In today’s digital age, the concept of crowdsourcing has gained immense popularity. From startups to established corporations, crowdsourcing has become an integral part of business strategies. It has revolutionized the way companies approach problem-solving, innovation, and decision-making. In this glossary definition, we will explore what crowdsourcing is, why it is important, who uses it, and provide some use cases and synonyms.

What is Crowdsourcing?

Crowdsourcing is a business process that involves obtaining ideas, feedback, or services from a large group of people. It is a form of open collaboration where organizations tap into the collective wisdom, creativity, and skills of a diverse group of individuals. This group, known as the crowd, can consist of employees, customers, freelancers, or volunteers.

Crowdsourcing can take various forms, such as idea generation, task delegation, problem-solving, market research, or funding. It typically takes place on an online platform, allowing for easy access and participation from individuals around the world. The results of crowdsourcing are often used to inform business decisions, improve products or services, or drive innovation.

Why is Crowdsourcing Important?

Crowdsourcing has become a crucial tool for businesses to stay competitive and relevant in today’s fast-paced market. It allows companies to tap into a diverse pool of knowledge and expertise, and source solutions or ideas that they may not have been able to generate internally. By involving the crowd, organizations can leverage the power of collective intelligence and creativity to find unique and innovative solutions to complex challenges.

Moreover, crowdsourcing provides a cost-effective and efficient way for companies to complete tasks or gather data. By outsourcing to the crowd, organizations can save time, money, and resources, which can be allocated to other areas of the business. This open collaboration also fosters a sense of community and engagement, both within the organization and with its customers, creating a positive impact on brand reputation and loyalty.

Who Uses Crowdsourcing?

Crowdsourcing is used by a wide range of industries and organizations, from small startups to large corporations. It is particularly popular in the technology, media, and creative industries, where innovation and outside-the-box thinking are highly valued. However, its applications are not limited to these industries, and companies in various sectors can benefit from crowdsourcing.

Some notable examples of companies that have successfully utilized crowdsourcing include Netflix, which used crowdsourcing to improve its recommendation algorithm, and LEGO, which crowdsourced ideas from its customer community to create new product designs. Governments and non-profit organizations also use crowdsourcing for decision-making, policy creation, and disaster response.

Use Cases and Applicability

Crowdsourcing can be applied in a wide range of scenarios, depending on the specific needs of the organization. For example, it can be used for idea generation, where the crowd is invited to submit ideas for new products, services, or solutions. This method of crowdsourcing is particularly useful for companies looking to innovate or expand their offerings.

Task delegation is another common use case for crowdsourcing, where organizations outsource specific tasks to the crowd. This can include tasks such as data entry, content creation, or customer support. By outsourcing to the crowd, companies can save time and resources while benefitting from a diverse pool of talent.

Crowdsourcing is also commonly used for market research, where organizations gather feedback and opinions from the crowd on various products or services. This can provide valuable insights into consumer preferences, pain points, and trends, helping companies make informed business decisions.

Synonyms for Crowdsourcing

Crowdsourcing is often used interchangeably with the term “open innovation.” However, other terms that are closely related to crowdsourcing include “co-creation,” “collective intelligence,” and “crowd wisdom.” These terms all refer to the concept of tapping into the wisdom and creativity of a diverse group of individuals to solve problems, generate ideas, or improve processes.


To summarize, crowdsourcing is a business process that involves obtaining ideas, feedback, or services from a large group of people. It has become an essential tool for organizations to stay competitive and innovative, and its applications are diverse and widespread. With the power of crowdsourcing, companies can access the collective knowledge and creativity of the crowd, leading to more efficient, effective, and inclusive decision-making.

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