Imagine you could run a business that allowed you to be creative, have great work-life balance and all the nitty, gritty work gets done by thousands of other people. Doesn’t sound any different from your your regular CEO gig, does it? How about the part that you are the only one collecting a paycheque ... and no, I’m not talking about slavery.

Jeff Howe, the author of Crowdsourcing, describes this very real advancement in how businesses are changing the way they operate and generate new ideas. Howe argues that by utilizing crowds, often online communities, businesses are able to create a higher level of engagement with their customers.

Using examples such as how Threadless.com came to be the T-shirt juggernaught of the worldwide web, or how iStockphoto overtook Getty Images in the stock photo game, Howe paints an impressive picture of why companies like Proctor & Gamble are starting to take notice of the power of crowds.