Crowdsourcing in Action: One Step to Build a Company

October 14, 2009

There is growing evidence that a company can strengthen its brand by listening to customers and even sourcing business ideas from the crowd. But just what does such an effort look like in action?

Entrepreneur Aaron Cohen used his speaking slot at the BRITE ’09 conference to conduct a live crowdsourcing experiment with the attendees. Cohen described the basic concept and unique assets behind a new company he was about to lead, AnyClip.com, and then sought out suggestions that might turn these raw materials into a breakout media brand. Here is a video of this “crowdsourcing in action.”

Cohen assumed the role of CEO shortly after BRITE, and AnyClip is now moving forward along some of the tracks discussed during the conference. AnyClip (now in beta launch) lets users find, watch and share short clips of their favorite movie scenes online, and it has already secured the rights to host films from most of the major Hollywood studios. The company won rave reviews for its recent demo at the TechCrunch50 competition, walking away with the coveted Audience Award.

One of the key ideas in Cohen’s crowdsourcing discussion at BRITE was to open up the company’s film clip database to the software developer community — so that anyone can build new applications, services, and revenue streams based on AnyClip’s platform. Cohen discusses this strategy in a recent piece he wrote for The Business Insider, including the use of an “open API” (application program interface). Opening a new platform up to development by other entrepreneurs has been a critical part of the success of both Twitter and the iPhone App Store.

Open APIs are unique to technology brands. But, whatever industry you are in, there are ways to solicit ideas from your stakeholders and strengthen your brand through collaboration with your customers.

BY MATTHEW QUINT

This post originally posted by Matthew on the BRITE Conference blog at: http://www.briteblog.net

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