Yes, I believe more companies should start crowdsourcing ideas. There are millions of people out there that have great ideas, and they dont know how to get their ideas out there. This provides a way for them to share their ideas, and companies can benefit from this without having creative minds on staff.
Over this past year I have heard a lot about crowdsourcing and have seen amazing results from it. Although it may not work for everyone, it does work for those who have a lot of friends or if you are popular in social media. Which is why I think it would work for any big companies like Lays. It is a great way to help fund an idea.
If the nurse that won $1 million for the new Lays chip flavor idea had the BEST idea (out of the entire pool of entries plus assumed internal brainstorming at Lays), she is completely deserving of her reward. And of the billions of consumers in the world today, what would the chances be that the absolute best idea would happen to come from someone within the Lays organization? Consumers are more thoughtful and creative than perhaps some companies give credit for so I think it's a great idea for more to start crowdsourcing.
Companies should be encouraged to use crowdsourcing to uncover new products and business ideas. The people best placed to understand the desires of a customer are the customers themselves, and therefore their opinion should be sought about innovative products or services. Involving customers through crowdsourcing can also create positive feeling between the parties, and, as a side effect, can result in a 'viral' marketing phenomenon that will benefit the company.
If people thought up chemical reactions, poison, or other things to sneak into a flavor, it would be bad, but that's not all. The producers of the chips would go out of buisness for making themwith bad ingrediants. If people are allergic to them or get very sick after consumpton, they could sue the companies!