Research says crowds are wise: watch this BBC video or read this book for more on this assertion. But, as another BBC article explains, the crowd is not always right. Witness the 2008 financial meltdown for proof that herd mentality can be dangerous. In fact, most people prefer to fail with the crowd rather than stand out with a different view. Being contrarian is hard work mentally but it can pay off if you take less risk or go for a smart bet.
New research is emerging into how social influence can alter the wisdom of the crowd by steering opinions in a particular direction. That’s where crowdfunding is at. Is it good or bad for you that crowd views and sentiment trend? Well, it depends. Are you an investor, a business looking for funds or a good Samaritan?