1060: Crowdsourcing

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We don't sell products; we sell the marketplace. And by 'sell the marketplace' we mean 'play shooters, sometimes for upwards of 20 hours straight.'
Title text: We don't sell products; we sell the marketplace. And by 'sell the marketplace' we mean 'play shooters, sometimes for upwards of 20 hours straight.'


Crowdsourcing is the practice of obtaining needed services, ideas, or content by soliciting contributions from a large group of people, and especially from an online community, rather than from traditional employees or suppliers. In the new Internet economy, it is not uncommon for companies to rely on crowdsourced designs or ideas, to contract the marketing to another firm, or to interact with customers through social networks established by other companies.

Cueball, however, is describing a business strategy which manages to do all three by "crowdsourcing" the process of getting a company and a prospective employee together. Cueball describes it as helping people with ideas find funding, similar to Kickstarter or Indiegogo, but rather than setting up a system to facilitate the process, he plans to use already-existing social networks (such as Facebook and Twitter). Effectively, by relying on outside support for all steps of the business plan, his company does nothing; however, because the parts of his strategy are all feasible separately, and because he describes them with a barrage of trendy buzzwords, his audience is impressed and fails to notice the company's essential pointlessness.

In the title text Cueball claims that "we don't sell a product, we sell the marketplace," a phrase that typically describes a company whose business model is to facilitate the business of other companies, and would be a plausible reason for a company to not make products. However, this is revealed to be yet more empty buzzwords when Cueball clarifies that they don't actually do any work and instead play video games ("shooters" refer to shooter games, a genre of video game).


[Cueball is standing in front of a flowchart on a wall, indicating with a pointer. A man and two women are looking on with interest. One woman holds a briefcase.]
Cueball: We crowdsource the design process, allowing those with the best designs to connect—
Cueball: via already-in-place social networking infrastructure—
Cueball: with interested manufacturers, distributors, and marketers.
[Caption below the panel:]
Nobody caught on that our business plan didn't involve us in any way— it was just a description of other people making and selling products.

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Even better is when you can repackage an existing open-source program and sell it for a tidy profit. It happens. Davidy22[talk] 13:42, 8 January 2013 (UTC)

Isn't that technically "asset flipping"? --JayRulesXKCD what's up? 14:22, 5 January 2017 (UTC)

I personally like to think Cueball's audience are potential investors and that Cueball is trying to convince them to fund his "company" 23:10, 5 May 2015 (UTC)

Given that he is referring to it as a "business plan" and the people he's showing look fairly corporate (as much as one can tell from stick figures) and he's phrasing it like a pitch, I'd say this is exactly what he's trying to do. -Pennpenn 02:13, 12 January 2016 (UTC)

Isn't that called "Multi-Level Marketing" (MLM) aka Amway *cough* pyramid scheme *cough* 16:31, 15 September 2019 (UTC)