Entries in idea markets (1)


Innovation contests should reward products not ideas

Following up from my recent post about the rise of contests, I’ve been thinking about what is the key differentiator between good contests and bad. My hypothesis is that the best contests produce products, not ideas. To test this theory, I think of the contests that I admire – Netflix, NASA Lunar Lander, Department of Energy L Prize – versus all the contests that I find less compelling – Awesome Foundation and to a lesser extent, Apps for Democracy – and realize that the former produced real products that were created in response to a real problem. The latter seem to be more about a call for “innovation” and to create a response to an undefined problem set simply because new tools are there to do so.

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