6 reasons why crowdsourcing is riskier than you think

By Anita Jaynes on 25 August, 2015

Crowdsourcing has proved to be a successful way for small and medium sized businesses to access services and skills online, which are otherwise out of their reach. Crowdsourcing can hugely benefit SME’s, but are businesses aware of the risks and pitfalls?

ITR.co.uk have recently created an infographic, based on the research they conducted, highlighting the pros and cons of crowdsourcing.

The potential risks of using crowdsourcing include the following:

  • Without written contracts, you will need to be aware of any security issues
  • It’s essential to closely manage your projects as it can become complicated dealing with a large pool of people without a system.
  • Crowdsourcing is an open public forum, giving your competitors free access to your project ideas and content.

If you think that crowdsourcing could work for you company, you should take the time to familiarise yourself with the possible pros and cons, which are both featured in a new infographic by ITR.co.uk

Are you aware of how your business could use crowdsourcing?

Research has identified that some of the most popular uses for crowdsourcing are as follows:

  • Web development
  • Translation
  • Photography
  • User testing
  • Design work

This has made it a great way for start-ups and SMEs to access ideas and content that they otherwise might not be able to afford.

Research on who the crowdsourcers are

ITR’s research has revealed some interesting information on the demographics of those who partake in crowdsourcing.

  • Over 50% of the workforce are millennials (people born after 1975).
  • Over 50% of the workforce have a bachelors degree, with a further 20% achieving a masters degree.
  • The majority of crowdsourcers are females.

The infographic also highlights some successful, and unsuccessful, crowdsourcing projects carried out by notable companies and brands.

Lego encouraged users to submit product ideas via a dedicated website. Any idea with 10,000 supporters was submitted to the company for review. Successful submissions include the Ghostbusters range.

However, crowdsourcing can also be unsuccessful. For example, David Bowie attempted to crowdsource a tour set list by allowing fans to vote for their favourite song. The project had to be scraped after fans decided to vote for Bowies’ early novelty single “The Laughing Gnome” from 1967, which reached the top position.

Once brands are aware of the advantages and disadvantages of crowdsourcing, the infographic suggests a number of dedicated sites that offer specific crowdsourcing services including:

  • Flickr
  • AmazonMechanicalTurk
  • UTest
  • 99 Designs

If you’re wondering whether crowdsourcing could work for your business, see the ITR infographic by visiting: www.itr.co.uk/crowdsourcing