Well-known crowd sourcing start up Cambrian House is built to help a community come together to create an app, but there’s no reason you can’t leverage the same concept to build your application or web site. There are a number of crowdsourcing service startups out there that you can utilize to turn your idea into a reality without the need to hire a full-time team.
Here are three companies that can help you get your product off the ground utilizing the power of the crowd.
Crowds aren’t just good at creating content or brainstorming ideas, they can also come together to fund projects. Online knitting community Ravelry raised money by asking its members for donations, for example. Crowd funding company microPledge offers microPledge Custom, a co-branded version of their funding platform that companies can use to raise money from their users while guaranteeing user-investors that they get the product they want for their cash.
One of the most well-known types of crowdsourcing on the web today is design contests, in which multiple designers compete to create a single design. In this type of crowdsourcing, the crowd isn’t working together to create a single product, but rather design contests play on the competitive nature if crowds.
SitePoint just happens to be home to one of the largest graphic design contest communities on the web. Our 99designs site has a community of almost 15,000 designers that can be leveraged to get almost any type of design product finished.
What good is your site if you don’t have any content? Amazon’s Mechanical Turk web service can put an army of workers at your disposal to complete simple tasks. From writing reviews to tagging images, you can use Mechanical Turk to solve the chicken and egg problem that any new community-powered content site faces. Earlier this year, a pair of San Francisco artists even used Mechanical Turk to create a crowdsourced piece of art.
Josh Catone joined Mashable in May 2009 and is Executive Director of Editorial Projects. Before joining Mashable, Josh was the Lead Writer at ReadWriteWeb, the Lead Blogger at SitePoint, and the Community Evangelist at DandyID.