website launching shortly.


24 April 2006


Web 2.0, I prosume?

Web 2.0, the Prosumer has arrived. About time.

Web 2.0, the trendy new web with pastel shades, rounded graphics but above all user interation.

However, why is Web 2.0 taking so long to happen when we could see it coming before the dot com crash?

The rise of the prosumer, the centre of Web 2.0, was first foretold in 1980, about 10 years before the web was invented.

26 years after the seeds of Web 2.0 were sown we begin to see it take off. So much for Internet time then. If that's Internet time in action then maybe Internet time has slowed down to real time in the post crash era.

Perhaps anyone interested in Prosumerism and web 2.0 could help me make some use of prosume.com which I registered 5 years before Web 2.0?

Once web 2.0 begins to move from chat and recommendation into product creation, then the prosumer economy will have arrived and the third wave will be in full force.

About time.

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