every time google does something it's BIG news. i suppose that is what happens when your company name becomes a verb that everyone uses & your stock price closes at $660.55 (it was as high as $742 last week) a share. what has google done this time? it's what i call extreme outsourcing...
extreme outsourcing involves outsourcing work with zero liability, overhead, & possibly zero costs? you don't have to involve any HR, contracts, SOWs, management overhead, etc.
how is this possible?
a company, such as google, creates a contest that results in people doing & turning in work. in return for that work, the person/group is hoping their work will win them the contest which usually results in a large monetary payout. of course, if the company decides they don't like your work, they get to keep your work & don't have to pay you anything. they owe you nothing.
google just created a contest with various payouts totalling $10 million for new innovative applications for their new phone that they are hoping to release in Q1/Q2 of next year. for more info about the google (android) challenge: http://googland.blogspot.com/2007/11/g-calling-all-developers-10m-android.html
another big name practicing this notion of extreme outsourcing is netflix. they've had a contest going for some months now for which they'll award $1 million dollars to the team (person or group) that can make their movie recommendation system 10% more accurate than their existing system. ya know, when you check the "star rating" of a movie you either like or dislike? behind all those stars that you are checking is a very smart application that is calculating the probability of what movies you would like based on what movies you do & don't like. as a result, every time you add a new movie to your queue, netflix is constantly popping up movie recommendations for you. they want to make their recommendation application even smarter that it currently is so that you'll keep adding movies to your queue that they've recommended & as a result you remain a loyal & more importantly paying subscribing to netflix. netflix has actually paid out $50K of the $1 million they are offering. for more info about the netflix challenge go to http://www.netflixprize.com/index. click on "leaderboard" to see the teams that are winning. a lot of smart dudes at various universities across the world are in the top 10 ranking.
now how do i come up with a challenge that would result in someone taking care of our lawn, washing our cars, & cleaning our house for free :) if you've got any ideas please share.