There’s a major trend in culture right now called crowdsourcing. Crowdsourcing is the idea that there is great value in utilizing the skills, abilities and opinions of others around us for things we need, whether it’s places to stay, rides to work, or creating a design for a logo. Crowdsourcing has become very popular with services like Kickstarter, and Indiegogo, and lots of companies and products have been birthed from these sites alone.
Now, if you’re headed out of town, you don’t have to stay at a hotel for $100, you can find a guest room for $40 on AirBNB. Instead of paying $50 for a cab-ride to the airport, you can use services like Lyft or UBER to get there for half the price. And Lyft utilizes normal folks sharing their vehicle. Threadless uses crowdsourcing to help identify new designers for the t-shirts they print. Quirky uses crowd-sourcing to find new inventors to produce new products that are voted on by their audience, who then buy these items on their website and places like Target and Beth, Bath and Beyond. Crowdsourcing and the sharing economy is literally changing the way things are created and we do business everyday.
Another example of this crowdsourcing is the popular site Belly Ballot, which leverages a user’s friends to help them choose a name for the upcoming new additions to their families. You pick your five favorite baby names, you invite your friends and family to vote on their name choices, and then announce your winner on Facebook and Twitter. It has been featured on NPR, NBC’s Today Show, as well as Parents Magazine and US Today, as well as others. Lots of couples love the way Belly Ballot makes their friends a part of this very special decision, and parents have a lot of fun with it. We recently supported them by donating a mattress to their giveaway.