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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.


  1. The one thing I would have really liked to have seen with this project is openness. I know Google as a corporation cannot let everything it does be exposed fully to the public but wouldn't it have been great if they had let the public decide right from the beginning. They could have used the disclaimer of feasibility if any of the favoured projects were looking unlikely, but I do think the public could have seen that for themselves. I find watching through most of the videos uploaded in response to the challenge very inspiring. People really do want to make a difference at all levels. Those without the ability to do it would surely be helped by those that could if the idea was good enough.
    More openness please Google - time's are changing and this is the first trait of the dinosaurs...

  2. I agree that this contest should have been much more open, but I've decided not to advocate that view through this campaign. All I want is a date for Google to announce the winners. In my opinion, asking Google to open up and democratize Project 10^100 is too much to ask at this late date.

  3. Sadly I must agree with you - let's see what happens...

  4. I agree with Shawn. The notion that Google can do this all by themselves is wrong. I am grateful that you used the colalife idea as your example. It took us many weeks of determined and concerted effort to identify the right person to talk to in Coca-Cola and that was with the help of the mighty BBC. In case Google are reading this, Coca-Cola have committed to trials of the ColaLife idea and you can hear them doing this on the - search for 'iPM' and click on the interview of the 25/4/09.
    Thanks for starting this campaign. Much appreciated.

  5. I disagree with the "openess" ... too many people would get their buddies to vote for "their project"... thus skewing the results. We need a professional moderator before voting begins. I don't think Google likes cheaters.

  6. I am anxiously waiting for updates on this project. I just sent TechCrunch an email for the second time, suggesting they write a story about google and the delay.

    I disagree that Google needs to check into every single idea. I'd say at last 1/3 could be thrown out instantly.

    Then ideas like ColaLife. Though it is a great idea, being that it involves another major corporation, it has no place in this contest. If I were Google, I'd say "great idea, we can't fund it because it dependant on another company, but here are some people inside Coca-Cola that you can contact. Best of luck."

    Bottom line, Google can't use the number of submissions as an excuse. they are friggin Google and offering $10m...what did they expect?

  7. I agree that a large number of the ideas could be thrown out immediately, but I don't think that Google should (or will) disqualify ideas that are dependent on other companies. I believe Google is willing to pursue even difficult and complex ideas if the ideas have great potential. I think they want the results of this contest to be a part of their legacy.

  8. What kind of ideas are difficult and complex? We should recomend some of the videos/ideas in a list of this blog? (our suggestions), in agree with Evan, for example ideas with great potential.

  9. From: [snip]
    Date: Thu, Feb 11, 2010 at 8:12 AM
    Subject: AGO Complaint


    Thank you for submitting a complaint to the Office of the Attorney General on 2/11/2010.


    Explanation of complaint:

    On or about September 25, 2008, Google, Inc. published on the Internet an evidently bona fide offer of $10 Million, which "will be distributed evenly among the winners" of the best ideas submitted to Google's Project 10^100: From Spokane I submitted this idea: "worldwide adoption of the goal and committing all resources necessary to realize 1 Gigabit Internet access everywhere on planet Earth." In question to the question: "What initial steps are required to get this idea off the ground?" I replied: "A Policy Proposal circulated widely to IT and government sectors, with a strong PR budget to commence aggressive advocacy of this idea." Yesterday, Google announced plans that implement this idea almost to the letter: However, Google staff are now saying that "winners" will not receive ANY money, only "good karma", and that the funds offered will be distributed ONLY to organizations, NOT to individuals who submitted winning ideas. This change strongly suggests false advertising, bad faith and also fraud by Google's management, for having widely distributed this exact language in their original Offer: "... [T]he $10 million will be distributed evenly among the winners."

    Expected resolution details: pay the award to submitter of a "winning idea" now being implemented by Google

    What do you think the business should do to resolve your complaint:

    E-mail Notifications: Yes
    Disclosure Notices: Yes


    If you have any questions about the complaint submittal process, you may contact our Consumer Resource Center at 1-800-551-4636 between 10:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m., Monday through Friday.


    Rob McKenna and the AGO staff


  10. March 2010
    The voting has been done... Ages ago.
    What is taking Google to announce the winners?


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