There are so many apps available in the market today that is often difficult to distinguish which ones are better from those that are worse. Sure, there are plenty of app directories ready to be searched and used but many become outdated and the best apps become lost in the immense sea of the appverse.
MercMob is a relatively new entrant to the crowdsourcing field and brings with it a unique spin on collaborative project management. The company is based out of Cambridge, MA, and was co-founded by Greg Millington and Adam Peruta. The company went public in April and currently has over 500 users, but is growing exponentially and anticipates 10,000 users by years end. Though not as large as some of crowdsourcing’s leaders, it is impressive considering their only form of marketing has been one advertisement on Intrade.com.
Here’s an example of a question many entrepreneurs are asking:
I am a chef by profession, and I’m starting a catering company. I keep hearing about the importance of having a well-thought out naming strategy or an impressive logo design, but I just want to keep things simple. Can you please tell me the number one secret to creating a name and logo that will jump out at my prospective clients and make them want to hire me?
There is a new crowdsourcing company in town to compete with websites like Amazon Mechanical Turk. The startup, called MobileWorks, allows programmers to introduce human intelligence into software code by turning software requests, which are sent in using application programming interfaces (API), into small tasks. These tasks are then crowdsourced and the results are returned to the client which treats and incorporates them as if they were another piece of software.
Kaggle is an Australian company that crowdsources predictive models. How does Kaggle do this? By hosting competitions of prediction models. Clients post their problem and correlating data promising a prize money for the most reliable prediction model provided by the community.
Many charities and individuals are looking for innovative ways to reach donors and manage projects. Good fundraisers include Karaoke Night, a Scrabble tournament, and even a “Don’t Come Event,” where you issue tickets for a fabulous event that’s not actually going to happen.
EnglishMajor.com, a new crowdsourced content provider by parent company Crowdsource, LLC, offers freelance writing opportunities for students, graduates, and others. Built on top of Amazon’s Mechanical Turk platform, EnglishMajor.com brings together a crowd of highly qualified freelancers and over 150,000 writing jobs each day. Writers are matched with jobs that pique their interest and, in a spin on the curated crowdsourcing model, have the opportunity to advance as they demonstrate their quality and reliability.
Do you need to pick up a birthday cake, but you don’t have the time? Do you need to buy a ticket, but you don’t have the patience to wait in line? Do you need help moving the furniture around the house? TaskRabbit is a company with one answer to all these questions: crowdsource it.
Companies, organizations, and governments have been taking advantage of the power of the crowd long before Jeff Howe coined the term “Crowdsourcing” in 2006. TopCoder is one particularly successful example of a company that recognized the value of crowdsourcing before the term’s relatively recent explosion of popularity.