Dell’s IdeaStorm – Efficient, Fast and Cheap


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I recently attended a very neat presentation on how business are utilizing social media, paving the way for brand innovation, advocacy, customer support and loyalty. I just wanted to share my thoughts and recap about the topics we covered.

There are 3 case studies that stood out to me in this presentation:

1) Dell’s IdeaStorm

2) Levis’ FriendsStore

3) Starbucks use of Foursquare

I. Dell’s IdeaStorm – Efficient, Fast and Cheap

IdeaStorm is an idea exchange forum and was developed partially in response to negative criticism from the BuzzMachine blog. IdeaStorm allows consumers to post their ideas or improvements for Dell products and services. Once consumers have signed-up to the forum, they can post ideas freely, vote for or against other ideas / suggestions and see how their ideas have taken shape.

I think this is a great adaptation and usage of technology that’s been out there since the dawn of the Internet. But while I was sitting there I couldn’t help but think to myself, this is a really cheap way for Dell to improve their products and legally steal intellectual property (consumer ideas) to improve their own products. I know the only way to improve on a product is to receive feedback from those who use it, but isn’t this sort of cheating?

Perhaps that is an extreme way to think of IdeaStorm…perhaps.

I was under the impression that there were professionals out there – hired employees whose job was to think-up and develop product improvements. Where do those people fit in the scheme now?

It appears the development or emergence of open public forums like this is changing the job market. It’s providing a vector to collect a wide-range of ideas from different minds – it’s efficient, fast and most importantly, cheap! If I didn’t like something about a Dell netbook and had a solution, I can just post it up on the site on my own will and poof! others can promote my idea and poof again! my idea is being implemented in the next generation of Dell netbooks – all without Dell having to spend a penny on a hired employee.

Shouldn’t I be paid for helping a major corporation make more money?

I think yes, I should – millions of dollars.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Patrick Gladney
Patrick Gladney is the leader and chief development officer for Social Currency, Northstar Research Partners social media measurement and monitoring business. A seasoned communications and business strategist, he believes in the transformational power and potential of the social web, including its ability to uncover unique insights that can positively impact marketing and product strategy.


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