I want my organization to develop an app for a specific purpose. The catch: it has to be dirt cheap. Enter: Crowdsourcing?
I work for a large, very highly visible non-profit with great brand recognition and a _lot_ of data.
The data pertains to general citizen quality of life. People in general like this organization, its non-political, and its 'feel good message' would probably be of interest to a for-profit partner (we don't approach for-profits, but they occasionally approach us), our brand recognition is vast enough to make an impact on any young upstart's resume. The data message is strong on social good, and might resonate with developers who want to 'make a difference' somehow.
For the most part, while I can imagine this datas' tremendous potential, the data format remains stuck in the old millennium. Leadership, too. I can convince both to make small steps in the right direction, but I'm looking for quick, cheap wins because budget is scarce and I'm not winning any battles via old funding routes.
I had vast, outrageous success, partnering with two crowdsourcing companies to develop data visualizations
(which were a big hit on social media), and a short video
. Both of these organizations took us in under their 'non-profit'/pro-bono policy, which cut our cost in at least half.
I expect that the same could be done for apps development- where for a certain prize 'cache', a young or portfolio building apps developer would be willing to play around with our idea and help actualize on it.
However, this task is more complicated than the visualizing one, because there will probably be some back and forth between the developers and the data source folks. In contrast, with the data visualization, we just posted our 'selection factors', the data, and away we went....
Can any of you with apps development experience ring in here on the iterative process, whether crowdsourcing organizations exist, and any sites, forums or resources that I can monitor over time to get an idea of what is currently popular/making an impact? I know apple offers stats on best-sellers, but I really don't care to know about the sale stats of the latest bikini-babe or beer drinking apps.... I want to see cool, data-rich examples of apps that people enjoy because they help them think differently and enjoy the wonder around them.
I'm also open to an iterative process with apps development firms, but I don't want to lead that firm on as I seriously doubt management will go for the pitch. Requests for fixed, small (10-20k) investments are my best chance for approval, and aren't accompanied by very high expectations, whereas I am certain one of these apps will be highly impactful, if done right.
Crowdsourcing also has appeal for me because I can get out of my organization's corporate culture, and I've learned so much from our prior experiments. Its the 'don't know exactly what you're looking for, until you find it' approach. Yes I'm wandering...but no, I'm not lost.
Any and all suggestions welcome, thanks!