Put Your Customers to Work

Last Updated Aug 11, 2010 6:41 PM EDT

Crowdsourcing is the practice of tapping members of the general public to perform important business tasks such as research, product development, and marketing. With the advent of Web-based communications tools and open-source software, it's become easy for companies to access large numbers of people who will trade their expertise and talent for recognition or product giveaways. We've compiled everything you need to get started using crowdsourcing and identified clever strategies that companies like Proctor & Gamble and Chipotle use to shed customer wisdom on age-old problems. Finally, we took a close look at Boeing, where 100 different suppliers collaborated on the company's first all-new plane in 12 years.

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