Thunderclap (1): A crowdspeaking platform that enables individuals with ideas to gather support from the public and shout out their message to the world, ready to be picked up by governments or companies (but it’s also just a good marketing tool!). The #1 example? Phonebloks. As a message from Dave Hakkens, his Phonebloks Thunderclap gathered almost one million supporters before its due date. The result? At the same day the Thunderclap was sent out, Project Phonebloks was picked up by Motorola and is now being developed (under the name Project Ara) by the infamous Google X. Talk about success. Sometimes all you need to do is gather enough supporters so your idea can get the attention it deserves. Thunderclap enables this and makes sure that good ideas, innovative ideas, crowdsupported ideas, get to those that can develop it.
Turn this idea upside down and we’re talking about Google’s Play Store (2). Bring those that can develop applications an open source platform and within no time you will have a monster load of applications on any subject and of any quality. Regulation is minimized and this ensures an almost instantaneous time-to-market when the app is submitted for publishing. The crowd is used for app rating and as a back-up check to make sure the app isn’t malicious. Only when a certain amount of complaints is reached will Google step in.
Both Thunderclap and the Google Play Store trust on inspired individuals to deliver content to their platforms. These individuals rarely do so for the money; no, they have an idea to share, a useful application to share. They contribute because they feel something’s missing, because they feel they can add something meaningful (or just fun) to the world. And sometimes, they just want to be able to say, look what I did. And both Thunderclap and the Google Play Store trust on their consumers, on their crowd, to vote for their ideas or rate them. Why would the crowd bother to rate an app, or to vote for a Thunderclap? Because they love the idea, because they agree with the maker that something was missing. Or because they love the application, enjoyed it, or hated it.
Isn’t it interesting that two companies, two platforms that are so different on first glance still happen to have so much in common when you look at their core characteristics? Both enable inspired individuals to express themselves and show that to the world, enabling open innovation. All that’s left for the crowd to do is to give them thumbs up, or thumbs down. Power to the people!