The first phase of our I-Prize contest has just been completed: we have evaluated all of the submitted ideas–thank you! In the course of the past few weeks, there have been some questions raised about how we go about evaluating the ideas. Let me explain how we did this.In I-Prize, there is a voting mechanism that lets participants raise (or lower) the overall score for an idea. This is not how we choose the best ideas. If so, why did we bother to put in the voting system? Let me explain: we have a set of internal questions that we asked for every idea: is it a big market, can Cisco get a good share, how close to our existing businesses, can we ensure enduring differentiation, etc. The answers to these questions were used to determine the overall score for an idea.We then went back an looked at the user-voting and we also looked at which ideas had attracted the most feedback and discussion. We used this to check whether there were ideas that had attracted a higher community vote (but that maybe had been scored lower by our own internal evaluation). We also considered ideas that we had scored lower but which had attracted a lot of responses and discussions. We then chose some ideas in these categories to add to our list of semi-finalists.The reason for doing this is that we wanted to combine expert opinion with the wisdom of crowds (and we wanted to see if there was any strong disagreement between the experts and the community!). If your idea got a low community vote–rest assured–we evaluated every idea on its merits without considering the vote. If you attracted strong interest from the community, we listened to that as well.In the next few days, we’ll be announcing our results, so stay tuned for phase 2!