The Crowd Picked a Cat. What Are Crowds Good for, Anyway?

By Andrea Kates – Huffington Post | February 20th, 2013

Hasbro recently made their decision to axe the iron and replace it with a cat as the new game piece for their classic Monopoly game. Last time they updated tokens was the 1950s when there was no online option for figuring out the best way to ditch the purse, the lantern and the rocking horse. In the 1950s, no doubt a committee met, perhaps some customers were consulted, but for sure no Facebook campaign was part of the selection process.

Not surprising that an Internet-based vote would lean heavily toward a cat. According to Yahoo! Canada, there are currently more than 110,000 cat videos on YouTube. Cats are popular icons among the online crowd.

But is a cat the best decision for a game piece? And thinking more broadly about crowds and commerce, when does it make sense and when does it NOT make sense to cast a wide net for input into business decisions…