Crowdsourcing hits Minneapolis

June 18, 2010

Earlier this week Mike Keliher and I went to hear John Winsor speak at a MIMA event. Winsor is a Crispin Porter + Bogusky alum and founding member of the “World’s first creative (ad) agency built on crowdsourcing principles.”

For those of you (like me) new to this phrase:

“Crowdsourcing involves outsourcing tasks to any interested person through an open call for submissions. Among other things, it has been used for testing new technology, consumer research, and information processing. The pioneers of the industry envision an on-demand virtual workforce that will be at anyone’s fingertips. There is no crowd doing the work, rather a variety of individuals taking on the work at will. Some are willing to risk their time and effort for little or no return.” Via

I’ll be honest: Right away, Winsor made me feel uneasy. As a designer and creative, I’ve never been a fan of design contests and spec work. AIGA, the professional association for design, agrees.

After the event I did a little research to see what people are saying. I noticed that both Winsor and Bogusky bring up as an example of successful crowdsourcing. Bogusky says: “in just a few short months My Starbucks Idea has become a major force in helping direct the future of the company.”

I’ll happily enter (and win!) contests and be a voice for my favorite brands, but would I want this method to define my bill-paying career? I’m not sure.

@HeDevelyn & @SarahResults put it well:

I’m not sure how I feel about this movement — only time will tell. But below are my favorite comments regarding the MIMA event and the topic of crowdsourcing in general. What are your thoughts?

Comments found here: