Today, I’m launching a new company called Crowd Companies as I see a market opportunity for large brands to be an integral part of the Collaborative Economy. We’re on a mission for Empowered People and Resilient Brands to achieve Shared Value.
The Collaborative Economy is a Powerful Movement.
Technologies like mobile, social, internet of things, 3D printers and more empower people to create physical products, or share existing resources with each other, rather than buy anew. It means people are empowered to get what they need from each other, rather than from inefficient institutions. The bold question we will ask and answer is: “What role do corporations play when people get what they need from each other?”
Big Companies have a role in the Collaborative Economy.
To answer the question on the role of companies in this crowd economy, I’m launching Crowd Companies, a brand council whose primary function is to help big brands understand, then connect with startups in the Collaborative Economy. The scope of this council includes trends that empower people which today includes the sharing economy, maker movement, co-innovation, and future technologies that come next. We believe that brands that participate in this movement are resilient, securing their long-term place in the market.
Empowered People benefit through the Innovation Network.
The mission of Crowd Companies is an equation; people and brands together. To complete the equation, I’ve hand-selected startups that empower people from the sharing economy, maker movement and co-innovation, all who want to work with big brands. They will meet, present to, and connect with the brand council. This relationship does not cost the startups anything other than their time.
How The Brand Council Works.
Our business model is primarily focused on membership fees from the corporate members, which cover: 1) A private place to connect to other members, 2) Experts who come to present to the council (saving you time), and 3) Access to the innovation network of startups who want to work with big companies. Over time, as the council needs change and growth, we will offer new solutions to meet market needs.
The 24 Crowd Companies Founding Members:
The following progressive companies are the founding members of the Crowd Companies council, they include:
- Abbott Labs
- American Eagle
- Kelly Services
- Radio Shack
- Taco Bell
- The Home Depot
- Western Union
- Whole Foods
Why I’m doing this.
I’m driven by a career mission. It’s to “help corporations connect to their customers using new technologies.” About a decade ago, I was involved in a prior phase of democratization where people were creating media and sharing it with each other. Today, we all know this as social media. Using the lessons learned, I see the same democratization happening to the physical world, where empowered people are creating physical products and sharing resources among each other, rather than buying anew. I have great passion for how technology both enables and disrupts markets. I’ve written over 2,700 blog posts on the subject and thrive being on the edge of technology and business.
I try to maintain a list of those who have helped along the way, so I apologize if I have missed anyone. First of all thanks to the council members and innovation network startups who believed in the movement and in us. Thank you, Fred Neil, for my first dollar. Thanks to the team and partners who helped: Miranda Merten, Angus Nelson, Vladimir Mirkovic, Paul Bae, Carmen Simon, and Lou Gutheil. Thank you to advisors, Vivian Wang, for movement-seeking and inspiring me; Todd Defren and SHIFT, for counsel and help for these early days; Wendy Lea, for kicking me to go do it; Loic Lemeur, who opened my eyes; the entire LeWeb team; Lisa Gansky, for being so meshy; and Neal Gorenflo for being so generous. Thank you David Armano, Aaron Strout, Kelby Johnson, Steph Agresta, Ian Greenleigh, Malcolm De Leo, Francine Hardaway, Joe Chernov, Rebecca Lieb, Terry Young, Ben Smith, Jim Lundy, who guided, cheered me on and made intros. Thank you Lora Cecere, Alan Webber, Julie Viola, and Charlene Li and to all the people at Altimeter Group, for your ongoing support. Of course, thank you to my supportive wife, who is a supportive driving force behind me. I know I left many, many people off, please accept my apologies.
Key Resources and Company Stats:
- Crowd Companies launches with 24 large companies as founding members including GE, Home Depot, Whole Foods, Intel, Nestle, Cisco, Walmart and many others.
- Crowd Companies launches with 22 innovative startups, investors, and thought leaders in the Innovation Network stemming from the sharing economy, maker movement, and co-innovation space.
- For more details: visit the website, read the press release
- Case examples: See this growing list of brands who’ve deployed in the collaborative economy.
- Peruse my full body of work on this topic for deeper insight.
- We use collaborative economy services for the logo design, website design, virtual staffing, and more.
Welcome to Crowd Companies! A brand council for the collaborative economy. We’re on a mission for Empowered People and Resilient Brands to achieve Shared Value.
With conviction, Jeremiah Owyang, Chief Catalyst.
I’ll cross-link to coverage on this announcement.
- Wired Magazine: The Next Big Thing You Missed: The Sharing Economy Goes Corporate
- CNET: A discussion via Q&A with myself on the collaborative economy.
- Silicon Valley Business Journal: Can this Silicon Valley strategist teach Fortune 500s to share?
- The Next Web: Crowd Companies is an association to help big companies better understand the collaborative economy
- Audio interview: Why I started Crowd Companies, hosted by For Immediate Release
- B2C: Brands Plan for a Successful Future in the Collaborative Economy (also on Amy’s site, and on Yahoo)
- Interview with David Deal on this “$110b industry”
- David Armano, Edelman: The Collaborative Economy Is Real (And It’s Here)
- Richard Binhammer on councils and the Collaborative Economy
- Memeburn: Is your company ready for the next 10 years?
- Pat Kitano: Crowd Companies, A social solution to brand management for the collaborative economy
- Shareable magazine’s Neal Gorenflo covers the announcement
- Arne Hulstein interviewed me at LeWeb
- Video Interview: Bryan Kramer on Pure Matter (syndicated to SMT)
- Vision Critical: Crowd Companies takes the Collaborative Economy to the next level
- Timo Elloitt: The Collaborative Economy Future With Crowd Companies
- CrowdFundInsider covers the announcement
- Eyeka, who’s part of the Innovation Network shares thoughts
- JD Lasica of Social Media Biz shares the news on Crowd Companies
- DJ Chuang shares the LeWeb preso
- French: Jeremiah Owyang lance Crowd Compagnies
- French: Petit Web on Crowd Companies
- French: Jeremiah Owyang Présente Crowd Companies à Le Web Paris
- Keynote slides from LeWeb, where the company was launched
- Video capture from LeWeb, where the company was launched