Tag Archives: crowdsoursing

Lost in Translation?

“Gengo, the Uber for translations.”

Youtube. Magento. Tripadvisor. Alibaba.com. These companies are using the service of Gengo, namely translations powered by its community. This platform provides professional human translation service and has completed already one million translation jobs. Founded in 2008 and by the end of 2013, Gengo has translated 150 million words. Everyone can join the community and sign up as a translator. Currently, 34 languages and 58 language pairs are available to bilinguals with a network of 14,702 translators across 114 different countries.

Gengo makes it very simple for diverse companies to integrate high-quality language translation through an API. As a homeworker, it is very easy to connect to Gengo and begin translating as a freelancer. The platform allows translators to work and manage their own time similar to Uber. Another neat feature is the education of beginning translators in order to increase the overall quality. In general, Gengo delivers a strong message and an innovative service.

This blog continuegengo websites the awareness of crowdsourcing and the sharing economy. Like Uber, Gengo is a gamechanger by making an impact in the translation world. Not to mention, this company has already collected $ 24.2 millions from 23 investors. People-powered translation lowers the barrier to make an impact in the society by translating texts.

However, there are some disadvantages. Until recently, translation crowdsourcing already exists that is merely on voluntary basis for NGOs. Here comes Gengo, which mediates between the supply and demand of translators. They aim to turn it commercial and make translations affordable for companies. All bilinguals can join as a translator very easily without prior qualifications. But the most interesting part is the differentiation of ‘pro’ translators and ‘standard’ translators. The firm describes the pro level where accuracy is key whereas the standard level is focused on non-critical texts, such as blog posts and articles. Likewise the pay rates are differentiated. Usually, a professional translator asks $0.25 per word, but the pro-level and standard-level translators from Gengo receive $0.08 and $0.03 per word respectively. The workload and the related pay rate are perceived as unbalanced since many reviewers on Glassdoor.com have complained about the unreasonable pay compared to their effort.

Basically, Gengo enables businesses to scale quickly and to connect with a global audience. The platform let translators easily read and translate with one click. Not only the ease of the platform is important, the quality of human translation makes the texts easier to comprehend and more natural to read. Yet, the translators feel unsatisfied with their compensation. All thing considered, would you join as a Gengo translator?





World’s Smartest Lightbulb meets Smart users!

According to Randall et al (2005) moving the specification decisions of a product from producer to user can be a valuable decision considering that the user is the agent in the value chain with the most knowledge about user preferences.

In the case of Philip’s HUE, this was certainly situation. The HUE lighting system uses LED bulbs – with a twist! Opposed to being controlled by a switch, the Hue bulbs are controlled with your smartphone using an IOS app. The light lets you switch between a wide spectrum of colours and brightness settings, allowing you to customize the lighting in your home around mood or setting (Forbes, 2013). The “how many years does it take to change a lightbulb” is an amusing creative video that will allow you to get a feel for the product.

When the product was launched late in 2012, HUE had an enthusiastic group of users and hardware/software developers seeking to deliver extending compatible apps and integration with other products. Thus, Philips answered to this by formally launching HUE LED Lamp APIs and a software development kit. This opened the playing field for third party developers to create new, exciting applications using light (Philips 2013).

This was no mistake considering that the HUE community created rich functionality for an enhanced customer experience (Philips 2013). A cool example is that external developers have created apps that integrate Hue with music. Hue Disco controls HUE lamps dynamically based on the music beat picked up by the microphone in the smartphone (Ledsmagazine, 2013). Another example is a scheduling application that can integrate with a phone’s calendaring application.

The developers can use the new tools to more easily develop apps and this is still happening today. For example, manufactures currently working on universal TV remote controls are considering adding HUE support (LedsMagazine, 2013). Other devices such as thermostats might integrate HUE as well. (LedsMagayine, 2013)

According to Kevin Toms, Developer Advocate of Hue’s software developers’ platform, the response from the HUE community has been incredibly positive (Philips, 2013). Philips thus aims to continue redefining the possibilities of light by enabling developers to create apps that customers want and need.


How did Philips leverage developer communities for innovation?

  • Creating tools, guidelines and software libraries to support development
  • Facilitating Hackathons and Developer conferences
  • Being present and supporting discussions on social media (Twitter, Facebook, Community-founded sites)
  • Embracing the community!

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Results: Generating Innovation and PR that translates into sales!

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Moving Towards a Craft-Consumer: The Example of AudioDraft

It is a fact that firms are constantly looking for new ideas and content that fit their specific needs. Therefore, not only consumers respond to customized solutions offered by companies, but the opposite can happen as well. The evolution of crowdfunding has allowed the creation of suitable platforms that connect individuals with firms within new contexts.

AudioDraft is an interesting case of such a platform. It allows anyone that needs a specific music or sound to crowdsource it to talented composers or music designers around the globe. The best analogy for what the startup does is 99Designs for sound [1]. What is the core of this idea? “The logic is to make things simpler for everyone. Customers can always know beforehand what their music budget will be and the designers can more easily understand the payment amounts they are expecting from the service”, says Arto Tolonen, co-founder of AudioDraft [2].

The company was founded in 2010 and within the first three years managed to create a community of about 20,000 musicians and composers that offer their music talents to clients or firms. This pool is balanced out by approximately 1,000 customers [3]. Nokia is one of the biggest companies that have used it in order to create a sound to go with its new devices. Initially, the only way offered to connect artists with companies was through competitions initiated by the latter (Open Studio). The platform charged 99$ fee per competition, in addition to 10% of the prize money. However, later AudioDraft created an online unique music store, where participants could upload their music, while customers have to pay them anything from 400$ to 2000$ for a license of a certain track (A&R). The last option provided is full access to the musician talent pool along with a full music production toolkit for 999$ per month (Agency Studio).


Each of the above revenue models correspond to a different level of customization and expertise for the required music. And while 1,000 customers might not seem a massive number, the average commission musicians gain per track is 1,200$, with AudioDraft gaining 10% of it. “There are artists on the platform who are making enough money to pay for their living costs” states CEO Teemu Yli-Hollo [1]. As for the goal of this crowdsourcing music company?  “We want to give artists other means to create and find distribution for their music than the old record label way, and to make crowd-sourcing music easier,” Yli-Hollo explains. Another interesting functionality included in the platform allows fans to have access to the actual production of a music track. “Imagine if an artist like Madonna would build a song online, giving fans access to hear the song as it is being written, having them comment the track and share the process of writing music,” Yli-Hollo suggests [4]. Could such ideas cause the next big disruption in the music industry?

AudioDraft is a perfect example of a firm that uses crowdsourcing to empower customers to create new products and even distribute them to other people or firms. Such cases show the unlimited potential of crowdsourcing. We have already looked into consumers customizing products that firms offer and the principles of this customization process [5]. Perhaps it is time to look into consumers creating custom products for themselves, from which they alone profit and through which they create a different kind of value for firms, not monetary. This is the next step as the market is moving towards a “craft-consumer”, one that brings skill, knowledge, judgement and passion while being motivated by a desire for self-expression in the process of creating a new product [6].


[1] http://techcrunch.com/2013/07/17/audiodraft/

[2] http://www.goodnewsfinland.com/archive/news/audiodraft-launches-online-store-for-exclusive-audio-tracks/

[3] http://www.arcticstartup.com/2013/07/18/audiodraft-picks-up-e300000-to-grow-audio-sourcing-platform

[4] http://venturebeat.com/2010/05/24/audiodraft-gives-musicians-new-tools-for-online-worldwide-collaboration/

[5] Randall, Taylor, Christian Terwiesch, and Karl T. Ulrich. “Principles for user design of customized products.” California Management Review 47.4 (2005): 68.

[6] Campbell, Colin. “The Craft Consumer Culture, craft and consumption in a postmodern society.” Journal of consumer culture 5.1 (2005): 23-42.

Large Groups Contributing to Large Firms

Today, almost anybody in the world will recognize the logo of the ‘Two Golden Arcs’. This restaurant does not always have a positive image in everybody’s mind. Mediocre quality, fa(s)t food and probably even the extremely hot coffee are negative things associated with this brand. No, McDonald’s does not have the healthiest image. Is that entirely Donald Thompson’s, current CEO of McDonald’s, mistake? The answer is no; society even contributes to further develop this brand. Continue reading Large Groups Contributing to Large Firms