MySpace, Wikipedia, YouTube… are all making money hand over fist for its owners based on the crowdsourcing model where thousands of its users contribute their time for free. Well, now that more and more companies are using free time from consumers to determine their future products from potato chips to electronics, it was a matter of time before they were allowed to make key decisions and share in the profits as well.
Some examples (and I’ll add to the list over time):
Profit sharing and executive decision-making:
– SellaBand – What makes this one special is that participants can make a return on their investment. Unsigned artists/bands sell 5000 shares at $10 each to ‘believers’, raising money to record an album and distrubuted for free on the website. Advertising revenues from the Sellaband site are then split evenly between the artists, believers and the site. Believers also get a CD mailed to them. The site has collected $700,000 to date. Read more here.
– VIBE Beta Community – Click on the link for the details. Local residents take part in both profit-sharing and key decision-making in establishing a new triple-bottom-line restaurant in their neighborhood. Watch for this model to be applied to mixed-use buildings.
– My Football Club – 50,000 fans contribute $70/share (and no more) to co-own a professional UK soccer team. The program attracted 22,500 registered users in the first two weeks. One need look no further than the Green Bay Packers to find a similar model, though members will get to vote on strategy and personnel decisions, which may surprisingly help eliminate much of the personal politics that drag sports teams into the gutter for decades.
– A Swarm of Angels – 50,000 (familiar number) movie fans invest $50 each to fund a $2 million movie that they get to co-produce, voting on creative decisions. Consider it a small price to pay for a full internship in movie making.
Images, stories from the innovative folks at Springwise.