- Crowds should operate within constraints. To harness the collective intelligence of crowds, there need to be rules in place to maintain order.
- Not everything can be democratic. Sometimes a decision needs to be made, and having a core team (or single person) make the ultimate decision can provide the guidance necessary to get things done and prevent crazy ideas and groupthink from wreaking havoc on your product.
- Crowds must retain their individuality. Encourage your group to disagree, and try not to let any members of the group disproportionately influence the rest.
- Crowds are better at vetting content than creating it. It is important to note that in most of the above projects, the group merely votes on the final product; they do not actually create it.
It’s surprising how many people believe that starting down the path of community engagement means a wholesale turnover of your business plan to a crazy mob. Outside the box is only relevant when you’re actually contained inside a larger box.