CrowdResearch is currently tackling two different problems that will change the world:
- Create new crowd market place
- Conduct research with the crowd.
We believe that to succeed it might be easier to tackle each problem separately.The crowd market place could be a startup that is created following traditional forms of production (i.e., with paid staff). Crowd Research can be the "labs" aspect of the startup that focuses on conducting research. Some of the research will feed into the startup. The benefit to having the research side is to experiment with features before we release it to the public. Having a more traditional form of production for the crowd market place will facilitate developing a commercial platform.
Crowd Market Place
The crowd market place has the potential of changing people's lives throughout the world. We believe that to finish building the platform and be used across the globe it might be more efficient to adopt a more traditional production model (rather than developing the platform with the crowd):
The crowd Market Place should be a social business. The platform needs paid staff that will have the platform ready for commercial use. We could continue with our system of volunteers while we gather profit to have hired staff. But after the platform starts to have earnings we use that to pay a staff. We could think that the staff of the platform could involve Software Engineers, User Experience Engineers, Product Manager, Senior UX Designer, Community Engagement, Public Policy Manager, Recruiters etc.
Following a more traditional mode of production could facilitate having the platform ready for worldwide use. We could think of using crowd funding approaches, apply for grants, etc to further fund the platform.
Crowd research has the potential of also changing people's lives, really brining change into the world by transforming who gets to be a creator. That is amazing!
However, Crowd research is difficult because it involves coordinating crowds for a very complex task.
We believe that this has its own challenges which merit exploring different workflows styles. Some of the challenges we see are:
Fostering Collaborative Environment
We can achieve this by trying to understand each other’s point of view. We need to understand that we have a multicultural research group. Miscommunication is very common among virtual teams, and even more when the team spans cultures . For this purpose we propose that a research culture should be streamlined across the project. . The culture could also encourage people to be transparent and clear about expectations (clarify and track commitments within a team i.e be explicit in getting team members to commit to define their own milestones within the team tasks and let them track their own progress).
The Culture should also foster an environment were it is OK to ask questions instead of following orders. We are researchers, so having a hunger to inquire is important.
Fast Execution of Quality Research
Here we need to tackle: how do we make rapid decisions and progress while still engaging with new and exciting ideas and letting new people contribute?
We have thought that having a leadership board could help to execute quality research more rapidly. However, here we believe it is important to make transparent the process of joining the leadership board (i.e., how do you get selected to join the board), as well as the actions of the board. We also have to make it affordable for a person to be part of the board. Senior researchers might consider doing contributions elsewhere where they can do less for more recognition and more impactful research.
We believe crowd research should continue to work on designing the crowd market place of tomorrow. Exploring different aspects of it. Crowd research could be the "labs" section of our crowd market place. Note However crowd research should focus on producing research not on creating a business.
How to Motivate Core Crowd Researchers
The core team is key for the continuous success of crowd research. How do you keep this team motivated so they don't leave?
We believe the following is important:
- Respect their time
- Let them grow
- Opportunity to make the best most amazing research they have ever done in their life.