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GeniusRocket CEO Moves On, Shares Crowdsourcing Lessons Learned

GeniusRocket CEO Moves On, Shares Crowdsourcing Lessons Learned

Editor's Note: GeniusRocket CEO Peter LaMotte recently informed us that he's decided to leave his post at the curated crowd-powered creative agency to pursue a new opportunity. asked him to tell us about the decision to leave and to share some of the lessons he learned about crowdsourcing during his tenure at GeniusRocket. Here's what he had to say:

As for my decision.....

GeniusRocket has been my "baby" for a couple years now and stepping away from it was an incredibly difficult decision to make. I wasn't one of the founders but they were gracious enough to let me lead the firm as President and later CEO. In that time I was able to shift the company away from the contest model to what we called "curated crowdsourcing." The curated approach was a huge success. It took the risk out of crowdsourced video, and has been adopted by many of the video crowdsourcing firms in the last couple years in some form. I am really proud of the fact that we lead the way and proud of the content we have produced since doing so.

GeniusRocket is doing better than it ever has and as a small scrappy agency we have overcome a lot of odds. 2012 was a record year for us. We had record revenue, record profits, won numerous awards for our work, saw our project size for TV ads grow by 500 percent, and grew our community of vetted professionals by leaps and bounds. When this opportunity presented itself, now seemed to be the best time of any.

I am joining a communication firm in Washington DC to lead their digital practice. This firm, Levick, is known worldwide for being one of the best crisis and reputation firms in the industry, and has given me an opportunity to really affect the way they do business. I plan on bringing what I have learned in the crowdsourcing space to bear in my new role.

Things I have learned...

  • Crowdsourcing is nothing new. We simply have learned how to harness its power for more than just opinions, elections, and contests.

When I first stepped into this industry, I was really surprised how many historical examples there are of crowdsourcing. Yet, only in the last ten years with the internet and digital communications has crowdsourcing really shown its power. I feel like every day I read about something amazing that crowdsourcing has helped produce, solve, or discover. It is becoming so commonplace that often it isn't even seen as crowdsourcing.

  • There are far more industries that can benefit from crowdsourcing than those that can't.

Thanks to the popularity of the term and notable examples, crowdsourcing is being experienced within many amazing industries. Often it is in conjunction with other technologies. One of my favorite recent examples of crowdsourcing is the public analysis of images scouring the Mongolian countryside helping to locate the tomb of Genghis Kahn. Essentially, crowdsourcing may end up solving a mystery that has been the goal of countless others for centuries. And it will do it in comparative blink of an eye.

  • The days where crowdsourcing was just a gimmick are coming to an end.

We used to see two styles of crowdsourcing in advertising. Brands that used crowdsourcing to create content. The other use was to use the act of crowdsourcing as the campaign itself. The most notable example was Doritos Crash the Superbowl. In the early years, the ads ran once during the Superbowl, but were rarely seen again. Now Doritos is receiving really high quality content that they are using throughout the year. Other brands are seeing they don't have to have a national mulitple million dollar campaign to get great content. It no longer needs to be a gimmick to get attention, it truly is a source for great creative [work].

  • Quality still beats Quantity.

I will be the first to say I am biased. But this idea using crowdsourcing as the infinite monkey theorem is wrong. You don't need a hundred monkeys on typewriters, you need a dozen really smart monkeys that have been trained to use typewriters. Ok, maybe I'm getting a little too fancy for my own good. The point is, don't waste your time with participants that don't understand or have the capacity to solve a problem, find people to work on a crowdsourcing project that have some measurable level of skill. It saves everyone time and effort. This was the basis of curated crowdsourcing and I still stand by its value.


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