Share ideas that inspire. FALLON PLANNERS (and co-conspirators) are freely invited to post trends, commentary, obscure ephemera and insightful rants regarding the experience of branding.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

CrowdSourcing: Innovation Bounties

Stakes are high. And the bounties are getting higher for anyone with a better idea.

RBC Next Great Innovator Challenge

Realizing that some of the most important financial innovations of the next few years will probably derive from the teenage demographic, Royal Bank of Canada is sponsoring the Next Great Innovator Challenge for university students in Canada. The idea, it appears, is to get an early-mover advantage when it comes to new financial innovations for the consumer market while giving young students full rein to use their Web 2.0 know-how:

"This is your chance to stand out. Assemble a team of three to four university or college students and show everyone just how innovative you really are. The top five teams will each receive cash rewards and a chance to present their ideas to senior RBC executives... How will today’s teens influence the financial services industry in Canada? Describe an innovation, idea or concept that financial services should consider in light of this."

To give Canadian university students a running start, RBC has provided a list of questions to consider, encouraging teens to consider how the use of technology and new demographic trends are forever changing notions of loyalty and trust and forcing a reconsideration of the competitive landscape for financial services.

Netflix Innovation Prize

Inspired by some of the great innovation prize competitions in business history - like the 1714 Longitude Prize offered by the British government - Netflix has announced the creation of the $1 million Netflix Prize, which will be awarded to the first person to improve Netflix's movie recommendation system's accuracy by at least 10%:

"Netflix will make 100 million anonymous movie ratings ranging from one to five stars available to contestants. Currently, when renters watch recommended movies from Netflix, they rate them on average of a half star higher than the other movies they rent... The Netflix recommendation system uses proprietary algorithms to process the more than 2 million new ratings a day in order to pair users with patterns found in the over 1.5 billion ratings already noted.
But if a contestant can bump that half star up another 10 percent, Netflix will license the technology and publish a detailed description of the winning approach. If no one can meet that threshold, the company will annually award a $50,000 progress prize to whomever makes the most "significant advancement" toward that goal until someone does meet it. In order to avoid the scandal that sometimes accompanies the release of user data, Netflix has removed all personal information from the 100 million ratings, scrubbing them clean of everything but their dates."

For more on the Netflix Innovation Prize, check out the NPR interview with the VP of recommendation systems at Netflix.

via Fortune's Innovation Forum Blog

No comments: