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The phrase "following the crowd" has always had a negative connotation. Nobody wants to think of themselves as a lemming or, that their efforts are an inconsequential "drop in the bucket." With the advent of the internet, though, crowdsourcing has changed the way we look at the "crowd." Though still in its infancy, crowdsourcing has taken the online world by storm. Through the power of the crowd, people from across the world have come together — virtually — and have contributed to the building and development of products and services for almost every industry imaginable. Entrepreneurs have embraced crowdsourcing, finding a whole new platform on which to create and grow a business. Examples Groupon – Groupon’s "Collective Buying Power" relies upon its crowd to make sure everyone else gets something in return, through the participation of a brave few who are willing to put some money on the line without any return. Currently spanning 45 major cities, Groupon produces one deal per day, per city. The catch? Enough people have to participate blindly (that is, buying in with the chance of not actually getting the deal) before "the deal is on." Now that it’s reached a such wide audience, the deal are almost always "on" before the sun rises. Groupon’s founders help to connect customers with businesses looking to give a good deal, and customers are able to participate in a group like they never have done before. Kiva – Following the example of the Grameen Bank, Kiva is an online leader in crowdsourced microfinance ventures. The organization connects entrepreneurs in developing countries with people who are willing – and looking – to share with and help others. By donating money, users essentially give their vote and confidence to the entrepreneurs that their business will succeed. Lenders remain a part of a solid support system to encourage these entrepreneurs along in the dreams. Though similar microfinancing organizations do exist, Kiva is the first of its kind to rely on the everyday person instead of angel investors – a breakthrough for the industry, and one that continues to have an impact around the world– to show anyone can help make a difference. blur Group — blur Group takes crowdsourcing to a whole new level — creating powerful crowds consisting of experts and specialists in select fields to produce the best results possible. Essentially, crowds and client projects are curated by the company itself. This subset of crowdsourcing, called select sourcing, gathers together the very best of the best to streamline the process and produce valuable results. blur Group has passionate crowds of entrepreneurs, artists, marketers, designers, writers and geeks. Stats * Kiva raised more than $100 million in its first four years of operation * Blur group has over 2,000 members in its marketers crowd * The discount crowd, Groupon, boasts over 500,000 members Take Aways Wider implications also show a more collaborative, team based model which has hiring and work culture/valued skills/educations implications. With hundreds of tools at our disposal, and millions of minds ready to help, ideas can become a reality, and no idea is too far-fetched to be successful. Crowds are designing cars, writing operas, and ultimately supporting the success of one another – without ever...

To read more about Groupon, Kiva, blur Group and crowdsourcing, go to Sparxoo, a digital marketing, branding and business development blog.