Study Case: HeroX

Study case: HeroX

I started a series about exploring some of the major crowdsourcing platforms and their particularities in order to put together a straight forward research material for both competitors (problem solvers, innovators) and the seekers (organizations who want to solve problems by sourcing diversity and pay monetary and non-monetary awards for the best).

We can say without being wrong that crowdsourcing platforms are not just a tool/venue to boost innovation, but also a great tool to manage diversity. The hardest thing to manage, in my view.

Today I’ll map the data of HeroX, a platform that inspired me a lot in the last months, maybe because we share a similar culture and core values.

HeroX  is a spin-off of XPRIZE, the leading organization solving the world’s Grand Challenges by creating and managing large-scale, high profile, crowdsourcing competitions. HeroX takes the XPRIZE model and applies it to competitions of up to $1 million, making it easy for anyone to frame a problem and to inspire teams to compete to solve it.

HeroX was co-founded in 2013 by Peter Diamandis (an exponential innovator, tech entrepreneur, and co-founder of Singularity University in Silicon Valley), challenge designer Emily Fowler and entrepreneur Christian Cotichini as a means to democratize the innovation model of XPRIZE.

To quote from their website

HeroX exists to enable anyone, anywhere in the world, to create a challenge that addresses any problem or opportunity, build a community around that challenge and activate the circumstances that can lead to a breakthrough innovation.

Company Overview

Sourcing 17 years of the XPRIZE Foundation experience, excellence, and best practices, HeroX introduces funded prizes for groundbreaking challenges.

HeroX lives at the intersection of crowdfunding, crowdsourcing competition and collaboration to drive social innovation. You can support a cause that you believe in, post a challenge, or fund a prize.

We leverage our relationships to bring big funding to big challenges and ask that you participate in finding the solution or spread the word to those that care. We need you to let your Hero out and save the day! You are HeroX.

I have won two challenges on HeroX in less than two months (2016/2017), they happened to activate my other creative side, storytelling, my first love and a craft I exercise more in the areas of screenwriting and short prose. One was Patterns for Success and the other was a story about my journey to my open innovation prizes and my pathway from entrepreneurship to winning problem solver, Hey, You’re a Dreamer?

From the differentiation perspective, comparing with traditional corwdsourcing platforms – which are highly profit oriented and usually focused on specific areas, disciplines and problems – HeroX has some well defined strategies for nurturing their problem solvers community and for creating a more dynamic and fertile climate for innovation.

There is a fresh vibe inside, their team is a blend of baby boomers, generationX and millenials, and this fusion manages to spark creativity in unexpected places and to keep the game up to their words.

As a serial awarded problem solver in open innovation marketplace through the venue of crowdsourcing, I can say with both hands on my heart that this approach feels very encouraging for our community, often unknown or not well enough understood in order to be engaged in transforming projects and be used at our full potential.

Their overall model responds also to some major traditional issues that crowdsourcing platforms usually have (to some point understandable, due to Intelectual Property area):

  • it is much more transparent comparing to the traditional “black box” approach
  • in many occasions solvers can see each other’s solutions and collaborate/form teams
  • the platform is design with all features and functions to make sure it covers all modern demands of digital marketing for both themselves and solvers

From the perspective of the problems sourced, the platform has a broader approach, they are specific if that’s the case, broader or creative if the purpose of using the platform differs or goes beyond just solving a problem.

The possibilities are very generous and from what I’ve seen by now, there is a lot of untapped potential in using the platform. A lot of freelancers, small and medium companies can find in it a great tool to grow their business exponentially.

To give you a better vibe, allow me to highlight a few key areas:

  • in their case the notion of seeker (the organization who launches a challenge/has a problem to solve) is replaced with challenge sponsor
  • solvers/innovators/competitors notions are replaced with the movement of problem solvers, misfit thinkers and crazy dreamers (I found myself perfectly mirrored in this one, no doubt about that!)
  • core values: hungry to learn and grow, courage precedes growth, be happy and have fun, be humble
  • knowledge base: they offer a rich resource of tips & tricks for both seekers and solvers/competitors to better navigate in the digital world and achieve their goals through crowdsourcing.

In terms of numbers, from the public information identified at a fast forward first hand check:

  • Team: apx 30 people (split in: core team, operational team and outer team – all linked by company’s culture and core values)
  • Facebook Page: 1,016, 328 Likes
  • Twitter: + 120,000 followers
  • LinkedIn Page: 504 followers
  • Google+ 201 followers
  • Youtube Channel: couldn’t tell
  • Press coverage: major high profile magazines, blogs and websites
  • News/Articles on site: over 65 pages of articles on the crowdsourcing topic with an average of 10 articles/page

What can you do today to make the world a better place? Watch the co-founder Peter Diamantis explaining you the purpose of the HeroX platform and what you can do.

(to be continued)