Springwise.com reports here about a new business idea from a company called Crowdspirit. What blogs, citizen journalism and YouTube have done for media, Crowdspirit hopes to do for product development. Crowdspirit will work two ways. Inventors submit ideas for innovative new products and contributors submit problems for inventors to work on. On top of this the Crowdspirit community will be involved in a product’s specifications. After prototyping, selected community members test and help fine-tune the products. The community members could also be involved for example as acting as a product’s ambassador.
I think this is a very interesting way to go concerning product development in the future. We have already seen example here and there were companies allows the consumer to specify products out of personal taste. Another recent trend is to involve the end-users in the production of marketing and communication. Martin Jönsson is talking about this trend here (only in Swedish unfortunaltely). One example he gives is Current TV, another is when Chevrolet asked for help to produce a new Tahoe commercial (probably a lot of non-consumers did send in their proposals as well with complains about gas-guzzling and global warming…). This is something you have to accept when inviting the consumers closer to the heart of your brand. And personally I think that listening careful to the voice of the consumers are the single most important thing to do for a brand today. Crowdspirit is trying to take this a step forward by involving the crowds in every aspect of a product’s life-cycle. If it will work it is a great idea. Let’s see if the consumers are ready to interact all the way from idea to distribution.