How Dell’s Social Suggestion Box Empowered Fans & Improved the Company

“Good ideas are common — what’s uncommon are people who’ll work hard enough to bring them about,” said Ashleigh Brilliant, an English writer and cartoonist. No doubt, many executives at Dell would agree.

Though using online media to cast about for ideas is now fairly commonplace, it wasn’t when Dell launched IdeaStorm in 2007. Since then, the company has fetched 16,000 ideas and implemented close to 500 of them, which averages to about 10 per month. If Dell was hoping to spur social media discussion, it’s done that as well — so far, there have been more than 92,000 comments on the IdeaStorm website.

As Brilliant’s quote suggests, though, the ideas themselves usually weren’t groundbreaking. When asked to recall some of the top ideas generated by the program, Bill Johnston, director of global online community at Dell, cites a partnership with (RED), the charity brand. Another top idea was hiring Cy Jervis, formerly a gadfly in the IdeaStorm community, as community manager for IdeaStorm in February.

Read More