What The Netflix Prize Tells Us About Innovation, Collaboration, Info Sharing And Game Theory
from the fascinating! dept
And, in fact, that's exactly what happened with the Netflix Prize. The first "team" to break the 10% finish line, BellKor, was actually a merger of a few separate teams, allowing them to combine different pieces of different approaches to actually leap ahead. So, rather than trying to hoard the idea for themselves to claim the entire prize themselves, they realized it was better to team up to make the real breakthrough.
But, then a second interesting thing happened. Since the rules allowed another 30 days for other teams to offer up solutions that beat the first one, a bunch of other teams realized that it was in their best interest to team up as well, in order to leap-frog the original team. So they created the aptly named Ensemble -- and, again, the merger of various teams and different approaches allowed them to jump forward. It's not clear who actually had the best solution (both teams claim they did), but it's nice to see yet another clear example of the value of collaboration in innovation, against the standard myth of the lone inventor having a "flash of genius." It's also interesting to see the game theory aspect of the "loser teams" recognizing that they had to team up in order to catch up with the leader in the space.