Entrepreneurial

Q & A with MycroBurst co-founder Joe Witte

Joe Witte is the co-founder and Executive Vice President at MycroBurst, a crowdsourcing site for companies and individuals who want custom logos and designs. Reuters Small Business interviewed Witte about building a tech startup and how Mycroburst balances work with clients and designers.

First off, can you briefly describe MycroBurst? How it works, etc.

I’ve always described MycroBurst as an eBay for design services. We have a community of more than 35k designers representing more than 100 countries. They participate in design contests for our customers (aka Project Holders), who require anything from a brochure, postcard, website or logo design. What makes our marketplace so powerful, is that a Project Holder will typically receive dozens, and typically more than 100 design concepts from our design community to choose from. And that’s in one week. Our platform makes it easy to communicate with all the designers, and easy to review the concepts side by side.

Where did the idea come from?

Previously, we had a design team that provided services to our clients via online transactions. Many of our designers were leaving in order to freelance for sites like eLance. And after seeing this model work for other crowdsourcing sites, we felt that this was where the future was with sourcing design services. After we shifted in 2009, it was apparent that everyone was happier. Our designers had freedom, and our clients received far greater choice, and flexibility in a faster delivery method.

MycroBurst relies on a crowdsourcing model that actually helps pool talent for clients. Are there any other sites that you think are operating a similar model (not necessarily with design), and how has that affected MycroBurst?

We are actually a member of a “Crowdsortium” which had more than 100 crowdsourcing companies such as UTest, CrowdFlower, and GeniusRocket. Some of the other services that are crowdsourced include videos, website/application testing, content writing, labeling, research, translation, and the list goes on.

Small business defense against cybercrime

Small businesses can innocently expose themselves to cybercrime when an employee opens an email that appears to be from the CEO, not updating the anti-virus program or having a laptop lost or stolen.

Eduard Goodman, Chief Privacy Officer for Identity Theft 911 has seen an increase in small businesses being targeted for cybercrime within the last five to seven years. Highly desirable data include customer information lists and personally identifiable information such as social security numbers, dates of birth and account numbers.

A recent survey by Symantec and the National Cyber Security Alliance shows 85 percent of small business owners believe their company is safe from hackers, viruses, malware or a cyber-security breach. Sixty-nine percent rely on Internet security for their business’s success.

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