So you’ve recently discovered the power of crowdsourcing and you want to get involved. You’re probably the type that has a ton of ideas and want to share them with the world. That's wonderful! What better way to put them to use than submitting one to a crowdsourcing project? A variety of organizations, from LEGO to NASA, are tapping into the crowd to solve problems or get novel ideas.
But where do you begin? This is new territory for a lot of people so I'll be giving you some basic steps on how to get started in participating in crowdsourcing. The first step is to find a platform that hosts crowdsourcing projects (also called ‘competitions or ‘challenges’ like on HeroX). Some platforms focus on a certain subject area while others don’t. For example, Topcoder exclusively hosts projects relating to computer science. At HeroX, we have everything from arts and design to app development and prototype building.
Once you’ve found a platform, it’s now time to find a project that excites you. At HeroX, we encourage our sponsors to use straight-forward titles so it’s easy to tell what the goal is without needing to read the challenge overview. Also, as you’re just starting out, it’s good to select one that is focused on an area you know a lot about or doesn’t have too technical of requirements.
When you discover a crowdsourcing project that appeals to you, take a look at the timeline and guidelines to make sure you have enough time to develop a solution or idea. Then it’s time to get to work! Work by yourself or recruit people you know to help. On each HeroX challenge, we have a team matching feature that will help connect you to other registered innovators that are looking to collaborate. As the saying goes, two (or more) heads are better than one.
My last piece of advice would be to submit your entry as early as you can. I'm not implying that you should put together a rushed submission, be aware that there can be unforeseen issues that arise when submitting at the last minute. Don’t be victim to a slow website when everyone else is trying to upload their submissions right at the deadline. Try to at least get yours finalized 1 or 2 days prior.
All of us at HeroX believe that the next big ideas can come from anyone, anywhere. Be a part of the future of innovation now and join the crowdsourcing revolution!