Innovation That Matters

On new Google site, users offer prizes for helpful ideas

Work & Lifestyle

The power of crowdsourcing knows no bounds, as recent years’ spottings have demonstrated, and neither does consumers’ interest in earning some extra cash. Tapping a bit into both trends, Google’s new Prizes site lets users offer a set cash reward for help solving a specific problem or getting a task done. Now in beta, Prizes — which technically is offered through Google’s Slide division — is a place for consumers to create or enter contests focused on a particular task or challenge. Currently, contest creation is only by invitation, but examples of contests now listed on the site range from “Looking for best valued 2nd hand car” and “College grad needs help with resume” to “Creative name wanted for personalized ice cream flavor” and “Best poem about otters.” Along with each contest is a prize amount and a deadline for submissions; most prize amounts vary between USD 20 and USD 100. Visitors to the site, then, can enter any contests that catch their eye; they can also vote on entries already submitted. If the creator of a contest does not pick a winner, the entry with the most votes wins. When contests are won by people referred via Facebook or Twitter, meanwhile, the person who referred them earns 10 percent of the final prize. Companies and organizations have long been tapping the global brain for winning ideas, and there’s no reason why consumers shouldn’t do the same once the right platform is available. One to localize for your part of the world? Spotted by: Florent Lesauvage



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