Crowdsourcing and Start-Up in Crowd Economy Era


Crowdsourcing and Start-Up in Crowd Economy Era

Crowsourcing … crowdfunding  seem  familiar for us as our daily activity close to internet, news, social media and other channel. Quite common  event can muster the crowd empowered by internet. Yes, it is the crowd, but still long shoot to be classified as crowdsourcing. Ehm, starting spark some headache? I hope not, just follow me get deeper through the  sharing I’ve got in  CSW Summit 2015 in Jakarta  last week and mixed with  some references  from internet.

Crowdsourcing, Crowdfunding and Crowd Economy.

Epi Ludvik Nekaj, the founder of CrowdSourcing Week asserts crowd sourcing is about participation. Crowd sourcing is more than marketing approach, it changes business model and shift paradigm such from banking to crowdfunding platform and  the growth of customization product (co-creation process) supported on crowdsourcing project beside common business model such mass production.

Dennis List, Co-Founder of Rocki also emphasizes crowdfunding more than finance. Crowdfunding campaign need crowd and also  good product. He also adds that in crowdsourcing the value proposition is Win Win (‘WE Mentality’, ‘Think WE’).

Crowdsourcing empowering people to participate in particular mission, including  participation to raise money (crowdfunding) that the whole process called crowd economy. This crowd economy started for reason to cope the impact of global recession since 2008. At that time, that crisis has spread in  every sector affected no job offering,  loan program etc. Then raised crowdsourcing platform such increasing freelance job offering (Elance), crowdfunding platform (Lending Club, Kickstarter) etc to fill in that gap.

Crowdsourcing  vs Social Network.

Crowdsourcing and social network are about crowd. People sometimes think if having huge number of social media follower means getting the crowd. Does it can classify as crowd sourcing? In term of number, it’s crowd but not guarantee in  productivity matter. I put productivity issue here, still relate with what Epi’s thought in his session  (you can see from his slideshare also slide # 27)  about new social currency crowdsourcing=social productivity. He also put good analogy between srowdsourcing and social media.

– Crowdsourcing spawns  innovation

– Social network  spawns connection

Epi states crowdsourcing also is about passion and talent, for people who have passion to be part of  something innovative.

Crowsourcing and Crowd Role

In Crowdsourcing, its  platform muster the crowd participation  to support company/seeker as Dr. Michael Gebert  called it  in his presentation as Conceptual Risk Framework. The crowdsourcing platform can support the mission relate to Crowdfunding, Open Innovation, Social Productivity, Sharing Economy. Based on mission and goal, it could be different form one to another project such raising funding, co-creation, life improvement and others. Epi gives  crowdsourcing platform example like crowdfunding (KickStarter,LendingClub), Open Innovation (LocalMotors), Social Productivity (Xprize, Open Garden) and Sharing Economy  (Uber, Airbnb).

 5P Crowd Economy

The 5 Pillars of Crowd Economy consist of people, purpose, participation, productivity and platform. Regarding implementation of 5P Crowd Economy Epi emphasizes  some points to remind, below:

People.The start-up not only give their priority on  platform first, but starting from people, what the start-up doing  and goal, must answer  people problem, human centric embedded to empowering people and help communities better live.

Purpose.In the long run to create meaningful experience, start-up must be face many valleys, not just expecting jumping on the peak of the mountain. I like Epi’s phrase “Fail & Fast”, don’t  go first or only ready for success, shoot the failures, fast learn from that. He give an example when starting internet service, starting to maintain with reasonable target user (not expect huge number first), learn from that and gradually increasing target. It doesn’t just go directly  to reach high traffic   to impress the angle investor but missed the fundamental thing.

Participation.Beside supporting to get funding through the project, the crowd participation emphasizes on co-creation and shared value during the process and  product value.

Productivity.The productivity along this process must be deliver better, faster, cheaper and more efficient process. And those outcomes fully supported especially in this digital world.

Platform.As  mentioned before not just relying only platform in the first beginning. The platform itself will elaborate with the others as medium to interact  and drive the results. Technolgy fully supporting the platform starting from mobile network, mobile application,  big data, cloud computing, real-time processing, internet of things and many more.

Epi defines crowd economy from those five pillars as a dynamic ecosystem of productive people who participate through a platform with a purpose to achieve mutually beneficial goals.

Crowdsourcing and Crowdfunding Success Story: Rocki

One crowdfunding platform, Kickstater enable the start-up create the market before even launching. To know how it works, refer to crowdsourcing and crowdfunding success story: Rocki which I collected from some sources and got  from Dennis itself. Nick NM Yap and Dennis List (the Rocki founder) started Rocki in conceptual of Project RHM (Revolutionize Home Music) in February 2013. As Dennis told during his interview with, they focus on develop music and technology especially audio streaming instead of video streaming that was the others focus on at that time. Started in crowdsourcing approach, mustered people with extensive experience in media streaming hardware and software in project team, doing co-creation and developing ROCKI plug-in would enable all speaker to have Wifi audio streaming feature.

Rocki’s proof of concept video during the kickstarter campaign.

Rocki is one  good example of running a successful kickstarter campaign got  initial target $50K in first day (November 25th 2013) and  raising over $220K in 20 days  campaign (December 20th 2013). Dennis also share during that campaign, everything has to do with crowdsourcing such using social media,  press coverage   to reach people (supplier, potential buyer) to involve in and also well prepare for next step including production phase and shipping. Even after getting funding their initial target on 1st day, Dennis tell me, as soon as possible they reserved production line. Beside got more than initial target, they successfully managed product shipping on time within 3 months of the kickstarter funding  and also keep participating crowdsourcing global event. They keep raising the bar through innovation.

Rocki’s product teaser on Youtube during the kickstarter campaign.

If you see the remark on that video teaser during their  kickstarter campaign above, you will notice  the crowdsource supported the video production. The video itself fundamental necessity to successfully pitch  a crowdfunding project. The good one KickStarter provides how to create product video teaser complete with studio that will facilitate  the crowd.

KickStarter’s video making guidance & studio facilities.

At the end of the session Dennis who also secured $1 M funding  for another project (Omate Smartwatch)  gives closing statement, reminding start-up not just focus on the funding part of  crowdfunding,  but need to build the crowd because no one can do all that on their own. So … CROWD it!

*imagre credit: taken while session been held


About the author: JM Zacharias (@jmzacharias) currently works as a business strategist, professional career in the fields of product, sales and marketing more than a decade. His professional career experience in various industries including retail, consumer electronics, information and telecommunications technology both Business to Customer (B2C) and Business to Business (B2B). Having diverse experience in national, multinational companies, and startup; in the areas of technology, marketing and sales management, cross-culture climate among nations in his career portfolio in the Asia Pacific region and Southeast Asia helped him enrich and widen preperspective to continue to learn and share. Communicating ideas and business strategy are some of his activities beside writing article,delivering training and consultancy activities. Detailed information can be viewed on JMZacharias.Com Business Strategy & Technology You can also contact him through this link

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*JM Zacharias [ JMZacharias Insights Podcast ]: | Business Strategist | Writer | Guest Speaker | Trainer | Consultant | @ Business Strategy, Technology & Productivity | Business Strategist & Founder HidupProduktif.Com JMZacharias.Com | Penulis | Pembicara | Trainer | Konsultan | @ Strategi Bisnis , Teknologi & Produktifitas |

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