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Big Firms Try Crowdsourcing

Wall Street Journal (01/17/12) Silverman, Rachel Emma

Some large firms are opting to go with crowdsourcing as opposed to hiring temporary employees to perform large tasks. Crowdsourcing labor usually involves firms farming out small tasks that are part of a larger project to the general public—by posting the requests on a Web site—for little to sometimes no pay.

Companies that have assigned work to the crowd say it is generally cheaper and faster than hiring temporary employees or traditional outsourcing firms. Crowdsourced labor can cost companies less than half as much as typical outsourcing, says Panagiotis Ipeirotis, an associate professor at New York University’s Stern School of Business, who studies crowdsourcing. From 2010 to 2011, revenues of business-focused crowdsourcing firms grew 74%.