Lego Innovation: An Example of Crowdsourcing Design
The entrepreneur always searches for change, responds to it, and exploits it as an opportunity.
Have you done any recent reading or research on crowdsourcing design? We follow this topic quite closely and have written several blogs on the topic and the businesses that employ it. It is not just for new entrants challenging established players; the latter can also leverage crowdsourcing to their advantage, enabling users to design new products and testing the demand at the same time.
Check out our thoughts on building innovation.
Before we continue, let me ask you a question.
What works best for the innovation process in your business? We would love to hear what it was. Would you do us a favor and post it in the comments section below? Be the one who starts a conversation.
With the advent of the Internet, the number of crowdsourcing options available to both budding and experienced entrepreneurs has become staggering.
And for the younger generation, crowdsourcing is simply a normal way of doing things. That’s the key lesson I learned this morning as I heard my grandson explain how Lego created his Lego Minecraft set.
The Lego Crowdsourcing Objective
Lego has become a mammoth of the toy industry, but a nimble mammoth, one that seems quite able to adapt to the climate change of product design in the age of crowdsourcing. After prototyping, testing, and refining their concept for three years in Japan, Lego has recently gone global with the beta-version of its Cuusoo crowdsourcing platform. Their simple objectives were to increase the number of product ideas while improving on their customer engagement.
Their Crowdsourcing Business Model
The business model is simple: any user can submit a product design, which other users will be able to vote for. When a submission racks up 10,000 votes it gets a formal stage-gate review and – unless legal flaws or other showstoppers are identified – it moves into production. The idea creator receives a 1% royalty on the net revenue. It is too early to say how many voted-for submissions will fail the internal stage-gate review, but if Lego manages to provide clear feedback about submissions that fail, it will maintain the transparency of the scheme, which is essential to keeping the user base engaged.
Related post: Generating Ideas by Convergent Thinking
Crowdsourcing design … the payoffs to Lego
Lego enjoys unprecedented benefits from this crowdsourced product development process:
A wider community for the ideation phase, which will inevitably turn up many more ideas than Lego’s own designers, however talented, could do. In classic crowdsourcing fashion, the Shinkai 6500 submarine – the first project that emerged through this process – saw the Lego amateur designers reach out to the marine life scientific community for advice.
A very cost-efficient development phase, whereby unsuccessful projects cost nothing to Lego and projects that go into production attract a very modest 1% royalty cost.
A virtually free pre-launch campaign through the voting phase that creates a buzz among the fan base and provides a clear metric on what the fan base wants to buy.
What we found most interesting in this concept is its simplicity. Making the simple complicated is commonplace … but making the complicated simple, awesomely simple is real creativity!
Lots of ideas are being generated and the process is definitely great at customer engagement.
We believe its success will generate more business experimentation in crowdsourcing. Lego deserves lots of credit and kudos for pushing the envelope.
What are some of your experiences with utilizing innovation and crowdsourcing? Please share an experience with this community.
Need some help in improving the innovation process for you and your staff? Innovative ideas to help the differentiation with your toughest competitors? Or maybe ways to innovate new products and services?
Call today for a FREE consultation or a FREE quote. Learn about some options for innovation workshops to get noticeable results.
Call Mike at 607-725-8240.
All you get is what you bring to the fight. And that fight gets better every day you learn and apply new innovative ideas.
When things are not what you want them to be, what’s most important is your next step. Call today.
Test. Learn. Improve. Repeat.
Do you have a lesson about making your innovation learning better you can share with this community? Have any questions or comments to add in the section below?
Mike Schoultz is the founder of Digital Spark Marketing, a digital marketing and customer service agency. With 40 years of business experience, he blogs on topics that relate to improving the performance of business. Find him on G+, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
Digital Spark Marketing will stretch your thinking and your ability to adapt to change. We also provide some fun and inspiration along the way. Call us for a free quote today. You will be amazed how reasonable we will be.
More reading on creativity and innovation from Digital Spark Marketing’s Library:
Like this short blog? Follow Digital Spark Marketing on LinkedIn or add us to your circles for 3-4 short, interesting blogs, stories per week.