Behavioral Trends: The Power of the Crowd


The Power of the Crowd


It’s about me and you, and mostly what WE want and have in common. A single “big one” cannot keep competing against many “little ones”. We get connected and united for an infinite number of reasons, and ultimately exert influence on a local and/or global scale. WE are in control!




Jeff Howe coined the term “crowdsourcing” in 2005 while working as an editor for Wired magazine, and, logically, has been an expert on the topic ever since. His definition of crowdsourcing was included for the first time in the 2006 Wired article “The Rise of Crowdsourcing”: it represents the act of a company or institution outsourcing a function previously fulfilled by employees to a network of people gathered through an open call online. The concept has only proven more accurate as time has passed and the Internet has expanded its reach and influence over the world, showing incremental prevalence over time.

The Power of the Crowd - Crowdsourcing Jeff Howe (article)


Play Business is a Mexico-based digital platform, which enables accessible investments from individuals towards different companies. This investment is translated into a source of yearly income from a percentage of those companies’ sales. The company’s platform is an alternative to expensive, uncertain investments, allowing a community of Makers (entrepreneurs and innovators) and Players (investors) to prosper and bring a wide array of exciting projects to life in the Latin American region.

The Power of the Crowd - Playbusiness


Instead of posting about your latest investment or career experience, what if you could post about your long-desired dreams and most memorable experiences, and even make money out of it? London-based, Venezuela-founded social network URIJI JAMI aims to empower its users to do just that. This social network prides itself in being one of the first to introduce hopes and goals in the social media experience. They have placed life at the centre of a community of like-minded people. After all, like they say, “life is a capital that we must grow by sharing our dreams and stories.”

The Power of the Crowd - Uriji Jami


Valve has made a name for itself as one of the most daring, innovative and visionary video game developers. Since 1998, when they made their debut with Half-Life, they’ve become industry leaders in game development and distribution, by founding and running the massive online video game marketplace Steam. The most fascinating aspect out of all this, is the internal organisation of the company itself – there is no hierarchy, no “bosses” to report to, just teams centred around particular areas that work together to fulfil the task at hand. That way, Valve has created its own sort of “crowd-based” decision making process – which has evidently yielded results in its immense success.

The Power of the Crowd - Valve Crowd Decision Making (article)


Anyone who has used the Internet in the past few years has most likely encountered a notable Kickstarter campaign or two. The platform has set the standard for crowdfunding, both online and offline, in the creative field. Their mission, they say, is to help bring creative projects to life. Creators can share their original ideas with a community that will then fund them. Without the existence of a middleman, backers fund completely independent projects directly, becoming a part of the project’s history and helping spread. The community is not small by any means – as of 2020, over 18 million people, from every continent on earth, have helped fund Kickstarter projects, and hopefully many more to come.

The Power of the Crowd - Kickstarter


Ifixit is an online community created around “repair culture”. Instead of throwing damaged items away and just buying a new one, as companies would want you to, Ifixit offers a multi-faceted alternative. Repairing not only is more economical, but also ecological; it also emphasizes your actual ownership of the item – “you bought it, you should own it”, Ifixit proclaims. Those who want to join in on this repair community already count on hundreds of people before them who have attempted and succeeded at the repair in question. The website allows users to share their guides with the community, as well as offering repair tools and parts for direct purchase; betting on users’ self-determination and community support.

The Power of the Crowd - Ifixit


Vivino is an online wine marketplace and community of millions of wine aficionados. The app’s wine shopping experience has been described as unique due to its use of community data to build personalized wine recommendations, which are suggested to even the most novice of users. This functionality empowers people to enjoy wine discovery and purchase, while also helping users build their own taste and understand what exactly they like in their wine.

The Power of the Crowd - Vivino


Traffic is every city’s nightmare, all around the world. Roads, which are an essential part of our day-to-day mobility, are often clogged or accident-ridden, which makes all of our commutes (whether by car or bus) just that much worse. Waze has helped people all around the world to get where they’re going in a faster and safer way, through their practical, community-based solutions. The app uses user-submitted data to calculate better, quicker routes for drivers to take; even allowing users to schedule a trip, calculating the best time to leave in order to arrive on time at their destination.

The Power of the Crowd - Waze


GoFundMe is one of the leading online crowdfunding sites in the world. Unlike Kickstarter, which aims to fuel people’s creative projects and innovations, GoFundMe has a more humanitarian purpose. It’s more aimed to help individuals, organisations and causes that need help in one way or another, get donations as efficiently and expeditiously as possible. The site harbours millions of people needing funds for everything from life-saving surgery to helping hunger relief in countries like Venezuela and Yemen, which is why it has become an example of crowds putting humanity first – they are not investing in a product, but in their fellow humans’ livelihoods.

The Power of the Crowd - GoFundMe


Ever since its foundation in 1999, Urban Dictionary has become an incredibly valuable resource in Internet archaeology: hordes of people have pitched in to contribute thousands of definitions for it over the years. Definitions of what, you may ask? Everything from the latest Gen Z slang to apparently common everyday words – all of them take on a hidden meaning beyond the reaches of Oxford and Merriam-Webster. One thing is clear, though: this sometimes sordid, sometimes hilarious crowdsourced archive of terms and phrases is always sure to shock you. Just look up your own name for a quick sample of it.

The Power of the Crowd - Urban Dictionary


Learning a language is not an easy feat, and one of the most important factors to achieving fluidity is having someone to practice it with. If you’re learning a language with very few native speakers in your area, that essential practice can become almost impossible. Luckily, there’s Tandem – an app and online community of language learners willing to mutually help each other. It works by allowing users to input their native language and the language(s) they’re learning, and matches them with users who are in the opposite position: native speakers of the language they’re learning who are trying to learn the other user’s native language. This way, interaction, feedback and even friendship can blossom and help users in their path for fluidity with ease – thanks in no small measure to the power of the crowd.

The Power of the Crowd - Tandem


Fiverr is an online service marketplace with thousands of different services available for 5 USD or more. Anything from video editing, translation, copywriting, to programming and audio mixing can be sought after through Fiverr. Two different groups coexist in Fiverr: that of the freelancers, which provide the services, and that of the consumers, which hire the services. These two groups coming together for a mutual benefit exhibit the true power of a crowd to provide solutions for each other, forming a community.

The Power of the Crowd - Fiverr


Created in 2001, has shown us all the power of the crowd when people get together with a purpose. The free flow of information, voluntarily crowdsourced and stimulated by individuals all over the world, has generated over the years more than 54 million articles and definitions in more than 300 languages. It is impossible to compete with crowds with a traditional business model.

the power of the crowd - wikipedia


People get together around causes and purposes all over the world. It may sound harmless, just digital signatures, but when in numbers of thousands or millions they say a lot and put huge pressure over politics and corporations (who see there, obviously, voters and customers).

the power of the crowd -


What happens when you open the Uber app in a centric location such as Angel de la Independencia in Mexico City? Dozens of cars available around you, less than 5 minutes away. And that happens all around the city, and already in many cities around the world. That is the power of the crowd in action, becoming the biggest ground transportation company in the world in less than 10 years and without owning a single car.

the power of the crowd - uber


Ask AIRBNB how to become the world’s largest accommodation provider, in less than 10 years, without owning a single building or room. IT platforms allow people to get together and organize what they were already doing, in this case, renting their houses, departments or other spaces for short periods of time, as an alternative to the traditional hospitality industry.

the power of the crowd - airbnb

THREADLESS is a casual clothing brand with a crowdsourced on-demand business model. Instead of making the designs to be printed on their t-shirts and other models, they ask people around the world to submit their own designs, and those most voted by the crowd get the chance to go to production. The designer gets paid each time a piece with his/her design is sold.

the power of the crowd - threadless


Click here to navigate our list of Behavioral Trends for value creation, full of insights and needstates, written from a post-demographic human-centered perspective by our partner Andrea Lobo.


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