By Jeff Howe, Wired
"Remember outsourcing? Sending jobs to India and China is so 2003. The new pool of cheap labor: everyday people using their spare cycles to create content, solve problems, even do corporate R & D."
The article starts out about a small company, iStockphoto and how they sell quality photos from "...amateur photographers Ã¢â‚¬ homemakers, students, engineers, dancers" at one percent of the costs of professional ones. It goes on to other industries but the idea is the same - crowdsourcing - or using the wisdom of crowds to get things done.
"Technological advances in everything from product design software to digital video cameras are breaking down the cost barriers that once separated amateurs from professionals. Hobbyists, part-timers, and dabblers suddenly have a market for their efforts, as smart companies in industries as disparate as pharmaceuticals and television discover ways to tap the latent talent of the crowd. The labor isn't always free, but it costs a lot less than paying traditional employees. It's not outsourcing; it's crowdsourcing."
Follow the longtail.
iStockphoto was/is disrupting the stock image space so much that Getty images bought them. What industires are next? As social network sites evolve and grow on the net there will be many more business models that get turned upside down. I posted yesterday about the lending industry, here. I know, it won't happen to your business, job, organization. I'm ok, you're biased.
So, what industry is next? Are we becoming a nation of freelancers? How many creation nets can one person participate in? What about workflow and coordinatng activites as well as business process management (BPM)? These are all valid points to consider as we move forward on getting work done in the 21st century.