Corvinus Executive MBA

Executive MBA at Corvinus University of's all about excellence

The Power of Crowds: Part II

2014. december 08. - Kevin Jackson

While the first part of “The Power of Crowds” was dedicated to the different forms of crowdfunding, the second part will explore how crowdsourcing can be used to collect intellectual contributions from a large community for the purpose of completing a difficult task. Once again, it has been advances in technology that enabled crowdsourcing platforms to cost effectively operate on a large scale.

Although the term “crowdsourcing” was coined by Jeff Howe from Wire Magazine in 2006, the concept of tapping into the wisdom of crowds has been around for centuries. There was the famous Longitude Prize back in 1714 when the British government offered a cash prize to whoever could come up with the best way to measure a ship’s longitude. The Oxford English Dictionary was created with the help of 800 volunteers, including a major contributor, W.C. Minor, who was confined to the Broadmoor Assylum for the Criminally Insane. Finally, there was the Planters Peanuts logo contest in 1916 that was won by a fourteen-year-old boy and his logo is still being used today.

Fast forward to the present where Coca Cola China is using the crowdsourcing platform eYeka to generate creative ideas for future advertising campaigns. Participants that submit videos about what Coke tastes like before January 18th, 2015 are eligible to win more than $31,000 in prize money. I can imagine the prestige of winning the contest is the biggest reward.  

The realization that there is strength in numbers has been around for a long time, but technology has taken this to a whole new level as platforms can enable people to globally collaborate with each other in real time. Even NASA used crowdsourcing for its 2013 Sample Return Robot Centennial Challenge, and the aerospace, defense, and aviation industries are now leaders in the crowdsourcing space.  One of these days we might even see a Nobel Prize be given out to crowds of people rather than just people.

For more information on the power of crowds, please refer to the following articles:

Coca-Cola China Looks to Crowdsourcing Platform for Extra Creative Fizz, AdAge, Angela Doland, November 26th, 2014 (

NASA finds big payoffs in crowdsourcing, Venturebeat, Jenn Gustetuc, March 10th, 2014, (



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