2011 Shaping up to be a Massive Year for Crowdsourcing: Quirky.com Partnership with HSN and More
We’re not too far into the 2011 and it already seems there a lot of activity in the crowdsourcing field. Things are happening in the market – community innovation platform Napkin Labs announced they had achieved $1.1m USD in funding, whilst service marketplace Freelancer.com announced they had acquired two smaller European rivals.
National Geographic have acquired the US distribution rights to show the You Tube crowdsourced film “Life in a day”. And over at the Daily Crowdsource, a crowdsourced news blog all about crowdsourcing itself, often three or four stories appear each day.
One development which caught my eye was the tie-up between crowdsourced innovation platform Quirky.com and retailing TV channel, HSN. If you haven’t come across Quirky before, here’s what it does in a nutshell. The Quirky community of would-be inventors suggest product ideas. They vote on which ones to take forward. These get moulded, tweaked and developed by the crowd. The product is then available to pre-order in Quirky’s online shop. Those that get enough pre-orders are then manufactured, and then distributed to customers.
The partnership with HSN means that there will be a monthly show with Quirky’s flamboyant founder, Ben Kaufman, showcasing some of Quirky’s products which are available to sale. A distribution channel on live TV seems like a quantum leap forward for a niche crowdsourcing platform.
Kaufman suggests that the HSN deal allows Quirky to take “products that started as napkin sketches from the people of the world …back, full circle, to the people of the world.” Perhaps an hourly program isn’t big news, but something which can reach millions of homes could be a significant milestone for Quirky.
What do you think? Will crowdsourcing continue to make headlines in 2011 and continue to move further towards the mainstream?