The Second Wave of the Crowd Economy is Coming. Are you Ready?

Written by Epi Ludvik

Mar 8, 2016

In my last blog post, I talked about how disruptors are getting disrupted and elimination of the business ‘middle man.’ Today I want to look back at the first wave of the Crowd Economy and the impact it has made since its birth at the height of the last recession.

But first let’s take a look at the present global economy situation. Current global markets are collapsing and just last week, Chairman of Rogers Holdings, Jim Rogers, predicted there is a 100% probability of a U.S. recession within a year. Other than Rogers prognosis, much global forecasting comes from indicators shadowed by the Sovereign Debt Crisis in Europe, the Chinese economic bubble coming close to a pop, and economic data showing signs of similar patterns seen prior to the last recessionrelated to a slowing of global sales, and US GDP and export figures.  

The reason I bring the last recession into the picture is to share a full understanding of why the crowd economy, which flourished during the grip of the darkest economic period in modern times, is one massive wave that is just getting started.

Here are some past figures:

  • 2007-2009 was the deepest period of global recession and the worst since Great Depression of 1930s
  • Around this time, we saw the birth of Crowd Economy with platforms such as Kickstarter, Indiegogo, Freelancer, Zooppa, 99designs, Uber, Airbnb and many more.
  • During this period, figures surpassed 1.5 billion online users and Nokia had over 40% of market share
  • Amazon Web Services launched their cloud computing services
  • Innovative payment network Bitcoin was launched
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San Francisco, New York and London were the start up location hotspots in the early years of the Crowd Economy

Fuelled by the growth of the internet population, the Crowd Economy grew because of the recession rather than in spite of it. Another aspect of citizenship which flourished during this period was the idea that when customers can get what they need from each other, it changes everything. People-powered platforms forged these interconnections between citizens  organically, breaking down the barriers between creators, producers and end users. By empowering people, organizations found new, previously unimagined pathways and solutions to complex problems. This is the prefix that has remained when we talk about Crowd Economy during its short history.

Fast forward to 2016:

  • Just in the crowdfunding space alone, there are over 1700 platforms in the reward, equity and debt industries reaching over $30 billion in funding
  • There are 850 sharing economy platforms alone making impact from the global crowd’s tangible resources
  • Mobile internet users hits 2 billion worldwide
  • Alongside Amazon Web Services as a market leader, there are other large companies competing in the business connected to the Cloud such as Microsoft, Salesforce, Google, IBM, RackspaceNTT and expect Facebook to enter in this space soon
  • We have hundreds of digital currencies in the market and a handful of decentralized platforms like ethereum, Ripple, Blockstream and Augur making waves
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Crowd Economy start up global locations

2017 and beyond:

  • India alone will have 500 million internet users
  • The total internet population will hit 4 billion
  • China goes in deep recession resulting from the falling price of stocks and real estate overproduction
  • US debt rises to the point where it collapses with President Obama’s successor at the helm
  • Trillions of dollars wiped from global markets, though few global organizations will go to the wall
  • The deepest global recession ever
  • Birth of Crowd Economy 2.0 – Great Challenges, Massive Opportunities

Shifting away from the idea of institutions holding all the power, I predict the growth of decentralized systems owned by crowds. With the crowd at the helm, more companies will be  built on blockchain technologies and owned by crowds. It has started already. Just take a look at Lazooz, Mondo Bank and the announcement just last week by JP Morgan of a new “distributed cryptoledger” prototype, titled Juno, to name the few disruptors in 2017 and beyond.

I’ve been always saying that crowdsourcing is about passions, talents, skills and tangible resources. How are you harnessing these resources within your company and with your customers? What are you doing to transform your company in this digital age?

About Author

About Author

Epi Ludvik

As the Founder and CEO of Crowdsourcing Week and BOLD Awards, Epi works with all types and sizes of organizations, from high-profile companies to emerging startups, helping them to harness the power of the crowd and human-centered innovation. His pioneering journey in the digital world has been fueled by his commercial endeavors in the US, Europe and Asia, plus an unrelenting passion for crowd-based technology and marketplaces. The two factors combined have decentralized innovation, and disrupted entire business sectors in ways that were never previously imaginable. Epi’s gift and passion for crowdsourcing have allowed him to grow his companies and become a global thought-leader on the transformative potential of crowdsourcing in all industries and sectors, and all areas of public life. Epi Ludvik earned a BS in Advertising & Marketing from the Fashion Institute of Technology in NYC and has been a serial entrepreneur since graduation.

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