Prospective clients interested in our iCE prediction market technology often ask whether it’s a crowdsourcing tool. My standard answer is “kinda.” The term crowdsourcing is defined on Wikipedia as:
…the act of outsourcing tasks, traditionally performed by an employee or contractor, to a large group of people or community (a crowd), through an open call.
Strictly speaking, iCE does meet this definition as the “task” of judging the relatively merits of competing new product or market concepts is “outsourced” to a “community” of prediction market traders. However, prediction markets differ from other crowdsourcing platforms in one important aspect: their primary goal isn’t to leverage the wisdom of crowds to source ideas, but rather to assess them.
Therefore I feel compelled to invent a new word for the unique way that prediction markets tap the wisdom of crowds: crowdassessing
Crowdsourcing and crowdassessing are sister techniques. Like real sisters, they can often complete each other’s sentences. What I mean here is that one technique picks up where the other left off.
Crowdsourcing is a powerful method for generating quality creative content quickly and inexpensively. For example, crowdspring leverages it’s community of over 63,000 creatives to come up with logo, graphic design and creative writing concepts for marketing buyers. InnoCentive crowdsources research and development ideas, mostly for biomedical and pharmaceutical companies. The input for crowdsourcing is a buyer request and the output is creative content.
Crowdassessing starts with creative content as the input and its output is selecting a winner amongst the various ideas. For example, our iCE prediction market is designed to assign an accurate “probability of success” to either 1) competing new product ideas, designs, or packages, or 2) competing marketing concepts such as logos, taglines, or advertisements. If a crowdsourcing technique can create it, a crowdassessing technique can judge it.
If she can find a way to couple these two techniques together, a marketer or new product developer’s job becomes incredibly easy. All she has to do is make a wish, and then leave all the hard work of sourcing brilliant ideas and assessing their brilliance up to the crowd.