Entrepreneurs should consider crowdsourcing as a possible tactic to grow their community, and get work done quickly, at low cost, and at high quality. However, crowdsourcing tends to be limited in that, particular applications of crowdsourcing cannot be sufficiently generalized to be useful to most entrepreneurs. One option for entrepreneurs is, to learn from others who have successfully applied crowdsourcing in a particular application and see the specific form of motivation that ensured their success.

Ways entrepreneurs can benefit from crowdsourcing


Alternatively, entrepreneurs can use general principles in addition to finding other real-world examples which are more closely related to their application for guidance. What others have done to ensure success; from the perspective of motivating a type of crowd that is more generally applicable, would be helpful. Five ways entrepreneurs seeking to gain global access to resources from crowdsourcing can achieve their goals are:

1. Learn from what others have done
Entrepreneurs can learn from what others have done; by identifying and using known motivational drivers to achieve early success. The entrepreneur should first consider the type of crowd they want to build; and the motivational drivers used to motivate such a crowd. For example, for task-based public crowds, immediate financial payment, skills improvement, enjoyment and fun, and community-related motivations are drivers. For technical information based crowds’ motivation include; access to people for learning, and enjoyment and fun. Employee-based crowds may be motivated by access to other technical experts for learning and professional development.

After identifying motivational drivers, entrepreneurs and managers need to identify the motivational details such as the range or amount of payment, the type of rewards, and the calibre of people or makeup of the community. The past experience of others should be suggestive rather than definitive and many implementation details must still be decided.

2. Create a selection and range of motivational drivers, and learn by varying those drivers

Research suggests that there is no single combination of motivational drivers that is generally applicable to all crowds. Entrepreneurs or managers offering a selection and range of motivational drivers and varying the implementation details over time can learn more quickly about what works for their particular situation.

Motivational drivers may be changed during an active crowdsourcing project to achieve different results – a technique called adaptive motivation. For example, the Zooniverse project studying photos from Mars employed different motivational drivers to either focus the crowd on specific photographs or to have the crowd revisit a previously studied photograph.

3. Select implementation details that are matched to the particular context and identify relevant motivation drivers

Research suggests that the most effective motivational driver is only revealed by breaking down or expanding each aspect of motivation. For example, a form of extrinsic motivation is immediate payoffs, which can take different forms, including cash payments, career options, prizes, and points. Each form of immediate payoff can be set at different levels: different amount of cash, size and selection of prizes, and number of points. Extrinsic immediate payoff could be prizes with the specific aspects such as offering discounted prices or other varying levels of financial reward.

4. Consider the geographical and cultural diversity of the target crowd

Crowdsourcing can attract participation from individuals located in different countries with different cultures.  Motivating drivers that work globally may not work locally and may be country specific. For example, financial payment on the order of pennies will be sufficient to motivate participants in some communities, whereas, other communities may require payment on the order of dollars. By understanding the mix of your potential crowd, entrepreneurs and managers may identify and select motivational drivers to attract members to the crowd; to form an initial community or adding different members to the community during the course of the crowdsourcing.

5. Employ multiple motivational drivers to obtain the full benefit of crowd diversity

Different individuals are motivated differently by different incentives. To motivate a diverse crowd, it follows that entrepreneurs should employ multiple motivation drivers that appeal to different potential participants in the type of crowd and develop an effective mix of crowdsourcing motivation drivers relevant to the target crowd.

Entrepreneurs should learn from what others have done by beginning from known motivational drivers, learn quickly through experimentation by varying the implementation details, select implementation details that are matched to their particular context, consider the geographical and cultural diversity of the target crowd, and employ multiple motivation drivers to obtain the full benefit of crowd diversity. Entrepreneurs need to select and apply the right form of motivation to motivate target crowds in crowdsourcing. In order to successfully motivate their target crowd, entrepreneurs should select what best matches the type of crowd they wish to motivate. In addition to applying these principles, entrepreneurs should also seek out additional real-world examples of applications similar to their own.

In conclusion, successful motivation of the target crowd will increase the likelihood of success with crowdsourcing and will provide entrepreneurs with a way to solve significant challenges such as quests for funds, resources, and solutions to unique technical issues for the commercialization of their products.


From: How Can Entrepreneurs Motivate Crowdsourcing Participants?
Technology Innovation Management Review http://www.timreview.ca
Authors: Derek Smith, Mohammad Mehdi Gharaei Manesh, Asrar Alshaikh


Categories: Entrepreneurship and Small Business

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