Startup Aims to Leverage Crowdsourcing in Product Development C.J. Kettler's online crowdsourcing venture, Genius Crowds, aims to move product ideas from the "light bulb" stage onto store shelves.
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C.J. Kettler knows what it's like to run a successful startup. In 2005, she founded Lime, a popular healthy-living media company funded by Revolution, AOL co-founder Steve Case's investment company. Last year, Kettler set out with a new venture: Genius Crowds, which fishes brilliant product ideas out of people's heads and gets them into stores.
Genius Crowds harnesses the power of online crowdsourcing. "There's a new movement happening, thanks to social media and the democratization of the web," Kettler says. "Consumers have a voice, a powerful voice. We give that voice a platform in product development and innovation."
Ideas are submitted to the site for free; the community critiques them and chooses "crowd favorites." A panel of retailers, manufacturers and Genius Crowd staffers then researches the idea for marketability and selects those that hold promise.