Crowdsourcing for Micro-ISVs

One of the things a micro-ISV has to be on the lookout for are emerging trends they can get on top of and ride like the Devil. Crowdsourcing is one of those trends. There’s a great article, The Rise of Crowdsourcing, in the June Wired Magazine that any micro-ISV casting about for a product/service idea should read.

The gist of the idea is that the internet makes it possible to outsource not just to India but to anonymous, self-selecting denizens of the online world. For example, say you’re podcasting or audio interviewing and you need a written transcription. A year ago, 100 bucks an hour was the going rate – now its 24. What happened? Crowdsourcing.

A startup company, CastingWords.com, creates a easy to use site where you upload or point towards the audio file you want transcribed. Instead of having a room somewhere filled with typists listening to these files, they job the work out to Amazon’s Mechanical Turk, where people all over the world do intellectual piecework. I’ve used this service on three interviews for an upcoming book and the results were far better – and far cheaper – than “traditional” transcription services.

Get your hands on the article, or read it online. Then start thinking about the industries and businesses your micro-ISV focuses on. What kinds of intellectual piecework could your app or service parse out effectively, automatically and most importantly, disruptively?