Obstacles to crowdsourcing

It's easier to create a new business model that benefits from customer expertise than to convert an existing one. The thinking behind most value-chained delivery systems makes customer expertise into a threat, conflict or breakdown of the model.
  1. Systems that deliver expertise at a price get disrupted when they discover they are "preaching to the choir". The premise of getting paid for the knowledge it delivers authoritatively gets defeated if the customers "already know this stuff" or "think it's old news".
  2. Systems that delivery repair, maintenance or diagnostic services get disrupted when the customers are have already developed DIY/self-help approaches. The abundance of online resources has dramatically increased the number of people who figure out what's wrong with their health, house, computer or travel plans. They'll also decide what to do about it without paying for a service call.
  3. Systems that maintain a paid staff of artists, designers, inventors or research scientists get disrupted by free contributions from outsiders. The justification for keeping talent on the payroll gets undermined by the quantity and quality of voluntary, open-sourced contributions.
  4. Systems that control the access, available times, convenient locations or membership privileges get disrupted by comparable offers anytime, anywhere for free. Customers who opt for the free version appear as traitors and saboteurs to the business model based on scarcity.
For each of these kinds of systems., the changeover to crowdsourcing appears self-defeating or devastating. It's not a "sustaining innovation" they can adopt readily and focus on the details of implementing it system-wide.

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