New Business Ideas: The Power of Many


Two heads are better than one. Now you can imagine how powerful the wisdom of crowds is, when business start to leverage on the expertise and effort of a group of people to create products and services or to solve problems.

Termed “crowdsourcing” by Wired Magazine, this trend looks set to be exploited by businesses and entrepreneurs who appreciate the power of crowds and communities:

  • Nvohk is a community-managed, eco-friendly, surf-inspired clothing company. Pronounced ‘invoke’, the company combines the best of crowdsourcing and crowdfunding to develop its business. Nvohk is aiming to recruit 20,000 – 40,000 members to contribute $50 a year to build the Nvohk brand. Members will make major business decisions such as logo design, product design and advertising.
  • TribeWanted (see image above) is creating a global tribe that not only exists online, but also on a leased island in Fiji. There are three types of membership to choose from: Nomads, Hunters and Warriors; each package differs in length of membership and privileges. When the membership count reaches 5000, the tribe will be formed and tribal decision on important matters such as island infrastructure will be made through online voting.
  • Independent music site Amie Street knows economics inside out. It uses demand-driven pricing to let the community dictate the pricing of the tracks it sells on the website. Prices begin at zero and rise up depending on demand and supply factors. Community members recommend their favorite music and give back 70% of proceeds to artists after the first $5 in sales. We like it because it encourage musicians to mobilize their fan bases to support their music.
  • Wanted: football fans who would like to pool money together to buy a professional league football club. At MyFootballClub, football fans currently register for free, but they are committed to paying GBP 35 when 50,000 like-minded people have registered. With a purchase fund of GBP 1,375,000, plus GBP 375,000 for operational costs, MyFootballClub will then make the move to purchase a football club owned by its members.

How do you think you can utilize the wisdom of crowds in your business?

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This New Business Ideas Report is compiled specially for Small Business Trends from the editors of


9 Reactions
  1. Hi Steven – this is interesting stuff. I’m guessing my husband would love to know about the football club one? Do I tell him or not?!

  2. I don’t think that “two heads must be better than one,” but individuals who freely join together like the above mentioned examples could be an effect of the “long tail” impact. We will create a community with physical meeting places linked together with a virtual space online. We have been arguing how to get people to join our future community. It is a challenge to get a critical user / member base. I think the article in Wired could give me some clues on how to solve the “problem”…

  3. Interesting concepts. I would think it would be hard to have a large group agree on issues. I guess majority rules?

  4. Amanda: It is true that a large group of people could have a tough time to agree on different issues. I don’t think that it should be a default function that the majority should rule the minority. Without every single user / participant of the community, you don’t have nothing / nada to work with. Stand up for the individual and empower every active user and you will have a successful community. Of course you will have the 80/20 rule in action, and a small part of the whole community will be active and the rest will be “lurkers”, but you still have to be clear on the importance of defending the rights of the individual.

  5. I think, at their best, the creators of these communities demonstrated an amazing capacity to raise money by thinking outside the box (the ones i have researched are football club and nvohk). But I wouldn’t overthink the decision making process here. Let’s see…50k members- ok, vote on the logo, here are your choices (a,b,c,d), you have til Friday to vote. I know that footballclub doesnt show the current tally on votes so they dont sway voters just logging on.

    I would imagine that most of these organizations are NOT going to let members vote on IT decisions (this is just an example) such as: Linux vs. NT. I just don’t think that would be practical.

    Again, amazing way to take a novelty approach towards raising funds for a start-up. I have followed Nvohk since i first saw em the news….since December 4th, they have gotten 1k out of 20k to sign up.

    FYI, football club already hits it preliminary numbers and raised enough money to get things rolling( they just voted on a club to buy)…you should check out the news on their site.

  6. Jim,

    I am not especially interested in sport and definitively not European football (soccer), but I learned to appreciate American football. I look forward to watch my favorite team, New England Patriots, in the Super Bowl on February 3.

    All the Best,

    Martin Lindeskog – American in Spirit.
    Gothenburg, Sweden.

  7. Putting a pool of mind together is a great way to get greater ideas as long as they are with the right mind and proper attitude to work in a team. I have seen very successful teams in business. The only problems on teams is when everyone tends to work for themselves and not anymore for the team.

  8. Nice idea and examples.