In this world of instant global communication and online forums that allow individuals to contribute to the wealth of knowledge that lies a mere finger tap away, it’s no wonder companies have put two and two together and started crowd-sourcing aspects of their business.
But could this collaborative business phenomenon evolve into a world where there are no managers, and people could contribute when they wished because they were intrinsically motivated?
Software Testing with “99Tests”
That is the question Praveen Singh, CEO and Founder of 99tests, asked himself when he leaped into the crowd-sourcing fray in the winter of 2010 by starting a crowd-sourced software testing venture in the form of 99tests.
99tests offers crowd-sourced testing to software product companies around the globe. These companies can hire twenty to sixty on-demand software testing professionals who will test their products in real world conditions over the course of a few days in order to catch critical bugs before customers do.
They test for various platforms such as mobile, Web and tablets and support a range of testing types such as functionality, security and performance testing. With a workforce 4250 testers strong and over fifty global customers within two short years, 99tests has hit the software testing market floor running.
Whether you’re an established firm or a fledgling start up, 99tests accommodates your testing needs through fixed price per unit packages, a pricing standard used among other crowd sourcing companies such as CrowdFlower. Each package varies in size depending on the client’s needs and 99tests communicates diligently with the client to make sure these needs are clearly presented and addressed. 99tests even provides a demo package for a steal to win you over.
And win you over they will when you consider that in just over two years, the 99tests community has logged 22,304 bugs.
Motivation Via Healthy Competition
Keeping the community dedicated to providing quality service is crucial to the success of crowd-sourcing firms, so what better way to motivate his testers than to turn each project into a healthy competition?
99tests makes each project a client sponsored competition amongst the assigned testers in which the top testers who find the most bugs receive a monetary prize.
But 99tests goes a step further and often these top testers will also win testing tools that help nourish and build their skill sets. It is this perk that really sets 99tests apart from other crowd sourcing firms since it is not only their intention to deliver the best possible service to the clients, but also strive to strengthen each tester’s abilities. By offering these incentives, 99tests guarantees a network of passionate and exceptionally talented testers.
In fact, founder Praveen Singh sees 99tests as a professional networking site for testers that creates a unique image and reputation for excellence. He would like to fortify his 99tests brand by creating a crowd-sourcing platform that testers want to be associated with and feel compelled to be a contributing part.
Praveen found a trusted partner in his Co-Founder Naveen Kumar, who expressed interest in 99tests after shutting down his own venture. Naveen plays a crucial role in the operations of 99tests taking care of the technology, development, and marketing aspects of the business. This leaves Praveen free to continue being the software crowd-sourcing evangelist he is.
It is equally important to Praveen to give value to the lives of the people in his community, as it is to provide his clients with exceptional service. By outsourcing work to independent freelancers through an internationally accessible platform, he has helped place testers from remote corners of India in established organizations, significantly improving their quality of life.
In just over two years 99tests has been able to log over 20,000 bugs from this 4,000+ work force. They have done so with only a fraction of the 37 million dollars in venture capital their American goliath counterpart, uTest, has.
Praveen and Naveen’s goal for 2013 is to reach 10,000 testers and secure 200 customers by the year’s end. They also want to expand into automation services and help companies manage the risk of releasing “buggy” software. Ambitious, of course, but with increasing demand for crowd-sourced services, certainly promising.
Testing Tablet Photo via Shutterstock