skip to main | skip to sidebar


Google Analytics

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Passing the torch: 10^100 Ideas

Project 10^100 is over. Now that Google has finally "launched" the project, this campaign has become irrelevant. I remain disappointed in Google's bungling of the project, but this platform is no longer the place to protest Google's actions. This post marks the end of Project 10^100 Now's communications.

Although this is the end of Project 10^100 Now, it is only the beginning for the protest against the new, crippled Project 10^100. 10^100 Ideas is attempting to circumvent Google's project entirely by gathering the ideas for public display and discussion. If you're unsatisfied with Google's handling of Project 10^100, submit your ideas, join the Facebook group, and follow the Twitter updates. Together, we can prevent the Project 10^100 ideas from fading into obscurity.

Author's note

I was not involved in the creation of 10^100 Ideas, and I will be a standard participant like everybody else. Of course, that doesn't mean that I've given up on internet activism. Project 10^100 Now won't be my last advocacy campaign. I'll see you on the internet!
— Evan Kroske

Friday, September 25, 2009

Google opens voting for neutered Project 10^100

Google has finally opened voting for Project 10100. Unfortunately, this isn't the Project 10100 that was initially announced last September.

Google has abandoned its initial plan in favor of a more closed, less ambitious plan. Instead of allowing us to choose among 100 concrete ideas submitted by individuals, Google presents only 16 broad categories for which to vote:

  • Build real-time, user-reported news service
  • Drive innovation in public transport
  • Make educational content available online for free
  • Create more efficient landmine removal programs
  • Help social entrepreneurs drive change
  • Make government more transparent
  • Provide quality education to African students
  • Create real-time natural crisis tracking system
  • Promote health monitoring and data analysis
  • Enhance science and engineering education
  • Create real-world issue reporting system
  • Create genocide monitoring and alert system
  • Work toward socially conscious tax policies
  • Build better banking tools for everyone
  • Collect and organize the world's urban data
  • Encourage positive media depictions of engineers and scientists

Although Google lists below each category the more concrete ideas that inspired it, they never commit to a specific implementation for any category. In fact, the only commitment Google makes is to dispense $10 million to up to five organizations chosen by its advisory board; it doesn't even promise that the board will choose the five most popular categories.

Project 10100 had a great deal of potential, but Google has turned the project into just another token charity gift by a major corporation. Thousands of people with world-changing ideas have essentially been told "Look elsewhere for your funding; we don't think your idea can make a difference." I know I'm not the only one who's disappointed.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Wild speculation: Project 10^100 finalists announced tomorrow?

Because there has been no news about Project 10100 since CNET's unverifiable "within a month" comment, I have decided to manufacture some news about the project. What follows is wild speculation and shaky logic; I have absolutely no knowledge of when Project 10100 will launch beyond Mayer's "this fall" comment.

According to Wikipedia, Google was officially founded September 4, 1998. Google celebrated its tenth anniversary in September of 2008, starting with a blog post about the future of search posted September 10. I believe Google is most likely to announce the Project 10100 finalists either tomorrow, the fourth, or next Thursday, the tenth. I believe the announcement will take place on or between those two dates.

What do you think? Is your secret Google source favoring a late September announcement, or is your inner Google sense telling you that November is the month?

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Rumor: Project 10^100 news within a month

Yesterday morning, Tom Krazit of CNET announced that Google will release a Project 10^100 update "within a month". According to Krazit, Jamie Wood, a Google spokesman, said "We received over 150,000 ideas from users which far surpassed our expectations. We've never managed a project like this and it's taken much more time than we imagined to judge and sort through the ideas."

Krazit also noted that Google's 11th anniversary is within that timeframe. According to Wikipedia, Google was incorporated September 4, 1998. I think September 4 is the earliest date we could hear the announcement.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

A Googler's take on the Project 10^100 delay

I asked the opinion of the Google Blogoscoped forum about Project 10^100 Now and participated in an interesting discussion. It appears that most people are satisfied with Mayer's "this fall" comment and the current schedule for Project 10^100.

However, I also received some good news from the Google employee JohnMu. Apparently, Google employees from across the company came together to sort entries for Project 10^100. My mental picture of twenty taking an hour a day to evaluate proposals was completely off the mark.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Progress Report: We need your help!

Project 10100 Now is in trouble. The website and Twitter campaign have failed to generate enough exposure to elicit a response from Google. The web traffic spiked on the first day to 250 people and dropped precipitously after that. Yesterday, only 20 people visited the site. We need a major boost to reach critical mass.

If this project is going to succeed, you must help. First of all, we need you to ask your favorite tech blogs to write about us. If you look around most tech blogs, you'll find an email address or contact form for submitting tips. If you don't know of any tech blogs, you can pester Engadget, Mashable, Ars Technica, and Google Blogoscoped. We also need you to promote Project 10100 Now through social media like Digg, Slashdot, and Delicious. You can do that easily with the "share" link at the bottom of the site or in the sidebar of this blog.

Please don't limit yourself to the promotion methods I've mentioned here. If you can think of an off-the-wall campaign or a crazy publicity stunt, we'd be glad to hear it. Of course, the project could also be saved by a polite letter to a local news station or a flyer on a college bulletin board. We need any help you can provide; one person could be the difference between failure and success.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Google announces vague Project 10^100 start date

Although we would have liked to receive an specific start date for Project 10100, Marissa Mayer, VP of Search Products & User Experience at Google, has announced that Google will be making some announcements regarding Project 10100 this fall. In an interview with Digg yesterday, Mayer said "We'll be making some announcements coming up this fall to close the process, get the public vote going, and ultimately decide on the winning idea or ideas."

Immediately before that, she offered two explanations for the delay: Google had to sort through the "huge response" and Google has to judge the feasibility of the ideas "to make sure that they can actually happen." Before now, I hadn't considered that Google has to gauge the possibility of all 100 ideas before they announce the finalists.

For example, one high-profile idea called ColaLife plans to use Coca-Cola's massive distribution network to distribute live-saving medicine to poor children. Before placing this idea on the finalist list, Google must contact Coca-Cola to see if they will cooperate, estimate the cost of implementing the idea, and gauge the probable effect of the idea. That's a significant task for even one idea, much less 150,000.

However, I'm not ready call this project a success. "This fall" is not an acceptable time frame; Google should announce a specific date. If they misgauge the date, they can delay it again, but until they commit to a date, they have no incentive to prioritize the project. By announcing a deadline, Google will become accountable to the public for any further delays. After 135 days of indefinite delay, Project 10100 badly needs accountability.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Progress Report: Gaining momentum

Project 10100 Now has officially launched! We sent out the press releases Tuesday morning, and we're beginning to see a response.

So far, we've had three blog posts written about the project. One was on the popular Spanish-language blog Mangas Verdes, and one was written for the lively tech blog Internet Evolution. I didn't appreciate the Internet Evolution article's total disregard of my secretive partner, but we need all the exposure we can get.

If you'd like to help Project 10100 Now succeed, you should bring attention to the project any way you can. You should tell you favorite tech blogs to write about the project or contact Google directly about the delay. Every submission counts; we only need one major article to get Google's attention.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Good news and bad news

Today, I have both good news and bad news for our project. The good news is that I've put a lot of work into the official website and I think it's coming along nicely. Take a look! I applied a style similar to the one on this blog and designed a snazzy button for people to spread the word on Twitter. I also put up the Spanish translation of the web page. It was translated by my co-conspirator, he-who-doesn't-want-me-to-reveal-his-name (aka Open Source 10 to the 100.)

The bad news is that we are delaying the project a couple of days. I now plan to send out the emails to the tech press Monday or Tuesday of next week so that they'll write about it on Tuesday or Wednesday. If we contact them now, we might not make it into the blogs before the weekend. Hopefully, by delaying the official launch, we'll compete with fewer stories for the front page. We want to give our project the greatest possible chance of success, so we'll wait until the time is right.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Google Proyecto 10^100 carta abierta

Para Andy Berndt, Director del Proyecto 10100.

Estoy preocupado acerca del Proyecto 10100 de Google. En otoño de 2008, anunciasteis el Proyecto 10100 dentro de la celebración del décimo aniversario de Google. Planeasteis reunir grandes ideas de personas corrientes e impulsar las mejores de estas ideas para beneficio de la humanidad. Junto con muchos otros, os envié mi idea y me dediqué a esperar el anuncio de los 100 finalistas. No me sorprendió el que aplazarais el anuncio de los finalistas hasta el 17 de marzo; después de todo habíais recibido más de 150.000 ideas. Sin embargo, cuando llegó el 17 de marzo y no anunciasteis una nueva fecha, empecé a preocuparme.

La crísis económica estaba todavía intensificándose y la necesidad del Proyecto 10100 se incrementaba, cuando el proyecto fue aplazado indefinidamente. Esperaba que la nueva fecha fuera anunciada en una o dos semanas, pero mi optimismo era infundado. No habéis dado ninguna noticia acerca del proyecto en más de cien días, mientras que la necesidad del mismo no ha menguado.

Quizás las recientes medidas de restricción de internet tomadas en Irán podrían haber sido paradas por alguna idea anónima de internet, o quizás un plan de energía verde podría crear trabajos para desempleados. El Proyecto 10100 tiene un gran potencial para ayudar al mundo, pero el potencial solo no puede ayudar a nadie.

El Proyecto 10100 se ha retrasado demasiado. Es hora de que fijéis una fecha firme para anunciar las ideas finalistas. Transferid gente de otros departamentos, motivad a los empleados a trabajar más, o dejad a un lado los otros proyectos del departamento, pero acabad el Proyecto 10100. El mundo ha esperado suficiente.

Google Project 10^100 open letter

To Andy Berndt, Director of Google's Project 10100

I'm concerned about Google's Project 10100. Way back in the fall of 2008, you announced Project 10100 in celebration of Google's tenth birthday. You planned to gather big ideas from normal people and launch the best of those ideas for the benefit of all mankind. Along with many others, I submitted my idea and began waiting for you to announce the 100 finalists. I wasn't surprised when you pushed the announcement of the finalists back to March 17; after all, you had received over 150,000 entries. However, when March 17 arrived and you didn't set a new date to announce the finalists, I began to worry.

The economic crisis was still intensifying, and the need for Google's Project 10100 was increasing, yet the project was delayed indefinitely. I had hoped that a new deadline would be announced within a week or two, but my optimism was unfounded. You haven't given any news about the project for over one hundred days, while the need for Project 10100 hasn't subsided.

Perhaps the recent internet crackdown in Iran could be stopped by someone's internet anonymity idea, or maybe an individual's green energy plan could create jobs for the unemployed. Project 10100 has great potential to help the world, but potential alone can't help anybody.

Project 10100 has been delayed long enough. It is time for you to set a firm date to announce the finalist ideas. Transfer in people from other departments, encourage your employees to work overtime, or set aside your division's other projects, but finish Project 10100. The world has waited long enough.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Progress report: Laying the groundwork

Project 10100 Now is progressing incrementally. Here's a list of what we've already done:

  • Published the website We've already launched a stripped-down version of the main web page at
  • Joined Facebook and Twitter We've launched both a Twitter account and a Facebook group for our project. Show your support by following us and joining our group.
  • Drafted open letter The keystone of our plan is an open letter to Andy Berndt, the man in charge of Project 10100. The letter has been drafted in two languages, and it will be posted here once it's ready.
  • Gathered email addresses Once everything is ready, we'll issue a press release to all of the major tech blogs. If even one writes about our project, our marketing campaign will be a success.

Although we've come a long way already, we still have a few things left on our to-do list.

  • Upgrade the website Before we launch the website, we need to get the retweet button working, add a list of the most recent tweets about our project, and let Spanish-speakers find the translated web page and open letter.
  • Style the website One of the most important things left for us to do is to make the website look good. We'll go for a spartan, Google-themed style with a splash of red for urgency.
  • Upgrade this blog We've made progress on the style of the blog already, but we plan to make it mirror the features of the main website, as well as showing the most recent of our Twitter updates

We're making progress, but we still have a lot left to do. If you have any suggestions, or you'd like to help, please contact us at We'd love to hear your opinion.

Saturday, July 11, 2009


Welcome to the official blog of Our goal is to draw attention to the unreasonable delay of Google's Project 10 to the 100. We will be updating this blog frequently with news about our project. Subscribe now to keep track of Project 10 to the 100 Now.