Good day lads and lasses.
Welcome to another round of my thoughts. Today’s blog will deal with the topic of: ”Crowd-sourcing”. Or in other words, using people and how is it useful, if at all ? ( see: Optional )
Crowd-sourcing is the label of the action that one creates something with other people, usually strangers, by allowing them to co-operate on the project.
By allowing others outside of the norm ( group, or partners ) to chip in. The results may surprise you.
It is said that children are more creative than adults, and thus are able of a more abstract solution to problems, or able to solve problems effortlessly.
Different situation, same principle.
While experts are called experts with a reason, they do not always have all answers. Sometimes hidden gems are scattered across the world.
Crowd-sourcing allows you to get in touch with people who have abstract ideas, who may have the answers you seek.
The same holds true for designing. While you design, you are not always going to be able to do everything alone. Ideas are stolen, ideas and creations, innovation and re-imagining are all out of a person’s mind, who has had impressions and formed thoughts out of peoples’s creations.
Which also means that if one wants to make something completely new, or radical, one person might not succeed.
That is why the saying ” Two minds are better than one” exists. In certain situations, crowd-sourcing might be what is needed to finish a project.
These are the greatest advantages crowd-sourcing offers. And in designing, once the design has made a client happy, crowd-sourcing might have allowed you to discover individuals to work again with in the future, or if you are really lucky : an entire network of new colleagues.
There are, however, two sides to every coin.
Harvey Dent perfectly represents both sides of crowd-sourcing and it’s abstract relativity to helpfulness. Chance.
Above are the advantages mentioned, explained and elaborated. However, this applies that the coin flipped was on the good side up.
Get the coin shown on the upper picture, and you have more problems than before.
The first question is: Will people care ?
Not even with a reward will people have sufficient motivation to actually help you beyond that. ( Look, everyone has their price, but I doubt the normal designer like you and me has millions lying around )
If you cannot motivate people, you have no crowd sourcing and you can stop right there, and still stay stuck.
When helping with a design, people might be biased and have unreliable information.
Choose the wrong place and you get both which are actually more useless than nothing, as they might sway and annoy others who might have had something to actually support you.
And lastly, the worst part of crowd-sourcing: Theft.
Why is crowd-sourcing particularly dangerous and scary for the designing world ? Because some people are - censored - . Simple as that.
Thanks for your idea, I will totally name you.
If you allow an idea to be distributed, you can bet that suddenly someone else on the market has your idea as well. SURPRISE !
For a more relevant example, look at at your phone. Chances are you have a Samsung, LG, Sony Ericsson, whatever.
This was not even crowd-sourcing, but isn’t it kind of interesting how Samsung’s’ phones suddenly have Apple’s rough design outline?
And that is for a finished product. Imagine what happens if you have an open contract, have a great idea, get stuck.
Then you go to your designer friends, ask for advice, they have none and suddenly your client has their product.
"Et tu Brutus ?!"
This may the reason why designers don’t like other designers. The one who hands in the design first may call himself the owner.
Look at history has taught us: Thomas Edison pretty much stole all the ideas, and stepped on other inventors.