I had to do a double-take. How is it that of all the companies pumping hundreds of thousands of dollars into their crowdsourcing efforts, the one to finally get it is Dominos? I am referring, of course, to their Ultimate Delivery Vehicle Project, currently in phase 1 of 5.
The plan was simple, but one that had nonetheless tripped up countless entities in the past. Dominos would solicit project designs from the crowd, one would rise to the top, and that designer would be rewarded handsomely with oodles of cash ($10,000) and worldwide fame. Oh, right, and their design becomes reality.
So what makes Dominos so unique in their approach? Just a bit of classic crowdsourcing wisdom, applied creatively. When you need a large group of people, in one place, to carry out a singular goal, don’t attempt to cultivate the group yourself; just go where the crowd already exists.
This was handled beautifully by hosting the contest with Local Motors’ The Forge, a site specifically dedicate to designers who want to create vehicles. In one move, Dominos weeded out every person who was not interested in both vehicles and designing, and the site’s sign-up verification features took away just enough user anonymity to prevent disaster. So when you browse through the contest entries, you don’t see the normal mix of 90% crap and 10% usable. It’s quite the opposite; almost every entry has an extremely high level of professionalism, complete with detailed sketches, 3D mockups, and other explanatory content.
There was one more masterstroke by Dominos, and it wasn’t even that complicated; they just posted a really, really, stunningly detailed design brief. That’s it. They simply listed every possible thing a user would need to know about the company, the drivers, the product, the things the car needs to have, and the contest details. It seems like a minor step, but again, it’s unfortunately not something you see most companies do when they host a contest like this. It’s a small gesture that shows Dominos is serious, and that they expect their users’ entries to be as well.
I applaud Dominos, for taking a bold step forward and in the process demonstrating to any other company interested in crowdsourcing that, really, all you need is to treat it like a legitimate-ass business transaction. It’s the tiniest bit of effort that really shines through, and I sincerely hope that when all is said and done, Dominos finds themselves with a really great fleet of community-designed vehicles.