I was chatting with Jeetu yesterday evening. We were wondering how we motivate a community to invest in a commercial project(s), where a large community funds activities that produce profits, that the community shares. Community Commerce might be the right phrase where members (or partners) make financial, time and social capital contributions towards projects. Then, partners share in the profit [and other benefits] from those projects. However, the projects are professionally managed, or atleast overseen and tracked. Further, the impact of inputs into the process are measured and compensation to individual members/partners are made proportionately.
The typical model of a corporation is to build and own competencies such as product ideation, product development, funding of projects, asset allocation (people and time), promotion, lead generation, etc. But, couldn't many of those functions and decisions be outsourced and automated via a loose network of partners - connected via a social network and online tools?
Then I saw CrushPad Commerce this morning. It doesn't explain in great detail how the money flows. It does demonstrate how tasks that are typically performed in-house can be better done through a collaborative process with multiple stakeholders. Here's a brief from Springwise:
“Crushpad Commerce is a program that allows anyone to turn their passion for wine into a full-fledged commercial wine brand—without the high cost, complexity or time commitment required to operate a traditional winery.” Customers can get help creating their wines, building and marketing their brands, and even making the actual sales. Crushpad Commerce handles the logistics of order fulfillment, storage and distribution of funds, so customers can enjoy the perks of designing and selling their own wines without the hassles.And with so much wine-making and marketing knowledge to be passed around, an online forum is an obvious next step. Recently launched in beta form, Crushnet offers online winemaking discussion groups and even facilitates wine swaps among members.
This is kinda what I was thinking. The benefit of this program is that people can start a business without the hassles of starting a business. The benefit to CrushPad is that they can spread investment risk across a larger group of people. (I presume that 'label owners' have to pay CrushPad to start their own label.) Compared to other wineries, they also have a built in Stormhoek-like word of mouth team to help market and sell the product.
What other businesses could this model be applied to? What would you call this model? I think we need a name for it. I think it could be the next generation of online businesses.