ReviewCam: CrowdSPRING's Creative Bazaar - InformationWeek

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Infrastructure // PC & Servers
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7/22/2009
03:25 PM
Fritz Nelson
Fritz Nelson
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ReviewCam: CrowdSPRING's Creative Bazaar

I'm a sucker for anything I can try before I buy, so I am now officially a glutton for crowdSPRING, a suckling newborn (14 months) in the marketplace of, well, online marketplaces; and in this case, a marketplace for creative design talent which -- let's face it -- we all need at some point. LG recently used crowdSPRING to design a new mobile phone, giving away $80,000 in awards according to the company's co-founders.

I'm a sucker for anything I can try before I buy, so I am now officially a glutton for crowdSPRING, a suckling newborn (14 months) in the marketplace of, well, online marketplaces; and in this case, a marketplace for creative design talent which -- let's face it -- we all need at some point. LG recently used crowdSPRING to design a new mobile phone, giving away $80,000 in awards according to the company's co-founders.

Here's how it works: A buyer sets a price for a creative project, creates a timeline, gives the money to crowdSPRING to hold in escrow, and then starts to see at least two dozen designs (the company guarantees 25 or your money back) which it can sort through, comment on and choose from. These are designs, not bids or proposals. Typical turnaround time from start to finish: 20 days, which includes an average of 11 days of bidding and selecting and nine days to finish the project. crowdSPRING's community includes more than 30,000 creative types across 150 countries, all of whom have collectively produced thousands of projects in this company's short history (4700 according to the latest update).

CrowdSPRING creates minimum prices, sharing statistics to help you set your price or increase the rapidity of response. Its infrastructure builds the underlying project management infrastructure which includes file upload, project specifications and communications, including private or public comments, ratings, and "hearting" (someone please explain what that is and why we've named it so). It also enables a dynamic contract which, among other things, protects both sides against intellectual property issues; there's even a one-button-enacted NDA for the super secretive. There's a "pro" edition that lets the buyer define who can see the project.

CrowdSPRING collects a project fee of 15 percent up front (again, refundable if you don't get 25 submissions -- the company's blog says there have been 195 refunds).

You can read the company's blog here, view another video about CrowdSPRING here, and follow it at @crowdspring on Twitter.

P.S. After I wrote a draft of this blog, I realized that I needed some creative services -- specifically a 15 second animation to accompany a video we created on cloud computing. CrowdSPRING is just entering the world of video-related creative, so it referred me to a competitor, even making an electronic introduction. How is THAT for customer service!

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