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From the Startup Scene: The Wisdom of Crowds

While on the one hand, Web 2.0 technology allows for more personalization (see: Groupon gets personal), on the other hand--at the risk of sounding a little bit like the inside of Mark Zuckerberg's sweatshirt--it also allows for easier leveraging of the value of groups.

Articles by Betterment Editors

By the Editorial Staff
Betterment Resource Center  |  Published: August 12, 2010

It can be useful to employ the wisdom of your fellow (lego) man.

The idea of crowdsourcing isn’t new, but the directions various ventures have taken the concept recently have proven interesting. Kickstarter, a tool that allows people to solicit funding for projects like films and books, takes some of the difficulty out of shaking down friends and family for seed money. Crowdflower, another startup that’s gotten a lot of press, helps simplify the process of finding and utilizing “labor-on-demand” from all around the world.

Both Kickstarter and Crowdflower have recently gotten a good amount of exposure, but it seems like every day, a new way of using crowdsourcing is cropping up. The Extraordinaries has created a model that solicits “micro-volunteering,” by which many people contribute small amount of their time to a charitable project. Also in the realm of altruism, 1000Memories lets people set up online hubs where they can collect funds towards a good cause in memory of a loved one.

The list could go on and on, but the core concept stays the same: a lot of people each contributing a little bit of something, be it money, time or ideas, can have an overwhelmingly positive effect.

At Betterment, we believe that there’s a value in the wisdom of crowds. That’s why we provide tools that allow you to compare your investments to those of your peers when making your allocation decisions. Why make decisions in a vacuum, when you have the collected knowledge of your peers there to help you?

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