The rise of crowdsourcing platforms as a potential source for innovative ideas presents a challenge: How do you attract contributors to work on your particular problem? Past research has demonstrated the importance of well-crafted problem statements as a means to attract more innovative solutions. But what really goes into a problem statement that engages the crowd? Do the statements that attract a large number of proposed ideas share common elements?
Our research sought to answer these questions by unpacking problem statements, word by word, to identify the characteristics that attract the most idea submissions. Our analysis points to guidelines for managers tapping crowdsourcing sites on do’s and don’ts when writing a problem statement meant to attract solutions from creative freelancers.