Getting Results From Crowds: Book Review
Getting Results From Crowds: The Definitive Guide to Using Crowdsourcing To Grow Your Business by Ross Dawson and Steve Bynghall is one of those books where you’re mad at the authors... for not writing it sooner. Getting Results from Crowds offers itself as a guidebook where you can dip into the different sections of the material as you have the need. Even so, I read it from start to finish so I could feel like I had a handle on all my options. Well done, Dawson & Bynghall.
I have the pleasure of teaching bits and pieces of the crowd phenomenon. I’m even a contributor via Kickstarter (my latest investment: My cousin’s documentary about the unclimbed peaks of Ethiopia). Even so, I’ve yet to make formal use of crowdsourcing for my basic work. Now I feel empowered to take my first steps.
The book starts with a solid overview of all the ways crowds are participating in work around the world. Everything from crowdfunding (Kickstarter), micro tasks (Amazon Mechanical Turk), crowd platforms (Elance, oDesk), innovation (XPrize, Spigit), to content (iStockPhoto) and everything in between. Every time I thought they’d missed a nuance, I discovered it in the material ahead.
Dawson and Bynghall then take you clearly into the considerations of each of these different ways of using crowds. This is the down in the details information that would have had me sourcing to the crowds far more than I have been, and with much greater success. They provide overviews, risks and benefits, and clear how-tos to help anyone take advantage of, or participate, in these great resources.
They also are asking us, the readers, to help them with the second edition. Where I think we could do the most good is in helping to identify additional case studies for the different options. These case studies may not fit in the book itself, but I imagine a template where readers could contribute their own cases and assess the outcomes. The options continue to grow and a bit of learning from others, our crowd of readers, would be a nice additional contribution. Again, well done. I will pointing my students to the book and the website: http://www.resultsfromcrowds.com/features/
I look forward to what this evolving book will do to bring more into the crowd. Are you already there? Please comment below.