Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Success and failure

I'm on the run today, here are some quick observations, thoughts, blah blah blah:

1. I've blogged about failure as a precondition for success. Was thrilled to learn that one of my posts on said topic was picked up as "suggested reading" by a funding organization for which I have due respect. Here's their list for their staff seminar (thanks to my source!):
I love that this blog is used in this way - and am always thrilled to hear from readers who are recommending posts for any purpose. Do let me know!

2. In similar vein, my preoccupation with prizes and open sourcing was fed by today's NYT story on InnoCentive, which I've blogged about in the past. Was a wee bit disappointed that the story focused on commercial problems and solutions - let us hope InnoCentive's goal of 10,000 solutions includes a whole lot of public good solutions as well.

3. I was delighted to receive information from a scholar of prizes - here's what he had to say and his incredible website - including lab experiments on prizes....
"... it occurs to me that you might like to see a new paper I just finished on the history and use of prize incentives for R&D. I think results quite consistent with your earlier “Catalyzing Creativity through Competition” paper. The main novelty is that now we have a vastly larger database of historical competitions which we can link to technological breakthroughs in various fields, and I think a nice set of guidelines for what history tells us about which kind of prize works best, under various circumstances.

After this, my current big project on this is laboratory experimental on how people respond to different kinds of contests, especially to compare prizes that are proportional to success with traditional winner-take-all contests. So far we have pilot results from last Spring semester, getting ready for full-scale experiments when students return in the Fall. Amazing stuff, could be of much real-world value to philanthropists who are interested in market-like incentives."
Dr. William Masters, Purdue University
Thanks, Dr. Masters - this information is fabulous.

4. What do Everywhere Magazine, SocialMarkets, Facebook, Ning, and the self-organized Jewish family Sunday school my family participates in all have in common? I'm working on a post about "platforms" - the next idea that I'm pondering about in terms of philanthropy....If you have thoughts on platforms and philanthropy, ping me. Otherwise, stay tuned.

5. I've contacted Eboo Patel to get the source for his quote, "Religious extremism is built on philanthropy." Will let you know when I track it down. I've also ordered his book, Acts of Faith, and can not wait to read it.

1 comment:

mashenka@dc said...

Hi Lucy (and to avoid confusion, this is in fact Mari from GlobalGiving). Saw your snippet about Innocentive above, and wanted to let you know that we have been working with Innocentive on several projects where their solver community has come up with public good solutions--solar lighting, brick extrusion technology, and wireless mesh networks--for GlobalGiving project leaders. I understand that the solvers are incredibly engaged and dedicated to these interactions and go the extra mile to help the social entrepreneurs implement the solutions ...