Turns Out Lots Of People Will Help Netflix Out For The Possibility Of Winning Money

from the and-so-it-goes dept

A week ago, we weren't sure if there really were that many people who would be willing to help Netflix improve their recommendation engine for just the chance at winning a million dollars. While it did seem like an interesting challenge, the fact that only the best would take home the prize and the lack of any major outside benefit besides better movie recommendations seemed like it might be a tough sell. Apparently, we severely underestimated the competitive nature of Netflix fans. Apparently one group has already made a ton of progress and has already bested Netflix's own efforts. The group says that they still have plenty of ideas to keep improving the system as well. Perhaps even more impressive is that nearly 8,000 teams have signed up to participate. With success like that, perhaps it really won't be long until we see these kinds of contests become a lot more popular with other companies. Next thing you know, McDonald's will be asking the community to design their next Happy Meal.
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  1. icon
    Mike (profile), 10 Oct 2006 @ 3:01am

    Re: A ton of progress

    While the phrase "a ton of progress" is pretty subjective I don't think many people would agree that WXYX Consulting has made a "ton of progress".

    Perhaps, but as you said, it is a subjective statement. Personally, and it seems like many people have made that statement as well, I think that going from nothing to beating the existing offering equals a ton of progress in my book. At least I'm impressed by it.

    And by the way, regarding the Techdirt article you link to from last week if you go to the Netflix competition site (http://netflixprize.com) they explain exactly how the 10% accuracy mark is measured. It's really not complicated.

    When we wrote about it last week, it was before they had officially announced the contest. There were just news reports about it, so it wasn't clear at the time. However, you're right, that when it did come out, the way it was calculated was much clearer than expected or described in the press coverage. So, I'm sorry about that.

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