We Are Smarter Than Me | Barry Libert

Summary of: We Are Smarter Than Me: How to Unleash the Power of Crowds in Your Business
By: Barry Libert


In the era of social networking, the book ‘We Are Smarter Than Me: How to Unleash the Power of Crowds in Your Business’ by Barry Libert unravels the potential of tapping into the collective intelligence of the crowd for enhancing various business processes. The book explores the concept of ‘crowdsourcing’, a revolutionary model making waves in product development, service, marketing, finance, and management domains. Through compelling examples of successful companies like Amazon.com, Procter & Gamble, and Cambrian House, the book reveals how crowdsourcing offers cost-effective and innovative solutions that traditional methods might not achieve.

Harnessing the Power of Crowds

The rise of social media has given birth to a new phenomenon known as crowdsourcing. Today, companies are utilizing the power of the crowd to drive product development, marketing, finance, service, and management. This process involves relying on numerous online contributors to do work previously done by employees. Amazon, for instance, invested $2 billion in building a proprietary database and opened it to the public, who helped the company develop new products, technologies, and ways of shopping. The internet has allowed humans to act in mass collaboration, using the kind of collective intelligence once reserved for ants and bees. While the potential benefits of crowdsourcing are immense, there are pitfalls such as collaboration mistakes. Crowdsourcing has touched almost every business and almost every aspect of business, but management and strategy remain the only areas where its applicability is yet to be seen.

The Power of Crowdsourcing

Engaging the community is crucial to developing successful new products and services. While crowdsourcing is often associated with the internet, it can take many forms. To make the most of crowdsourcing, it’s important to understand the community, recognize internal resistance, take the crowd seriously, leverage internal sources of ideas, incentivize participation, and carefully select partners. Virgin Mobile’s successful Sugar Mama program is an example of how to effectively spread the benefits of crowdsourcing. By following these guidelines, companies can tap into the power of crowdsourcing to meet real customer demand.

The Power of Crowdsourced Customer Service

Companies like Cookshack and Nashville software developer Nick Bradbury are successfully using online communities to provide customer service, promote deeper engagement, and reallocate their resources to more important tasks. Netflix uses crowd ratings to tailor film suggestions, and online feedback can provide valuable information for product development. To effectively use the crowd, companies must promote and reward engaged community members, monitor forum responses for accuracy, organize information for convenience, and view criticisms as valuable feedback. While there are risks associated with online communities, the benefits of crowdsourcing customer service are significant and can save companies money while improving customer experience.

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