HeroX allows people to get involved with global projects, and allows groups to crowdsource problem solving around their projects and organizations. This means anyone can tackle a challenge they care about, no matter their skill set.
In this episode we cover:
- How the HeroX platform works and why crowdsourcing is so powerful to solve critical challenges.
- Examples of crowdsourcing from the invention of the modern cue ball to Elon Musk’s Hyperloop project.
- Lego’s crowdsourcing platform
- The three different kinds of talent to consider when bringing on people to help solve your company’s challenges.
- A high-level look at the HeroX business model and current projects he’s focused on to scale users.
How you can bring a challenge idea to HeroX and get help with funding to get a challenge live to tackle the Global Goals.
“After I built 3 businesses I realized how boring it was to build typical businesses. I wanted to ‘lose sight of land’ while building a business. I met Peter Diamonds, the founder of X Prize, and we decided to build a tech platform that he had been incubating.”
Just like making videos and getting visibility was hard before YouTube, the HeroX platform is making Global Goals projects accessible to anyone.
The crowd can do anything. “So, should we call it crowdsourcing? Crowdfunding? Crowd strategies are hiding in plain sight, like we see on Twitter,” Patrick says. When Elon Musk put out his idea for the Hyperloop, over 600 startups started to take on the idea and build it. Now, he runs a contest every year on his test track. He offers a reward for the fasted pod on his mini-hyperloop, and through awarding prizes he’s able to leverage the crowd to innovate transportation.
The longitude prize was offered in 1740, where the king offered a prize for someone to create accurate timekeeping. Q-balls used to be made out of ivory, but the year billiards became a popular game was the year a billiards company awarded a prize to create a synthetic !-ball. Canning was invented when Napoleon awarded a prize to the person who could solve his troop’s food preservation platform.
Nowadays, companies like Lego and Frito-Lay crowdsource what products they will put out next. “It’s hidden in plain sight,” Patrick repeats.
Crowd Sourced Models
Once you find a small crowd interested in a topic, you can ask for feedback in a gamified way. For example, Boeing has gamified the creation of automated sky taxis to fly people around without drivers. They decided to source ideas for their technical problem solving from the crowd, and they have recruited over 600 teams. So 600 pedestrian teams are getting mentorship and participation in Boeing.
NASA uses our service repeatedly to solve some of their less technical problems. They’ve learned the power of the crowd in solving problems creatively rather than through the typical specialists and rocket scientists who look at problems in a very certain way. Now National Geographic is rebooting their brand to Nat Geo, to serve millennials and update their brand. They’re discovering what the next generation of National Geographic will be by asking the crowd what they want from the publication.
The Business Model
Historically, this has been an expensive consulting model. HeroX democratizes crowd-sourced ideas. So, the model of our platform is a pay for success model. HeroX takes a percentage fee on the projects that are successfully funded.
The platform also includes a service team that users can pay to help with design and marketing. “Our goal is to be a platform that is completely self-serving.”
There are three forms of labor, Christian says.
- Employees: Your long term value engines.
- Freelancers: A managed resource. This works well when you know what you need.
- Self-Managed Resource: HeroX offers solutions for the hiring issue, “I know the problem but I don’t know the solution.” This is nonlinear problem solving, and it’s great to outsource to the crowd.
“Our platform has an 86% success rate, which is pretty good considering people are posting ideas that they don’t know how to solve,” Christian says.
HeroX tracks each challenge and helps the ones that are not getting the attention they need.
How Will HeroX Grow?
Last year 14 million dollars of projects came on the platform, and HeroX intends to grow that number exponentially. This usage occurred with no marketing, just with a bootstrapped lean model. Once they start their marketing initiative and reaching out through their network, they will grow to their next phase.
And of course, the team is posting the problem of growing the platform onto their own platform, to get innovative options for expanding their reach and services.
The Global Goalscv
HeroX has an embedding ability so that you can embed your challenge on your website, and call it anything. It’s your challenge. This means you can use the platform to leverage the crowd for anything – including projects that address the Global Goals. When logging on to the platform, you can search and choose promising projects that you’re passionate and offer ideas, support, sponsorships, and funding.
Many of the prizes offered are brand-backed funding because brands want to associate with successful and innovative ideas.
HeroX is also partnered with several crowdfunding platforms, so projects can get funding based on success. “You get your money back if we’re not successful or if we don’t make an impact.”
- Bringing on talent can look like asking the crowd what to do next.
- Test the platform with your next business challenge!
- Reach out to Christian on Twitter @ChristianGC