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Table of Contents

Foreword by Jeffrey Hayzlett
Section I: Introduction to Crowdsourcing
Section II: Crowdsourcing Examples
Section III: Corporate Use of Crowdsourcing
Section IV: Leadership Enablement
Section V: Motivation for Crowdsourcing
Section VI: Crowdsourcing is a Community Effort
Section VII: Diversity of Opinions
Section VIII: Criticism for Crowdsourcing
Section IX: Crowdsourcing Insights
Section X: Conclusion
Appendix A: Steps to Crowdsource a THiNKaha Book
About the Authors



As the author of two business and marketing books, a maverick marketer and former CMO of a Fortune 100 C-suite company, I know the power and infl uence social media followers can bring to any product, service, or company. Whether you crowdsource or friendsource, the power to wrangle that collective knowledge is amazing. I’ve rustled up some of the best feedback and information from my company’s followers to drive simple product improvements or new products customers loved and bought like crazy and—best of all—increasing revenue. It’s about listening and responding in a relevant and timely way. You’ve then moved a step closer to the holy grail of marketing: the one-to-one relationship.

Authors Shankar and Levy share a vision of crowdsourcing worth examining and exploring. #CROWDSOURCING tweet Book01 demonstrates the benefi ts of collecting knowledge in bite-sized formats on key topics in a relatively quick fashion. Well-edited, this content provides a robust, consolidated view of the topic at hand. The crowdsourced content within the THiNKaha series may truly become the “Cliff Notes” of crowdsourcing and marketing for anyone in business. Not only do I recommend reading this book, I encourage everyone to consider their own business experiences to create their own book in this series.
Jeffrey Hayzlett
Global Business Celebrity, Bestselling Author, and Sometime Cowboy


Media Links

Listen to Mitchell Levy’s interview on MYOB Radio show.



Web technologies allow organizations to crowdsource, which is to tap into the collective intelligence of a large talent pool. Written by two crowdsourcing veterans, this handy volume (crowdsourced, of course!) will help you to tap into the collective wisdom of your crowd.

If you’d like to crowdsource your own THiNKaha book, click here!




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140 Bite-Sized Ideas to Tap into the Wisdom of the Crowd

by Kiruba Shankar and Mitchell Levy

The idea of soliciting input, whether from customers, associates or the general public, is hardly new. Yet crowdsourcing (the soliciting of collective wisdom) is a relatively new term which has quickly become an important business concept. The spike in the ability to crowdsource, driven by web technologies, has enabled the concept to assume center stage in business strategy. A strong ability to tap into the collective intelligence of the public, or a well-defined segment of the public, enables businesses to greatly expand the talent pool available at their disposal. Typically, crowdsourcing helps organizations complete tasks faster, more efficiently and often simply better.

Kiruba Shankar and Mitchell Levy are both firm believers in the concept of collaborative wisdom. In their very diverse and singularly successful careers, crowdsourcing has helped them accomplish many tasks successfully while having fun along the way. Now they bring you #CROWDSOURCING tweet Book01, in which they share with you smart ideas (crowdsourced, of course!) that teach you to tap into the wisdom of the crowd.

Kiruba and Mitchell can convince the most vociferous skeptic. Here’s a sample: Doubt the value of crowdsourcing? Encyclopedia Britannica took 200 years to write 80,000 articles. Wikipedia: 9 years, 10 million+ articles. Through the book, their personal experiences and their ability to tap into the experiences of others comes clearly through. For example: I crowdsourced the creation of my logo and got 95 logo concepts for $300. My graphics agency just lost a customer to crowdsourcing. And lest you start thinking of crowdsourcing as a silver bullet, here’s a reality check: Crowdsourcing is a democratic process. However, just like in any democracy, it needs leaders to hold the flag and lead.

#CROWDSOURCING tweet Book01 is the book on leveraging the experience of the crowd, brought to you by two experienced authors who are comfortable with walking their talk. Replete with bite-sized wisdom from start to finish, you will surely find yourself flipping through its pages time and again as you tap into the collective wisdom of your crowd.

#CROWDSOURCING tweet Book01 is part of the THiNKaha series whose 112-page books contain 140 well-thought-out quotes (tweets/ahas).



Read about the AHAthat


Sample Tweets from the Book

#1 Crowdsourcing is the process of gathering interesting people and tapping their knowledge and spare time to create something of value.

#37 Creating a product with ideas from the customer makes the customer proud that his/her idea has been used.

#64 Creating a product with ideas from the customer makes the customer proud that his/her idea has been used.

#100 Let’s not get carried away by crowdsourcing. Don’t turn it into an excuse for slacking off and expecting others to do your work.

#130 Crowdsourcing is 85 percent people, 10 percent process, and 5 percent technology.


Advance Praise

“This concise and powerfully practical book provides provocative answers to questions on the minds of every business leader today: ‘How can I generate innovative ideas that power growth?’, ‘How can I tap into the power of social networks?’ and ‘How can I use leverage to get more done for less?’ You will thank Shankar and Levy for their insights.’
Richard Bravman, Chairman, Intellefl ex Corporation

“Crowdsourcing has become mainstream. Kiruba and Mitchell have distilled their accumulated experience probably a hundred times to give you 140 bite-sized nuggets. Very easy to read. Very hard to forget.”
Bastin Gerald, Founder and CEO, Apptivo

“Business leaders, take note: #CROWDSOURCING tweet Book01 is a must-read for navigating today’s always-connected, social-everything economy.”
Sabrina Horn, President and CEO, Horn Group Inc.

“#CROWDSOURCING tweet Book01 is a really varied collection of quotes that would intrigue anyone about crowdsourcing. It is well organized and allows one to get a glimpse of how people from very, very different walks of life see the usefulness and importance of ‘sourcing to the crowd.’ I guess it is perhaps more intuitive than one would be led to imagine. By compiling this set of tweets, [the authors] will help increase the several dimensions through which the art and craft of crowdsourcing will be viewed in the future.”
Shishir K. Jha, Public Project Lead, Creative Commons India Associate Professor, Shailesh J. Mehta School of Management, IIT Bombay

“#CROWDSOURCING tweet Book01 harnesses the power of social media to provide a holistic defi nition of crowdsourcing—and it’s a lighthearted read! This co-created project is a must-read for anyone wanting a comprehensive (and thought provoking) take on this disruptive trend.”
Philip Letts, Founder and CEO, blur Group™

“If you have struggled to keep up with all the new techniques that leverage the Internet, this is one you don’t want to miss. After my fi fteen minute easily digestible read of this book by Kiruba Shankar and Mitchell Levy, I learned all about the benefi ts and ease of using this concept to drive thought leadership.”
Peter Ostrow, Former New York Times Executive and CEO, Technical Communities

“The human brain does its extraordinary work through a series of systems from the molecular through the structural. #CROWDSOURCING tweet Book01 reveals the power of many brains operating as a system. Why would you not avail yourself of this extraordinary resource?”
Tim Tosta, Author of #DEATH tweet Book01 and #DEATH tweet Book02, and one of California’s leading land use and environmental attorneys

About the Authors


Kiruba Shankar
Kiruba Shankar


Kiruba Shankar @Kiruba, CEO of Business Blogging and Director of F5ive Technologies, has 14 years of experience in the Internet space. He lectures at the prestigious Indian Institutes of Management and is Ambassador for the TEDx program in India. Curator of Cerbrate, the international event for achievers, professional podcaster and blogger, Kiruba also makes time to author books that elucidate and opine on cutting-edge business strategies.

Mitchell Levy
Mitchell Levy


Mitchell Levy@HappyAbout, corporate visionary, prolific business writer and acclaimed speaker is CEO of the independent and approachable publishing house Happy About. In a singularly successful career, he has created executive education programs for Silicon Valley universities, served as conference chair for Comdex and spoken at hundreds of forums on e-commerce and business. Particularly in Silicon Valley, Mitchell finds himself frequently called upon for his strategic expertise, big picture thinking and extensive business networks. Mitchell can be reached at 408-257-3000,mlevy@happyabout.info