12 Books on Crowdsourcing Every Innovator Should Read

Real leaders are readers. Do you agree? To jumpstart the second-half of  February, we’ve scouted these 12 crowdsourcing books every innovator should read to keep abreast on the industry, including crowdfunding, open-innovation, crowd economy, collaborative consumption, and everything in-between. Nothing beats our investment in reading great books, whether for personal or business development. And as Francis […]

Feb 25, 2015


Real leaders are readers. Do you agree? To jumpstart the second-half of  February, we’ve scouted these 12 crowdsourcing books every innovator should read to keep abreast on the industry, including crowdfunding, open-innovation, crowd economy, collaborative consumption, and everything in-between.

Nothing beats our investment in reading great books, whether for personal or business development. And as Francis Bacon puts it, “Some books should be tasted, some devoured, but only a few should be chewed and digested thoroughly. Below is the list of books worth “digesting thoroughly” this year. Our pick of the best books on crowdsourcing will give you an all-round perspective on crowdsourcing applications and will expand your knowledge base on collaborating with crowds and get you thinking about the possibilities within your vertical.

WIKIBRANDS: Reinventing Your Company in a Customer-Driven Marketplace by Sean Moffitt [LinkedIn | Twitter]

What is the future of the marketplace? This is a must-read for leaders and decision-makers, providing them practical insights and proven results, and supported by credible sources on how companies can engage with the customers effectively using social media and web 2.0 tools. In today’s fast-pace digitally connected world, insights regarding the intersections of social media, business, and marketing are non-negotiable—the power of collaboration between companies and customers is shaping the marketplaces today.

Crowdsourcing: Why the Power of the Crowd Is Driving the Future of Business by Jeff Howe [LinkedIn | Twitter]

The crowd is more powerful than you think. The book expands the concept of crowdsourcing and how it’s being used to achieve successful feats in business, social enterprises, collaborative creativity and more. Jeff tells us why “the crowd is more than wise–it’s talented, creative, and stunningly productive. It’s also indicative of perfect meritocracy, where age, gender, race, education, and job history no longer matter; the quality of the work is all that counts.” With an objective journalistic voice, the book also discusses the positive and negative consequences in crowdsourcing. 

The Mesh: Why the Future is Sharing by Lisa Gansky [LinkedIn | Twitter]

Imagine the future of business if your consumers would rather share resources than purchasing them. The author provides us great insights on this model—the peer-to-peer power in today’s digital economy. The author also provides an in-depth guide on how P2P, also dubbed as “Mesh,” can be leveraged by brands. It provides insights to building strong trust between companies and customers, helping them to share more and buy less. Learn about the infinite opportunities in a mesh network.

Getting Results from Crowds by Ross Dawson [LinkedIn | Twitter]

The book presents case studies and concepts to help leaders and decision-makers grow their business. Getting results from the crowd, talent, skills, and ideas are beyond measure in today’s collaborative economy coupled with the emerging technologies being developed. Glean thought-provoking ideas on how crowdsourcing can help solve major issues in the society, from political to environmental to economic vantage point.

Cognitive Surplus: How Technology Makes Consumers into Collaborators by Clay Shirky [LinkedIn | Twitter]

What happens when there’s a convergence of technology, intellect, energy, time and efforts? This book tells us how technology shapes consumer habits, paving the way for a healthy collaborative approach in various industries. Technology itself unleashes the untapped creativity of the crowd for meaningful and valuable experiences and results. There is no shortage of value in the crowd economy.

Wikinomics: How Mass Collaboration Changes Everything by Don Tapscott [LinkedIn | Twitter] and Anthony Williams LinkedIn 

Acclaimed best selling author Tapscott and researcher Williams provide actionable concepts on how mass collaboration changes the way early adopters of 21st technologies operate. With well-researched references, the authors expand the concept of this new economy where collaboration itself is happening beyond online spaces. It’s the way people work, whether offline or online to accomplish feats and create disruptions using web 2.0 tools.

Open Innovation: The New Imperative for Creating And Profiting from Technology by Henry William Chesbrough [LinkedIn | Twitter]

Open innovation is expanded at its finest in this book. Find out how technology and interdependencies of network drive companies to scout ideas from external sources in creating disruptive solutions and its contributing role in research and development and corporate technology innovation. Objective case studies are presented, showing the good and ugly side of the concept.

The Crowdfunding Revolution: How to Raise Venture Capital Using Social Media by Kevin Lawton [LinkedIn] and Dan Marom [LinkedIn | Twitter]

A good crowdfunding guide for newbies with an overview of crowdfunding itself, this book presents the landscape and its future role in business. It’s a must-read for newbies and veterans in the crowdfunding sector—if you want to know how social media can be used to decentralize the acquisition of funds and create effective campaigns, this book is worthy to digest.

Crowdfunding: The Next Big Thing by Gary Spirer [LinkedIn | Twitter]

Ever wonder why mainstream media is attracted to this trend, labeling it as the next big thing? The author shares his secrets on how to raise capital in today’s digital ages. Samples and case studies are cited, breaking down per chapter on how it works, the forms and classifications and call to actions on how to implement them.

What’s Mine Is Yours: The Rise of Collaborative Consumption by Rachel Botsman [LinkedIn | Twitter] and Roo Rogers [LinkedIn]

“Timely new coinage for the technology-based peer communities that are transforming the traditional landscape of business, consumerism, and the way we live.” Know why this new system will shape the way we live in now, from cars to services to products and private rooms and more.

Crowdsourcing for Dummies by David Alan Grier [LinkedIn | Twitter]

Here’s a straightforward guide on crowdsourcing, as the author walks us through the basics on crowdsourcing, crowdfunding and open innovation. Just like any dummies guide, this systematic approach will teach you how you can jumpstart a project, find the perfect audience, and get some advice on crowdsourcing designs, and more.

Digital Humanitarians: How Big Data Is Changing the Face of Humanitarian Response by Patrick Meier [LinkedIn | Twitter]

‘Fresh from the oven,’ published this January, the author tells how technology, the abundance of big data and the shift to collaboration, has given birth to the digital humanitarian. This has helped humanitarian response create positive global impact. Who exactly are these Digital Humanitarians? According to Meier, they’re you, me, all of us, volunteers and professionals from the world over and from all walks of life. What do they share in common? The desire to make a difference, and they do by rapidly mobilizing online in collaboration with international humanitarian organizations. A fine read to understand the core of crowds, big data and applications for the future.


You might also want to read other books on sales and consumer behavior in the crowdsourcing context like The Long Tail by Chris Anderson to understand why the future of business will be selling less or why you need The Wisdom of the Crowds by James Surowiecki to grasp how the collective wisdom of the 21st century is shaping the business, economies, societies, and nations, and Tom De Ruyck, et al on The Consumer Consulting Board. 

What else did we miss? Why not share your list of crowdsourcing books via  a comment or on social media (hashtag, #CSWGlobal2015) for our readers to check out, too? We appreciate your suggestions.  

Image via Flickr, Creative Commons

About Author

About Author

Maria Krisette Capati 玛丽亚

Maria is the Editorial Associate of Crowdsourcing Week in charge of media outreach. She's a major of Business Management and Entrepreneurship and an advocate of faith-based non-profit organizations, women's, and children's rights. When she's not writing and dabbling with the Crowdsourcing Week team, she satiates her wanderlust and travel around Asia.

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