CrowdFlower, a startup that helps businesses manage crowdsourced labor, has named a new CEO — co-founder Lukas Biewald.
The company, formerly known as Dolores Labs, launched at the TechCrunch50 conference in 2009. Biewald actually served as CEO for most of its history, but in August of last year, Woody Hobbs was named CEO, and Biewald stepped down to become executive chairman (a job that seemed to mostly involve evangelizing for CrowdFlower, while also building iPhone apps as a hobby).
Biewald (who I lived with briefly in college) tells me the decision to take back his old job is relatively recent, and that he pitched the board of directors on a return to the company’s roots. CrowdFlower started out as a self-service product, which Biewald says has “stagnated” as the company focused on enterprise sales: “That was a little bit frustrating to watch.”
That doesn’t mean CrowdFlower will ignore enterprise customers, Biewald says — he just doesn’t want to pursue them using the traditional sales model. He points to Jigsaw and Box.net as examples he wants to follow, particularly the way they’re able to serve large and small customers without a huge salesforce.
So Biewald laid off part of the sales and marketing team and plans to expand engineering and product. Hobbs is leaving the company. And CrowdFlower is announcing two new board members — Match.com founder Gary Kremen (who was already an investor) and Jigsaw founder Jim Fowler.
“CrowdFlower is a leader and an innovator in the crowdsourcing space,” Fowler said in an emailed statement. “I am excited to join the board and look forward to watching CrowdFlower continue to grow its vision and expand its technology.”
CrowdFlower is the leader in enterprise crowdsourcing. CrowdFlower’s technology platform offers quality-ensured crowdsourcing at massive scale. The company solves problems ranging from product categorization to business lead verification to content creation. Clients from startups to the Fortune 500 enjoy increased flexibility, faster turnaround time and cost savings. Enterprise crowdsourcing offers the ability to distribute tasks to a massive group of contributors with automated management and quality control in order to streamline many large-scale business projects. CrowdFlower takes large, data-heavy projects and...
Prior to co-founding CrowdFlower, Lukas was a Senior Scientist and Manager within the Ranking and Management Team at Powerset, Inc., a natural language search technology company later acquired by Microsoft. Lukas has also led the Search Relevance Team for Yahoo! Japan. He graduated from Stanford University with a B.S. in Mathematics and an M.S. in Computer Science. He is an expert-level Go player.
See Kremen.Com and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gary_Kremen
Jim Fowler is Founder and CEO of InfoArmy and serves on the Board of Directors of CrowdFlower. Prior to InfoArmy Jim founded Jigsaw in 2003 and was CEO until it was acquired by Salesforce in May, 2010 for $175M. Jigsaw is best known for pioneering Crowdsourcing in the BtoB information industry and for creating the business category of Data-as-a-Service (DaaS). Before his career in technology Jim was owner and operator of Lookout Pass, a ski resort...