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A Crib Sheet for “Co” anything

1 minute read
by Alex Hillman

Coworking. Cohousing.

Or in the case of this Fastcompany piece, co-creativity.

While I’m not totally sold on the marketing spin, I do like that a line was drawn between crowdsourcing, and co-creating. That’s an important notion to understand.

This four-point crib sheet for successful co-creation (from the article) is pretty rad.

  • Authenticity, authenticity, authenticity. This especially holds true when presenting a challenge to consumers. Instead of assigning a too-general homework assignment, focus on a specific issue, idea or need that will help improve the brand or–best-case scenario–society.

  • Invite a real community. Focus on quality, not quantity. Spend time cultivating a community of loyalists, experts, and like-minded folks who are passionate about presenting ideas that will ensure mutual success. They’ll appreciate being invited in to the process and help spread your brand’s message and good will. And they will invest time in presenting thoughtful input and solutions, instead of treating the process as just another online sweepstakes.

  • Facilitate honesty. Discussions need to be respectful, constructive and goal-oriented. Ask questions. Be prepared to hear–and respond to–negative feedback or ideas you never would have thought of on your own. Be transparent about your goals and clear about your expectations.

  • Reward participation. Incentives can come in all shapes or sizes, and need to be tailored to your audience–whether that’s discounts, invitations, events, free gear or something else entirely. The most successful online collaborations focus on shared value creation, and fairly compensate community members for their submissions and feedback.


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Alex Hillman I am always thinking about the intersection of people, relationships, trust and business. I founded Indy Hall in 2006, making us one of oldest fully independent coworking communities in the world. This site is packed with the lessons and examples I’ve learned along the way. You can find me on Twitter, too! 🐦 Say hi.