Why does Procter & Gamble repeatedly call on
enthusiastic amateurs to solve scientific and technical challenges? How can
companies as diverse as iStockphoto and Threadless employ just a handful of
people, yet generate millions of dollars in revenue every year?
“Crowdsourcing” is how the power of the many can be
leveraged to accomplish feats that were once the responsibility of a
specialized few. Jeff Howe reveals that the crowd is more than wise—it’s
talented, creative, and stunningly productive. It’s also a perfect meritocracy,
where age, gender, race, education, and job history no longer matter; the
quality of the work is all that counts. If you can perform the service, design
the product, or solve the problem, you’ve got the job.
But crowdsourcing has also triggered a dramatic shift in the
way work is organized, talent is employed, research is conducted, and products
are made and marketed. As the crowd comes to supplant traditional forms of
labor, pain and disruption are inevitable, and Howe delves into both the
positive and negative consequences of this intriguing phenomenon. Through
extensive reporting from the front lines of this workplace revolution, he
employs a brilliant array of stories to look at the economic, cultural,
business, and political implications of crowdsourcing. Download and start listening now!