The Lowly Focus Group Gets A Hand Up From The Crowd

According to their website Napkin Labs is “a community of Gen-Y entrepreneurs, engineers, designers, and generally brilliant individuals with a passion for developing great products and services.”
Napkin Labs is also the subject of a New York Times feature on “tapping the wisdom of the crowd.”
The paper reports that Napkin Labs, which typically charges $10,000 and up for a project that involves both crowdsourcing and consulting, helped Trek Light Gear decide to broaden its product offering beyond lightweight hammocks.
The article is generally about crowdsourcing (not outdoor gear). I’m making note of it because the tired old focus group is one area where crowdsourcing actually offers a better solution than the traditional route.
I also like how Napkin Labs doesn’t leave the crowd to fester in its own backwash. The best way to make use of “the crowd” is to filter, edit and improve the insights gained therein.



About David Burn

I wrote my first ad for a political candidate when I was 17 years old. She won her race and I felt the seductive power of advertising for the first time. Today—after working for seven agencies in five states—I am head of brand strategy and creative at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.