CrowdSource Business Model – How Does It Work?

Most companies have well-defined operations. These companies know where they obtain their goods or services, finance or work from and how to use these sources.

However, for some companies, the paths may not be well-defined. Some companies may obtain help from a large and open group of participants. Among these companies, the crowdsource business model is prevalent.

What is the CrowdSource business model?

The crowdsource business model comes from the idea of crowdsourcing. Crowdsourcing is when individuals or organizations obtain ideas, voting, micro-tasks, or finances from an open group of participants.

The participants are not defined beforehand. Therefore, crowdsourcing varies from traditional business practices where these come from predefined sources.

The crowdsource business model allows companies to implement the contribution of users to their operations. Crowdsourcing may apply across all business interactions.

Since the ideas and participations come from a network of external users, the crowdsource business model revenue structure is also complicated. However, companies do not use the business model individually and usually combine it with other models to maximize their potential.

The crowdsource business model has existed for a long time. There are various examples of crowdsourcing and crowdfunding in the past.

However, due to the internet, several online platforms have started offering crowdsourcing services. It has revitalized the crowdsource business model and allowed for more companies to benefit from it.

How does the CrowdSource business model work?

The crowdsource business model allows companies to incorporate the work of others into their business. As mentioned, this work may come in as ideas, voting, micro-tasks, finance, and much more. Through crowdsourcing, companies have achieved better results through the collective efforts of a group of participants.

Similarly, the crowdsource business model may allow for contributions from over the globe. Some companies may incorporate the user-generated content business model along with crowdsourcing. There are various examples of companies using the combination for several reasons, such as translations and open-source software.

The primary source of income for the crowdsource business model depends on several factors. However, it mainly depends on the other business model combination used along with the model. Therefore, companies may have several sources of revenues, such as ads or subscription-based services.

Some organizations may also offer services for free and power their operations through crowdsourcing. These organizations depend on donations or crowdfunding to operate.

Lastly, companies that use the crowdsource business model may also need to have an active moderation team. Since the crowdsource information may come from unknown sources, these companies may need to validate it first.

It is to avoid any misuse by users. Some companies use their own moderation teams while some may also outsource it through crowdsourcing.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of the CrowdSource business model?

Using a crowdsourcing business model can have several advantages and disadvantages. This model shares its benefits and drawbacks with crowdsourcing as a general. Some of the top advantages and disadvantages of the crowdsourcing business model are as follows.


The crowdsource business model allows companies to come with solutions to challenging problems. Through the combined effort of various users, crowdsourcing provides better solutions than limiting input.

Similarly, having the objective view of outsiders can help companies look at problems from a different perspective.

The business model also allows companies to focus on developing a platform while the work comes from a crowd. Some online platforms have used this in practice.

These platforms only provide a tool for users to utilize while others contribute and fund it. Through this, these companies have achieved a successful business model.

The crowdsource business model can also be costly and time-saving. If companies use employees or specific services to perform their tasks, they need to pay for it.

However, through crowdsourcing, companies can obtain services without having to bear substantial costs. Similarly, it allows various users to contribute to the company’s operations, saving time in the process.


With a crowdsource business model, companies use information or work provided by external users. It makes any contribution by those users susceptible to manipulation.

While some users may genuinely contribute to the work, some others may try to provide misleading information. It can harm the platform’s image.

In traditional work environments, every employee or worker has well-defined tasks and roles. In the crowdsourcing business model, the role definition may be ambiguous.

Therefore, it can lead to conflicts or other issues within the users. Overall, it can also harm the platform’s operations and may slow it down.


Wikipedia is an online platform that uses the crowdsourcing business model. Wikipedia has millions of users worldwide that contribute to its information regularly.

Other users recheck the information provided for any discrepancies and can vote on it. Other companies, such as Google, YouTube, LEGO ideas, Unilever and Coca Cola, have benefited from crowdsourcing in the past.


The crowdsource business model allows companies to obtain work from external users. These users don’t work for the company but may, however, contribute to it. The basis behind the crowdsourcing business model is the concept of crowdsourcing.