Crowdsourcing starts with decentralization, by sourcing tasks traditionally performed by specific individuals to a group of people or community (crowd) through an open call.
When a decision to launch a new line of a certain product is taken the next seemingly logical question is: ”Who is going to design it?” Usually companies get in touch with a design agency or a free-lance designer and jointly create a new design. At Flaska we receive a lot of comments, recommendations and ideas about our water bottles almost on a daily basis (of course also critics, but these not as often as the former, thankfully). It is obvious that people kind of like Flaska bottle, that it means more than an ordinary object to them. Why would they otherwise bother mailing their ideas for improvement etc.?
I can’t even remember who came up with the brilliant idea of having a public tender for our new Flaska neo Design collection 2012. We decided to invite everyone interested. No limitations. Well, there needed to be some limitations (or better said directions) set due to the technical characteristics of our print technique – flock. But anyway – we wanted as many people as possible to take part in the project. Everyone – even those without any experience in designing stuff, but especially ones who like Flaska bottles a lot and want to be part of its future looks. And we pulled it through. Without realising it we joined the trend of crowdsourcing.
Creating and developing your product with the help of crowd is a sensible thing, since you learn a lot about people’s tastes, desires and preferences along the way. Without any surveys or analyses, just by listening and observing. But it’s a fun thing as well. We received more than 300 samples from 56 authors, communicating directly to every one of them. I confess – it was a bit overwhelming. Dealing with the project at the busiest time of the year sometimes left us wondering whether it was a very smart thing to do after all. But at the end we are sure it was worth it. Not necessarily easy or cheap – but definitely worth it!
We learned a lot, we had fun, and at the end we met all of the winning authors. All of them women, but all with different stories! Thanks and congratulations again! You are all very welcome to participate when we decide to ride the crowdsourcing wave again!