Interviews, insight & analysis on digital media & marketing

Jay Richards: Crowdsourced creativity and ideation is the future, of everything!

Jay Richards, NDA’s monthly columnist, is the Co-Founder of Imagen (previously DivInc), an agency helping brands collaborate with Gen Z through its pool of over 200,000 Gen Z individuals.

Crowdsourcing, the practice of obtaining information or input into a task or project by enlisting the services of a large number of people, either paid or unpaid, typically via the Internet. (Wikipedia)

Crowdsourcing isn’t a new concept, our ancestors would crowdsource experience and wisdom amongst the elders in their village to ensure they’re making fully informed decisions that benefit the entire community.

Over the last century the industrial and technological revolutions changed the way ideas were developed, instead of gaining the wisdom of the crowd, we relied on the wisdom of a few. Relying on a few to speak for many is not how great things are built.

If we look at the largest companies of our day, they’re led by the few but they affect the many. Please don’t get me wrong, I believe there are benefits to capitalism to an extent but it’s time for a new era of capitalism.

We’ve all been there, you have a great idea, you don’t act on it and then a few years later you see it out there, living and breathing in the real world. It’s a frustrating feeling. I’m a huge believer that great ideas can come from anywhere, our ancestors believed that and it’s time for this new era of creativity and ideation to begin.

There has been a resurgence of crowdsourcing over the last 5 years with platforms like ’99 designs’ and ‘Design Crowd’ leading the way, these platforms allow users to crowdsource beautiful creative designs from a community of creators. These platforms have created entirely new markets and have democratised access to opportunities, for millions of people.

There is coming a day where everything from the initial idea to the final product will be entirely crowdsourced. Imagine being able to collaborate through crowdsourcing with your end consumer, ideating hand in hand with them and designing with them, not for them. You then take this idea to a crowd of experts at each stage of the journey until you have the final product and you finally use the crowd again to market your product to the world.

Crowdsourcing provides continuous access to fresh, innovative ideas unlike any other way of creating or ideating.

We will look back at 2019 and laugh, remembering when we used to have thousands of people piled into huge offices in major cities churning out carbon copy ideas one after another.

64% of Gen Z say they’re contemplating a completely different career route due to COVID. Many of our community have expressed the desire to have multiple side hustles on the go outside of their full-time job to ensure that if something like March 2020 ever happens again, they aren’t completely left out in the cold, crowdsourcing provides this flexibility. 2020 has given us the chance to innovate, right now is the perfect opportunity to completely rewrite the rules of creativity and ideation. As with all revolutions, the early adopters will win the biggest, be an early adopter.