Milestone 3 Mustang DarkHorse: The Kickstarter Model
Requesters find it difficult to get work submissions quickly, and with the average crowdsourcing marketplace model, giving workers more incentive to complete a task quickly and accurately proves to be a challenge. We thought we'd apply the Kickstarter model to new HITs that are posted. For a limited amount of time, workers are offered an extra monetary incentive to work on a HIT.
How the Kickstarter Model works
Kickstarter is a popular crowdfunding platform. Individuals or organizations can set up a Kickstarter campaign, and allow interested users to 'pledge' some money towards funding the idea they've pitched and 'back' it. In return, the operator of the campaign may give backers a pledge reward. Pledge rewards are almost always a limited edition item or perk, and are only given to a limited number of backers, almost always at a first-come, first-serve basis – thereby acting as an incentive for backers to pitch in and support the project. Pledge rewards may decrease in lucrativeness as the minimum pledge amount decreases; i.e., only backers who contributed a certain amount of money towards the campaign are eligible to receive rewards.
How the Kickstarter can be applied to our Crowdsourcing Platform
Imagine this – you're a requester who is in the process of publishing a new HIT. You think your HIT might not attract enough attention from workers, or you're posting a task that needs rapid responses. That's when you see that the platform gives you the option of – for a limited amount of time, and for the first x number of workers who agree to do the task – offering an increased compensation amount for the HIT.
Now, put yourself in the shoes of a worker who's scanning the HIT Discovery page for new tasks to attempt. You see a HIT that for the, say, first 100 workers or the first hour from time of posting, will multiply the amount of compensation by some constant number, say 2.0. As the timer slowly ticks and the hour advances, the multiplier keeps decreasing at specific time intervals – from 2.0 to 1.95, to 1.90, and so on – ultimately reducing the multiplier to 1.0, i.e. the usual compensation amount for that task. If you were lucky, you pounced at the opportunity to complete this HIT while the multiplier was high, and successfully earned some extra money.
If you're familiar with the concept of Uber's Surge Pricing, you probably realize how these two are very similar, and very different at the same time. This is essentially the surge pricing concept turned on its head – Instead of increasing the price of the service as long as high demand lasts, we're trying to create high demand and increase incentive for workers by offering an increased compensation amount for a limited amount of time.