CrowdSPRING is making a big impact

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In 2008, Mike Samson and Ross Kimbarovsy needed a logo for the start-up they were launching that provided ... well, logos. The co-founders of crowdSPRING, an online marketplace for logo, business card, graphic and Web site design (and the winner of Wired's 2008 Small Biz Program) organized an online contest, and within two weeks they had received more than 75 entries. The winning designer? Ivan, a nightshift janitor who used CorelDRAW because he couldn't afford Adobe. The two friends had "stumbled upon the poster child" for their fledgling business. CrowdSPRING allows businesses to post design jobs and to set a price; then a community of 12,600 creatives can respond, offering up their handiwork. CrowdSPRING owes its growing popularity in part to old-fashioned word-of-mouth marketing that comes with a new-fangled technology twist. The co-founders use Twitter, Facebook and Craigslist; and they say their main competition is "noise on the Internet." At only eight months of age, crowdSPRING has hosted more than 2,000 projects; paid out $600,000 to designers; and seen marked growth in its revenue, number of users and average project value. Sounds louder than the crowd.
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