Positive Deviance vs. Best Practices

Over time, I’ve seen people write disparagingly about the use of best practices in innovation. A recent example of this comes from Paul Martin in Say ‘Best Practice’ again, I dare you. As Paul notes:

For me the term ‘Best Practice’ conjures up images of a race toward uniform mediocrity, led by those who follow the crowd.

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Why Crowdsourcing Works

Crowdsourcing is a method of solving problems through the distributed contributions of multiple people. It’s used to address tough problems that happen everyday. Ideas for new opportunities. Ways to solve problems. Uncovering an existing approach that addresses your need.

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The Company That Uses Amazon Reviews for New Product Development

Guest Post by: Chris Holmes

Last week I read a fascinating article on Fast Company about C&A Marketing. The company sells a diverse range of products – from speakers to egg timers – and they’re growing at a fantastic rate, citing figures of 30% per year. But how can they have achieved such impressive growth? The answer lies in their innovative approach to new product development. They’ve done away with using lengthy product testing with consumers and are instead using Amazon reviews to inform the features of their products.

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Crowdsourcing Week 2013 – Sean Moffitt Opening Keynote and 16 Key Messages

I just  arrived back from Singapore and have crowd-coloured visions dancing in my head of what crowdsourcing can be for individuals, companies, causes, financiers and governments.

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Heineken wants your ideas about engaging the 60+

Full marks to Heineken who has decided that there might be some scope in getting a better understanding of the older market.

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Will Madison Avenue Become the La Brea Tar Pits of the Ad Industry?

The news that Ladies' Home Journal was turning to crowdsourcing as a way forward was a bit of a shock to me. The first company I started, Sports and Fitness Publishing, was a magazine company. You could say that I have ink in my blood. My Dad, Grandfather and Great Grandfather were all newspaper publishers. Almost every summer job I had in High School and College was working at the Canton Daily Ledger, my hometown paper.

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In Search of the Ultimate Crowdsourced Artistic Project

The past two weeks have seen a whirlwind of innovation in the music industry - everything from's $0.99 blowout offer for Lady Gaga's new album to Apple's decision to offer a cloud-based music offering.

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The Original Crowd

I'd like to skip past any hint of commentary on religion, per se, and talk about Judaism's Passover holiday as the most brilliant ever crowdsourcing campaign.

Passover is the annual retelling of the story of Exodus, which most of us are familiar with thanks to Cecil B. DeMille's 1956 classic movie The 10 Commandments: Lots of good-looking Jewish slaves were working on Pharaoh's construction projects when their savior, Moses, kicks Edward G. Robinson's butt, whacks the Egyptians with ugly plagues, and leads his people to freedom.

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Innovation in Publishing: A Short Interview with Jan Van Mol

A number of people these days are exploring new ways of publishing. Seth Godin has launched his Domino Project, Ted is doing Ted Books, and some time ago Alexander Osterwalder had some great ideas on Business Model Generation.

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Crowdsourcing, and Purpose

So I've gone and written something about crowdsourcing. The concept du jour. Partly because I think it genuinely has the potential to change how we do what we do, partly because my belief is that (many) media owners are missing out on a big opportunity to incorporate their audiences far more into the fabric of the way in which they work, and partly because I agree with Saneel that "serving as a scaffolding for customers to engage with brands beyond transactions" is a real opportunity for agencies.

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