Crowdsourcing supports entrepreneurs by helping them to be more efficient, effective and successful in developing and growing their businesses. It supports entrepreneurship in several valuable ways, including validating and improving an initial idea, generating funding, providing proof of concept and market traction, and user feedback to improve new product development. More specifically:
- Idea generation: entrepreneurs can use crowdsourcing to gather ideas from a large and diverse group of people, which can lead to more creative and innovative solutions.
- Funding: entrepreneurs can use crowdsourcing platforms to raise money for their business, either through crowdfunding or other forms of crowdinvesting.
- Market validation: crowdsourcing for entrepreneurs to gauge interest in their product or service before investing significant resources in development.
- Product development: entrepreneurs can use crowdsourcing to gather feedback on prototypes or beta versions of their products, which can help them improve and refine their offerings. This can also include established companies that want to check for traction before starting to manufacture new products.
- Talent acquisition: crowdsourcing for entrepreneurs to find and hire top talent for their business, on a fulltime or freelance basis.
- Cost savings: Crowdsourcing can be a cost-effective way for entrepreneurs to access expertise and resources that they might not otherwise have access to, or cannot afford to use on a regular fulltime basis.
Four types of platforms that help develop and test ideas for entrepreneurs
- Reward-based crowdfunding. Platforms such as Kickstarter and Indiegogo allow entrepreneurs to launch a campaign, share their idea with a large audience, and receive funding and feedback from early adopters.
- Prize challenges, such as those created by HeroX.
- Platforms that provide access to networks of freelance professionals.
- Feedback on prototypes and early product versions.
More on product development feedback
There are several online resources where crowdsourcing supports entrepreneurs be generating feedback on new products, or ideas for new services, including:
- Product Hunt is a popular community-driven US platform where entrepreneurs showcase new tech products. They receive feedback from other entrepreneurs and potential customers via a comments system and a voting system.
- Reddit has several subreddits, such as /r/entrepreneur and /r/startups, where entrepreneurs can post their ideas and receive feedback from a large, active community.
- Quora is a Q&A platform where entrepreneurs can ask questions and receive answers from experts and industry professionals.
- ThoughtExchange creates and distributes surveys to employees, plus other selected stakeholders including communities of customers or followers, to leverage their collective intelligence. Results can be available in minutes, and participants read and rate each other’s answers. This refines their initial response and builds unity and alignment on what matters most to everyone.