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This article was published on March 20, 2008

CreativeCrowds knows the power of crowdsourcing

CreativeCrowds knows the power of crowdsourcing
Ernst-Jan Pfauth
Story by

Ernst-Jan Pfauth

Ernst-Jan Pfauth is the former Editor in Chief of Internet at NRC Handelsblad, as well as an acclaimed technology author and columnist. He a Ernst-Jan Pfauth is the former Editor in Chief of Internet at NRC Handelsblad, as well as an acclaimed technology author and columnist. He also served as The Next Web’s blog’s first blogger and Editor in Chief, back in 2008. At De Correspondent, Ernst-Jan serves as publisher, fostering the expansion of the platform.

Five Questions for Start-upsEvery week we publish an interview with a start-up. We ask five questions, hoping the answers will give you inspiration and new views. Well, actually six questions, since we also ask the start-up to who he or she is passing the mic to.

This time we’re interviewing Rutger Docter from CreativeCrowds. That’s a Dutch startup that is fully committed to crowdsourcing. Their mission is to help companies and institutions engage the power of crowdsourcing. So they help companies embracing the social influence of their customer communities. Last week they received funding from the Dutch Creative Industry Fund, enough to keep the start-up going for another year.

How did you come up with the idea of CreativeCrowds?

Question number“During our study at the Free University of Amsterdam co-founder Carl and I had some good discussions about the effect of the social web on companies. On the other hand we were extreme web enthusiasts with a lot of good ideas. During a Google chat (read our (Dutch) blog post about this chat) we discussed some initiatives of idea competitions. Then we had a little ‘eureka moment’: we should connect companies and crowds with good ideas! On a web platform! That will be great! Later on we got inspired by Cambrian House and Jeff Howe, who came with the term crowdsourcing. And that is what we are: a crowdsourcing startup.”

What was your biggest challenge during the development process?

Question number“The biggest challenge is to stay flexible all the time. Staying flexible is sometimes difficult to achieve.
First be flexible in your strategy. Our vision is that building your own community doesn’t necessarily have to be the starting point for a web startup. You can also try to connect with existing ones. We didn’t make this ‘strategy’ up on the drawing board, but by talking to people and being open to opportunities we developed our strategy.
Second be flexible in your execution. Develop your concept in detail, but not too much! Key is not to be too ambitious, just make your first version quick and simple and then improve; constantly improve.”

Can you describe the Dutch start-up culture compared to Silicon Valley?

Question number“Dutch startup culture is getting better and better. Unique for Amsterdam is that there is some significant internet culture (see for instance OpenCoffee), but also the more traditional side: for instance the financial sector, the media sector. You have the best of two worlds, this is quite unique. Of course Silicon Valley is pretty unique in Internet culture, Amsterdam can learn from it: the entrepreneurial spirit, the VC culture, the ‘thinking big’ mentality.”

What will be the influence of your start-up on the next web?

Question number“CreativeCrowds is part of a big movement. The movement of the social web, of which crowdsourcing is part. The coming years will really change our behavior. Consumers’ behavior but even more: companies’. We want to add something with our vision and platform, CreativeChallenge. We will launch an event about this called SocialStrategyTalk; it is about how the social web changes.”

You can make up this question yourself!

Question numberWhat is your crowdsourcing startup all about?
“The platform we are going to release in May this year is called ‘CreativeChallenge’. On this platform people can collaborate with companies on a variety of topics. We connect with existing communities by staying close to the interests of the user. On the CreativeChallenge companies open themselves up for the ideas and insights of communities.”

Who’s next?

Wuala, a cool startup from Swiss that is in p2p online storage.