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September 4, 2008

News & Opinion: The power of crowdsourcing.

By: 800-CEO-READ @ 7:24 PM – Filed under: Innovation & Creativity

Jeff Howe's Crowdsourcing is now out. I planned on starting this post with an F. A. Hayek quote on a community's ability to bring widely dispersed knowledge together; then I realized I had already posted it here. And so I'll go a different route.
Earlier this summer, I had a chance to talk about Crowdsourcing with Jeff. That is, using the power of crowds to do work. Wikipedia is a good example. Or Threadless, the t-shirt company that's raking in over $10 million every year.
What fascinates me about crowdsourcing is the level of passion. People (consumers) don't want to stand by on the sidelines and passively consume. People want to be involved. They/we want to share what we know.
Crowdsourcing creates what Jeff calls, the perfect meritocracy. If you go back to F. A. Hayek's idea, it's impossible for each one of us to amass unlimited amounts of knowledge. In crowdsourcing, it matters not whether you are a rocket scientist or a high school dropout. What matters is what you know and how that knowledge is applied.
That's the story shared in Jeff's book. It was just released last week. Here's a trailer for the book. If you're interested, check out our conversation.