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23 February 2008 ~ 1 Comment                                       

Kluster, a new wave in crowdsourced product design and development

I wrote previously about Mophie, a ridiculously cool iPod accessories company started by another one of those fantastically young entrepreneurs (he’s 21 now).  Ben Kaufman has moved on to a new venture, Kluster, after selling Mophie to mStation. Kluster is similar in philosophy to other idea generation and product development sites (Cambrian House, Crowdspirit, Dell IdeaStorm, Threadless), but they seem to be going about it in a different and superior way. Here’s how it works:

Anyone can post projects whether that be a “new product, an event, a marketing campaign, or virtually any goal that is better served by engaging a group of people”.

Break the project into phases, bite sized portions of smaller tasks to complete the project.

Sparks: anyone can post proposed solutions to a phase in whatever form of media they feel necessary.

Amps: anyone can propose enhancements or refinements to amps.

Watts: the coolest aspect. Anyone can invest watts, accumulated through participation in the site, into any of the sparks. The better your investments in sparks pay off (i.e. the more of your investments that win, are accepted, and taken forward) the more watts you accumulate. And, something I haven’t completely grasped yet, companies can offer actual dollars for specific sparks and then the winning logo/design/etc. gets money as well as the people who invested watts in that spark.  Should be very interesting to see the dynamics of this market play out, should kluster get some good uptake.

Decision making: kluster then analyzes the data, not just the most popular, to see how well each spark and participant does.

Besides being ridiculously cool (and located in Burlington, VT), this can also be an internal platform for companies to work on designs and new product ideas.

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