Friday, October 8, 2010

X Prize

Met someone from the X Prize Foundation last night. Very cool organizations. They create $10MM prizes to encourage research and development into worthy goals that might otherwise not be financially viable e.g., space vehicles, affordable genomes, fuel efficient cars. This "prize" approach has being gaining popularity because it is highly leveraged: instead of giving the $10MM to directly fund research and development, the prize generates many times that amount of work funded by those who want to win the price. A bit like a lottery (which as we all know, is such a profitable model only governments can do it!). Another analogy the kids are familiar with is Threadless, which pays a few thousand dollars each week to the winning design for a t-shirt, but gets dozens, if not hundreds of designs for free...

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