We the Consumers and our Co-workers

ImageI was perusing an article Writen by Frank Kleeman, G. Gunter Vob and Kerstin Rieder that is named “Under paid Innovators: The commercial Utilization of Consumer Work through Crowdsourcing”. In essence this article talks of the working customer with the potential and use of crowdsourcing. So what you may ask is this working customer? Is this customer myself? Well yes, and you are not being given the appreciation for your fine work employee.

So what do you do for this large company where you evidently are now employed? First off you are not actually employed anywhere, you simply are doing tasks that traditionally are reserved for employees of the establishment. For example this could be self-service, how instead of someone checking you out at the grocery store you do the task yourself. What this does is that it relieves the company of certain duties while at the same time entrusting that the customer can do these duties without the worry of fault. So what as happened is that “Consumers have become more like co-workers, who take over specific parts of a production process that ultimately remains under the control of a commercial enterprise.” (Under paid Innovators, Frank Kleeman, G. Gunter Vob and Kerstin Rieder, pg 7). So not only are you helping with the process of gaining the product, you are in a sense helping to build your own product that will be distributed by your bosses at the company.

More to the point, the idea of the working customer is to use this concept on such a large scale that you can achieve crowdsourcing, which is to say being able to use the crowd to create products that would be received. By giving your input as a working customer you are in turn helping to shift what the answers will be while companies utilize crowdsourcing.


What’s that? You want to know some examples? Well thanks for asking that fantastic question random internet user! Take for example the numerous times that you were sitting on your nice comfy coach at home when suddenly an exciting commercial comes on about how YOU can help decide what the new flavor of Doritos may be.
This is an example of crowd sourcing, using the public to help build the product but within the control of the company.This is true with Lay’s campaign for a new flavor as well or with Mountain Dew having YOU decide what their new drink will be.

ImageSo with this there had to be a question. Are the consumers getting shortchanged for their effort. Granted yes the consumer may be only asked to click a button of their favor flavor but this request is within the confines of what the company is looking for which is to expand their number of flavors with some new ones that they thought up. So really what I want to ask is that is there a way that we the consumers could contribute more to our co-workers? Is there a way that we could contribute past what is just expected of us?


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