Crowdsourcing With A Shotgun And Sauce

Introduction

Crowdsourcing or collaborative working or human distributive processing falls prey to 2 major flaws if not supported by professional services:-
1. Wisdom of the Crowds = banality/sameness
2. It's Free Labour

Cambrian House

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Presumably named after the Cambrian period Wikipedia
http://www.cambrianhouse.com/ are trying to get into crowdsourcing in a big way.

Nice promo stunts, good tone (jackass) to attract the trigger happy minded who want to show the world they have the ideas of the future
but is going to be flawed as Wired contributor Jeff Howe points out?:-

"Will the source code created by the crowd remain open to the crowd after it's launched, or is that contingent on the client? "

The 'who owns what' rights is handled by a point system, but the I suspect Cambian is a front to a code system. They are looking for ideas, any ideas, which they can translate into code.

http://www.cambrianhouse.com/chameleon/

Secret Ingredients

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Their secret sauce, erm source, is Paul Graham, a Lisp coder who build a shopping system that eventually became the property of Yahoo! for their Stores system [http://smallbusiness.yahoo.com/merchant/]
http://www.paulgraham.com/avg.html

Paul video presentation
http://blog.scribestudio.com/articles/2006/07/17/david-graham-railsconf-2006-keynote-address

Paul is also famed for and Painters.

I've not read it but I've flicked though it and it looks good. It's on my list to read.

So they will build the 'great ideas' using their code base, codename Cameleon. There will be no open code for the community to take and use. The Cameleon code is liekly to be unreadable to the many..

When I was about nine I happened to get hold of a copy of The Day of the Jackal, by Frederick Forsyth. The main character is an assassin who is hired to kill the president of France. The assassin has to get past the police to get up to an apartment that overlooks the president's route. He walks right by them, dressed up as an old man on crutches, and they never suspect him.

Our secret weapon was similar. We wrote our software in a weird AI language, with a bizarre syntax full of parentheses. For years it had annoyed me to hear Lisp described that way. But now it worked to our advantage. In business, there is nothing more valuable than a technical advantage your competitors don't understand. In business, as in war, surprise is worth as much as force Beating the Averages 2001 http://www.paulgraham.com/avg.html

In return they are offering financial and peer rewards. fine. but, this doesn't give the community anything - and thus plays on the greed of the individual. Kewl - this is how del.icio.us works.

Paul himself has written plenty about the value/perils of startups. cambrianhouse wants/hopes to be a startup machine..
cambrianhouse are going about this the right way. They are treating code as it should be treated, they're ensuring they are in the right spot at the right time.

Google doesn't try to force things to happen their way. They try to figure out what's going to happen, and arrange to be standing there when it does. That's the way to approach technology- and as business includes an ever larger technological component, the right way to do business. Web 2.0

All they need is you to do the distibutive thinking - the one think you cant get computers to do.

What they really need to do is smart with the licencing system and omeone to buy their crowdsourcing to ideas machine, like erm, Google..

http://www.cambrianhouse.com/google/

Sample product

Games are the new adverts

mean riddle

http://www.cambrianhouse.com/pwnit/index.php

Pizza on rails

go find the flckr images.

Josuha

Innovator of the Year Joshua Schachter on memory and innovation
http://www.technologyreview.com/blog/VideoPosts.aspx?id=17411.

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