CrowdSpirit is a French startup that plans to use crowds to develop and bring to market tangible, inexpensive, electronic devices such as CD players, joysticks for video games, and Web cams. The community will handle all aspects of the product cycle—its design, features, technical specifications, even post-purchase customer support. Community members will submit and vote on product and design ideas. The winners will be funded by community members and they will go on to prototype and beta-test the products.
A core CrowdSpirit team, along with a subset of community members and distributors, will have a final say on decisions. The hope, however, is that the products will be extraordinarily focused on the customer because the ideas are coming directly from the people who will use the products. In development since last September, the site will formally launch at the end of June, 2007.
This is just one more example of the growing trend of “Crowdsourcing“. Tapping your customers to collaborate and innovate with you is a great way to build relationships and to differentiate your brand.
You can read more on this at the CrowdSpirit website