What if you could talk directly to your prospective customers from anywhere in the world, and ask them what they are looking for? Suppose you could use the same approach to ask for advice about issues facing your business? That is the concept behind Crowd Advisor , a site which draws upon the power of crowd wisdom to suggest ideas and offer opinions.
Crowd wisdom is being used all over the Web these days. Yahoo, for example, has Yahoo Answers , Google tried it and failed , and now Quora is a runaway success . But now we are seeing the emergence of an exclusively business crowd wisdom platform.
Crowd Advisor is the brainchild of Guy Simon, Eli Avital and Ilan Goldberg. It aims to help businesses survive difficult start-up issues by being able to go directly to ordinary interested people who may have nuggets of wisdom to offer.
The user describes their problem, called a “challenge” on Crowd Advisor, and a time limit is set for people to offer suggestions and opinions. After the clock has run out, the company offers a cash prize for the best opinion, and Crowd Advisor takes a 15% fee.
You can either make the challenge public or private. Advantages of going private would be if you wanted to engage with your own community, a small exclusive group of people. Or you may decide to go for broke and open your challenge up to the entire world.
Next, users need to explain the kind of input they are seeking. Do they want an idea (on how to solve a problem), an opinion (on whether a particular solution or product is a good idea,) or just a vote on something. Finally, decide who gets to participate, depending on demographic criteria such as age, gender, hobbies, profession and others. Then unleash the wisdom of the crowd and see if any good ideas emerge.
Many larger companies — Dell, Starbucks, Walmart and Coca-Cola — are already using crowd sourcing. Now it is possible for startups and small businesses to access that kind of power too. Crowd Advisor can provide another approach to gaining insight and answers from your community, customers and experts in your field.
Images: Crowd Advisor