An ex-Google designer made noise by claiming the reason he left was because Google left too much of their design decisions up to data from the site’s users, essentially letting the whole world decide what designs worked and what had to go. And today, over on Springwise, there is news about this company trying to start a crowdsourced fashion label.
While I do appreciate the innovative nature of this trend, allowing the end consumers to essentially design their own products, I think there is a downside to this growing fad.
One person may be creative and stylish, and another person may be quirky and willing to try anything, but the masses are boring. The large majority of people are looking for something safe, easy and conservative in most of the products or services that they plan to use. Bringing the topic back to fashion, despite all the trendy labels out there, the majority of people will choose the more conservative appeal of a Gap or an Old Navy.
The problem that develops with the crowdsourcing approach is that the more people who get their input heard on the style of a product, the more boring it will become. If 100 people lean to the left and 120 people lean to the right, the crowdsourced outcome of this product will be very close to being right down the middle.
When you try to please everyone, you end up being plain, and wowing no one. To build a successful brand, you have to wow someone, and boring just won’t do it.
Of course that is just one man’s opinion, I want to know what you think. Is crowdsourcing going to lead to more popular products and services, or is it the end of creativity and stylistic flair? Leave your comments below and I will follow up with a future post on this same topic.