Crowdsourcing is a popular concept amongst so-called gurus and those who’d like to think they can predict the future of online business models. So far, though, few have been able to make crowdsourcing really work. On some levels, the idea of building a community and then later utilizing it to create a monetized business model is pretty easy, but few have successfully made the transition from community-building to actual income generation.
It appears that uTest may be one of those few. The model is pretty simple: clients post software to be tested and the community of testers at uTest then have at it. The first one to find a bug, gets paid. As more bugs are found, the price can change, going down or up. The more demand there is for the testing, the higher the payment and vice versa.
That’s the over-simplified version of how the site works, as there are many details involved in how the client can choose the criterion for testing and who the testers will be (by various grades). Testers, in turn, are graded both on how quickly and how often they find bugs and by the client themselves based on interaction with the bug reporting process.
One big advantage that uTest has is that coders, developers and software engineers have always made great crowdsource communities. This is primarily due to the already-established open community many of these software professionals are already a part of, such as open source and online tutorial forums.
Another milestone was reached when uTest converted all ten of the pilot participant clients into paying customers when they went live in August. Revenues, according to uTest, have grown 150 percent since and its community of testers spans 144 countries with over 12,000 members.
Longworth Venture Partners apparently believed that uTest has the potential to seriously tap into the $13 billion software testing industry and agreed to $5 million in Series B funding for uTest earlier this month.
With the continued globalization of the software industry, crowdsourcing may indeed be coming into its own.