Crowd Process Providers

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Ross Dawson:

"They "include both aggregating microtask platforms as well as performing a range of value-add functions. Some companies will project manage all aspects of a microtask-based assignment from task definition to assessing data quality through to providing the technology platform. Particularly for more complex tasks, the chances of successful outcomes are greatly enhanced by using these services.

Crowd process providers include CrowdFlower, Data Discoverers, and Scalable Workforce. To a lesser extent some microtask platforms such as Clickworkers or Microtask provide managed services themselves.

Crowd process firms effectively take the advantages of leveraging the power of the crowd – such as large throughput and lower cost – and combine these with the convenience and guaranteed service levels of a Business Process Outsourcer.

Some of the crowd service firms also provide branded technology platforms, usually as a layer which sits on top of Amazon Mechanical Turk. These can usually be used in a self-service capacity by their clients." (source: Getting Results from Crowds)

Specialty Providers

Crowdsourced User Testing

  • uTest

The market leader for crowdsourced software testing is uTest, which claims to have over 40,000 registered testers on their books.

  • 99tests, an Indian start-up that uses the mechanics of competition platforms and has the tagline “Meet the Bugs”.
  • Mob4hire, a platform specifically for mobile application testing, specializing in usability.
  •, providing on-demand usability testing on websites, sometimes as a one-off service.

(source: Getting Results from Crowds)

Crowdsourced Data Analysis

  • Kaggle

"The most prominent data analysis platform is Australian-based Kaggle, which recently raised $11 million in funding. Kaggle uses the mechanics of a competition platform and sets up predictive modelling challenges for its crowd of data scientists, many of them academics.

  • In October 2006 Netflix offered a $1 million prize to whoever could improve their video recommendation algorithm by

10%. The final prize was awarded in October 2009 to a team which combined two of the previous top-performing teams."

(source: Getting Results from Crowds)

Crowdsourced Patent Research

  • The dominant platform in crowdsourced patent research is Article One Partners. Article One claims to have over 1 million registered researchers and to have distributed over $1 million in rewards.

(source: Getting Results from Crowds)

Crowdsourced Translation

"One of the best known examples of crowdsourced translation is Facebook. In 2008 it launched a “Translations” app which delivered lines of text to be translated into different languages by Facebook users. To ensure quality, other users then voted on which was the best phrase.

This approach was so successful that a Spanish version of Facebook took just weeks to implement, and by the end of 2008 Facebook sought to patent the app."

(source: Getting Results from Crowds)

Crowdsourced Product Design

"Crowdsourcing product design through an entire life cycle from concept to finished product can draw on crowds in a variety of ways. There are a number of platforms that allow you to submit ideas, vote on the best ones, comment on and shape the design, and then finally buy the finished product, with a profit share going to the original designers and those who contributed.

  • Example: Quirky

"Quirky provides a platform for what they term “Social Product Development.” Registered users submit an idea for ten dollars and feedback is given by the rest of the Quirky community. Each week one idea is voted to be taken forward in the process. The idea gets evaluated, shaped, moulded and tweaked by the crowd, with those making the best suggestions earning “Influencer” points. Finally the product is pre-sold on the website shop. If there are sufficient orders it gets manufactured. The inventor, the influencers who helped develop the product, and Quirky share the profits."

  • Japanese retailer MUJI has been an early adopter of crowdsourcing. It sources suggestions for new products

from customers which are then voted upon, and given to professional designers to make into products.

  • Threadless invite T-shirt designs from the crowd, get them to vote on their favourite ones, and then produce

them for sale.

  • is a British online furniture retailer where only the products that receive sufficient votes from

customers are manufactured."

(source: Getting Results from Crowds)

Crowdsourced Consumer Research

"The web has given a voice to consumer opinion and a crowdsourced approach provides an opportunity for brands to receive rich and valuable data to identify customer preferences ...

  • Clickadvisor styles itself as an “online consumer research agency”. It provides a platform to receive advice,

innovate, and co-create with the crowd.

  • Crowdtap offers a more self-service approach. Its consumers are usually recruited through social networks,

and its platform offers a variety of tools such as polls and discussion boards to test consumer reactions

(source: Getting Results from Crowds)

Crowdsourced Search Engine Marketing

  • Trada created the SEM crowdsourced space with its launch in 2010. Its competition is still almost exclusively from

traditional agencies. Trada has received funding of close to $6 million, notably from Google Ventures.

(source: Getting Results from Crowds)