The open source movement has a lot of supporters, and not only because it gives you the possibility of making your own modifications to the software, so it suits your needs, but also because the large quantity of people that generally contribute and share, help to increase the speed of that product development.
But not only that. With so many people using and tweeking the software, it is harder for flaws to pass unnoticed. And if some flaw is there, as it is detected, soon enough someone will appear with a solution.
This way, larger challenges can be tackled in lesser time. Instead of having a company with a few dozens of developers working in some piece of software, you have thousands of developers working on that specific piece.
That’s the power of crowdsourcing. You get bigger and better, faster.
I actually believe that in the future, most companies will have a specific departament that deals with crowdsourcing, since it has so many benefits to the development of a product. I also believe that we will see some kind of temporary project-oriented companies that are created with the only intent of organizing crowdsourcers to develop specific projects in a defined time-frame.
In this kind of companies, freelancers from around the world join efforts to develop a project. As soon as the timeline is met and the project is finished, each of them move to another project. The maintenance, if needed, will be garanteed by crowdsourcers with a more informal relation with the project.
Crowdsourcing is still in its childhood, it is still learning how to walk, however as the problems are growing in complexity, more sinergy has to be created to solve them. In the future we will probably feel the need of going beyond the notion of company as we have it today.
Probably the number of freelancers will grow in the upcoming years due to the current juncture, but instead of becoming more independent from each other, I believe we will have to rely more on each other to overcome the challenges ahead.
The notion of a market where companies, as a closed environment, compete to create the best product possible, will probably give place to a crowdsourcing effort where these products will be drawn from a “colective mind” effort.
We will probably see an evolution in the market way of thinking, from competitive to colaborative.
Of course that both will still exist, as it happens right now, but they will probably trade places in the perceived importance of each one.