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. identicon
    Spartacus, 10 Oct 2006 @ 3:27am

    Re: Re: 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.

    I'm not sure how many more people besides /. and that guy on blogs.siliconvalley.com are saying that it's impressive but to me 3 people (including techdirt) saying it's impressive doesn't qualify as "many people". You may know of more people who are impressed by it, but as of yet I am unaware of them.

    When you say "going from nothing to beating the existing offering qualifies as a ton of progress" that means that ANY progress qualifies as a ton of progress. If that's the case then no one is capable of "a little progress". Progress, in this case, is merely beating the existing offering by any margin. It sounds like you're saying that it doesn't matter how much they improve the existing offering so long as they improve it it's "a ton of progress".

    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.

    Understandable. I assumed that the prize site was already up when you posted about it. Apology appreciated and returned in kind.

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