The State of Crowd Power for Startups, Innovation, Capital, Media + Governments

A little over one year ago, Mary Meeker reviewed a number of industry scale disruptions in areas from publishing to mobility. Since then, the trends have been reinforced across startups and large firms alike. Amazon.com has entered the TV and Movie production business with Amazon Studios, crowdsourcing everything from ideas to pilot feedback. Havas acquired the first crowdsourcing advertising agency, V&S and brands like Doritos continue to see crowdsourcing success on world biggest TV ad contents, the Superbowl. Google’s more than $1b acquisition of Waze showed the importance of simple crowd actions in helping to solve some our most complex challenges.

At the the 3rd Conferencia Crowdsourcing on July 23/24 we have brought together some of the worlds best, who are everyday are finding new ways to leverage the power of crowds in areas ranging from startups and innovation to government and marketing. The pace of change has not slowed, but it is clearer than ever where we can depend on crowds to support our organizations. Here are some of themes we will explore.

Crowds + Capital – the core value continues to grow, via pre-tailing, the ability to sell ideas long before they are even in production. As a result we’re seeing a surge in media production like games and films, but also in hardware from baby feeding spoons to medical devices. At the same time firms like LendingClub are have made almost $2b in loans in the United States, sourcing capital from the crowd. And now angel.co is accelerating funding for startups, by making use crowd-organizing principals from reputation systems to efficient deal filtering.

Crowds + Innovation – Amazon Studios is just the latest in a trend to restructure and open up innovation processes to outside talent. Crowdstorming is enabling organizations to source ideas in areas ranging from data science and fashion. We’ve moved from experiments to more permanent adoption as part of the innovation process. Perhaps as important, the focus group is giving way to multiple crowd interactions to understand products long before they are put into production. Pre-tailing is just one model, but organizing fast, efficient surveys or large groups of stakeholders is also become a core process to reduce risk and quick gather feedback.

Crowds + Government – Waze and Google hint at very different futures to solve complex problems like traffic congestion. When the crowd is involved, we have alternatives to large, expensive infrastructure investments. But thats just the start. Sharing systems for cars and bikes are adding completely new layers to the idea of public infrastructure. And sensing problems from security risks to potholes is being accelerated by empowering citizens to help. And government also is beginning to benefit from crowds and capital, letting citizens fund prototypes and small scale projects like Plus Pool and Underline. At the same time, initiatives like Code for America are showing how governments can tap large outside talent to solve some of their toughest problems too. [let know if we can say something about citizen organizing – from us to egypt, now turkey and brazil]

Crowds + Startups – most startups require funding, but all startups benefit from crowds. Increasingly we’re understanding the startups can successfully recruit crowds to help with everything from specialized skills to sales. Startups now have access to talent they could never afford to hire. And they are more efficiently finding customers, reducing their need for capital.

Over two days we will hear about these themes, but as important, we will help people to organize around each of these areas to meet and learn from one another. We hope you will join us to understand how crowds can help your organization.

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