In recent years the buzzwords “crowdsourcing” and “crowdfunding” have seeped into design conversations eveyrwhere on the planet. The basic concepts seem fullproof. Get your stakeholders to sort matters out on the one hand, or go as far as to have them pay for the product before it is even designed on the other. What could be easier ?

And yet ever since the term “crowdsourcing” was coined in 2006 by Wired writer Jeff Howe, there has been great enthusiasm but little rigour regarding how it should be done and what it can reasonably achieve.

Daren Brabham explains what crowdsourcing is, what it is not, and how it works. The intellectual roots of the idea are attributed to concepts such as collective intelligence, the wisdom of crowds and distributed computing. Brabham surveys the major issues in crowdsourcing, including crowd motivation, the misconception of the amateur participant, crowdfunding and the danger of “crowdsploitation”.

The book is a “must read” for anyone who is serious about expanding creative activity outwards beyond the comfortable cocoon of the marketing, branding and design teams. Up to now there has been confusion regarding what exact information paths, authority structures and business models need to be implemented to achieve  a successful “crowdsource”. Thanks to this readable, logical and beneficial little book by Brabham, any business can now consider the opportunity and move forward.