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Crowds drive web business March 25, 2007

Posted by Joanne KY Teoh in Convergence, Trends.
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The Web is shifting power from organizations to crowds, as customers go online to organize themselves in new ways. The ability to organize 10,000 people used to be the domain of nations or big companies. Not anymore.

Trendwatching.com notes the ease with which citizens and consumers can now go online to connect, group and exert influence globally.

CrowdSpirit shows how customer power is driving the Web economy. Crowdspirit lets customers connect to buy products and decide the new products they’d like to see developed.

Here’s how it works:

Step 1: The community sends ideas, fine tunes them and votes for the best one.

Step 2: The best ideas and their product specifications are defined with CrowdSpirit’s research and manufacturing partners. Community investors start financing the product development.

Step 3: The first prototype is tested and fine-tuned by the community.

Step 4: Customers buy products, thanks to the CrowdSpirit supply chain. The community takes care of product support and recommends products to retailers.

More examples of crowdclout:

Cruisecompete.com – travel agents quote you the cruise you want.

Igglo.fi – potential buyers can ‘pre-order’ houses that aren’t on the market, allowing potential sellers to find out how desirable their property is.

Eventful.com – music fans in a certain city, for example, can request their favorite group to come and play there.

Dutch United Consumers – negotiates mass discounts on insurance, petrol and electricity on behalf of its 250,000 members.

Taobao.com and Liba.com – Chinese sites that facilitate customers to group and enjoy discounts on products.

SellaBand.com – fans invest in favorite bands to allow them to make new recordings.

FROM ATTENTION TO INTENTION
All this customer power is part of what Web observer, Doc Searls calls the Intention Economy.

The Intention Economy grows around buyers, not sellers. It leverages the simple fact that buyers are the first source of money, and that they come ready-made. You don’t need advertising to make them. The Intention Economy is about markets, not marketing. Doc Searls

The Intention Economy is built around truly open markets, not a collection of silos. Customers don’t have to fly from silo to silo, like bees from flower to flower, collecting deal info (and unavoidable hype) like so much pollen. In The Intention Economy, the buyer notifies the market of the intent to buy, and sellers compete for the buyer’s purchase.

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