Will springleap become bigger than Threadless?

Jeff Howe’s book on crowdsourcing is keeping me spellbound. Just like Threadless and Design by Humans, springleap has become an amazing community of creative people passionate about design. But Jeff’s crowdsourcing book, has introduced me to all the other amazing crowdsourcing projects that are taking place.

Wikipedia is one of my favourite crowdsourcing websites. It defines crowdsourcing as:

Crowdsourcing is a neologism for the act of taking a task traditionally performed by an employee or contractor, and outsourcing it to an undefined, generally large group of people, in the form of an open call. For example, the public may be invited to develop a new technology, carry out a design task (also known as community-based design[1] and distributed participatory design), refine or carry out the steps of an algorithm (see Human-based computation), or help capture, systematize or analyze large amounts of data (see also citizen science).

My other favourite crowdsourcing concept is innocentive.com

innocentive describes themselves as:

Unleash the collective power of InnoCentive’s worldwide Marketplace with over 160,000 of the brightest minds working to help you build a better product.

I remember hearing about how thousands of people were pitching in a few dollars to buy a football club awhile back.

There are so many incredible crowdsourcing projects taking place at the moment – from helping NASA categorize areas on Mars to helping count flora and fauna and birds.

Crowdsourcing allows everyone with an interest in a subject to get involved, and do their part in moving a project forward.

Whether it’s open source software, commercial business’s, or helping with non-profit organisations, we have so much talent in our world, and crowdsourcing is simply the mechanism for harnessing this talent.

When Eran and myself started springleap, we were thinking primarily about product development. We’re now starting to realise how crowdsourcing can change the world.

Hopefully all the major crowdsourcing websites, and especially the major tshirt competitions websites such as Threadless, and Design by Humans and Zazzle, and Spreadshirt (as our community’s seem to be amongst the fastest growing of the crowdsourcing concepts) also realise the potential that having a community of people passionate about creative ideas means, and lets work together not only to build successful business’s but to create and build concepts and solve problems that can benefit mankind.

The more I read about crowdsourcing, the more I’m appreciating that it’s not about whose the biggest – but who can give the most back to society. Jimmy Wales raised $6M for wikipedia in a short space of time. The creative community involved with the Tshirt competition sites has an opportunity to do some amazing things going forward – and it’s up to the founders of these crowdsourcing community’s to find a way for the collective creative talent to shake up the world.

Eric EdelsteinWill springleap become bigger than Threadless?