Can The Crowdsourcing Business Model Survive?

CNN recently asked me whether crowdsourcing could survive as a viable agency business model. My answer: No way.

I was proud to contribute to their story, Can Crowdsourcing Reconnect With The Crowd?

CNN's reporter had seen my post denouncing crowdsourcing as the "fool's gold of internet business models." (Though please note - I did follow that post with one about a company that's doing crowdsourcing right.)

The CNN article allowed me to note one particularly egregious element. The crowdsourcing companies that focus on the inexpensive cost of the service will certainly be the first to fail. From the article:

"Really they're just saying 'we can extract creative gold for these folks even less expensively than you were paying before,' which is terrible from an ethical point of view, but also it just won't hold up, because it's not based on strategy or creativity or smart business."

In short, a fly-by-night business model will never deliver the long-term strategy required for businesses to succeed. Some crowdsourcing companies - the ones who see it as a means, not an end - will thrive, but the rest will soon die off.

What do you think? The OMB community would love to hear your thoughts in the comments section.

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(Photo courtesy of byrne7214)