PARTICIPATION = SATISFACTION
In 1996 Jerry Maguire, an aspiring sports agent, repeated a four word request to his first and only client: “Help me help you!” And you know where that got him. The feedback gave him the direction he needed to become the one of the greatest sports agents of all time!

Tom Cruise played the role of Jerry Maguire in the movie of the same name, and here’s a clip where he uses the phrase.

Fast forward 20 years – as our friend Ivan Meisner, likes to say, “Take off the bib and put on the apron!” He believes this is the first rule of networking. Today, he is the founder of the world’s largest business networking franchise, IBN. 

Networking, whether it’s online or in person, is crowdsourcing at its finest. But having the right mindset to not just borrow from but also contribute to the collective intelligence makes it the most powerful. 

The Road to Participation

We’ve been using the crowdsourced navigation system “Waze” for years. It not only gets you to your destination, but it engages the other drivers to report driving conditions, hazards, and even police you can expect along the way. It’s free! And we have been basically wearing the “bib,” just taking the information the other drivers provide, without ever putting on the “apron” and participating by contributing the information we see to help the other drivers behind us. That is until recently. 

Evidently, one of the drivers ahead of us alerted the drivers behind her that there was a serious road hazard. She saw the hazard and participated with the app by entering it. It must have just happened because it popped up on our screen just seconds before we were on top of it. The last minute warning came soon enough for us to slow down and avoid it. Otherwise, with cars on either side at 65 miles per hour, we would have hit it. We looked at each other in relief and said, “Wow!” That was fortunate.  

The Crowdsource Mindset

As we continued on our trip, we decided to start contributing ourselves. Maybe we could save someone behind us with a timely warning. Obviously, the more people who contribute to the system, the more robust and dependable the collective intelligence becomes. Suddenly we were taken by the interdependency we all have in crowdsourcing. We were part of a family, looking out for one another. Since we have adopted this attitude, the whole experience has become much more rewarding.

Participating, by providing information, is just as rewarding as receiving that information. Your experience benefits the co-creation “crowd” and everyone wins! We are all experts in one way or another, even if it’s expert about the latest conditions on the road segment you just passed over. Knowing that those behind you will benefit makes you feel like you are making a difference. And that’s hidden value participation in crowdsourcing gives you. Your input matters and is appreciated! We know. We wanted to catch up to that other driver and thank them!

Getting Better At It

Not only do crowdsourcing applications based on mass collaboration improve the lives of their users and participants, they also improve the applications themselves. By monitoring how the crowd uses the platform and listening to its user suggestions, the apps themselves become more efficient and relevant. It’s like we are all building this app together through co-creation! Thanks to improving technology, the application is asking us, “Help me help you!” 

Crowdsourcing programs are popping up in every application and every profession. But they all rely on the participation of the “crowd” to improve. We discovered a great reason to participate. It simply made us feel good. How many opportunities are there to know you are making a difference? Crowdsourcing has to be at the top of the list!  

Crowd-related breakthroughs and the market disruption they can cause will be the subject of sector-leading speaker sessions and panel discussions at our next international conference, CSW Global 2019, running September 12-13 in San Francisco. Registration is open, you can reserve your place now.