12th July 2012Tweet
This article was originally published on Killer Startups.
Gone are the days of outsourcing. We’ve moved on to the era of crowdsourcing. Crowdsourcing might be just the thing your business needs to save precious time and money. If your business requires a lot of previous knowledge about how your organization works, then crowdsourcing may not be for you. If, however, your business requires translating documents, determining whether a picture is “safe-for-work,” or adding some voice over talent for advertising, then your business may be ripe for a crowdsourcing makeover.
- Multiple people can be assigned to the same task and, if the website includes a little statistical analysis, determining the quality of work will be quick and painless.
- For relatively subjective tasks like a 60-second voice over recording, multiple workers can perform the same task, allowing you to choose a “winner.”
- Lastly, because the tasks are distributed across thousands of workers, fatigue and lack of motivation are not usually issues.
In addition to having thousands of workers at your disposal, you will save the most precious resource: your time. Saving time allows companies that are using crowdsourcing resources to be more competitive. Enabling yourself to be more competitive will enhance your ability to find your niche and target your ideal demographic more efficiently.
In the case of the voice over industry, before crowdsourcing, finding good talent for a 60-second recording took multiple weeks, one casting director, several talent agents, dozens of visits to recording studios, and around $4,000. Today, with “crowdvoicing,” the price is $40 and takes less than ten minutes, which is less than one-thousandth of the time and money it used to take!
One notable crowdsourcer is Adobe. Adobe crowdsources the transcription and translation of over 16,000 of their training videos and, because their audience is engaged, they don’t even have to pay. Their only investment is in the technology required to do so.
A Request for Proposal, Please
From a technical perspective, crowdsourcing is, in some instances, an automated request-for-proposal (RFP) system. You can argue that crowdsourcing is the RFP 2.0. If you need a logo or a voiceover, you can go to sites like 99designs or VoiceBunny and get dozens of artists to submit a proposal within minutes.
In some cases, the “proposal” submitted is the actual work that is ready to be delivered. This process is highly efficient, as it allows the buyer to save time and money, while at the same time allowing the artists to be more productive by submitting their work just once.
This type of crowdsourcing also has multiple benefits because, in addition to saving time and money, you’re also getting these services risk-free. In this model, you only pay the artist whose work you end up using.
The Short and Long Run
Crowdsourcing can also help you automate processes that would have been impossible to automate before. For example, myGengo allows you to automatically translate your content, while VoiceBunny allows you to automatically convert your online publication into a podcast.
By using crowdsourcing and keeping your business competitive, you may find that you’re getting more benefits than you ever thought possible. Crowdsourcing pays off in the short and the long run.