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Cisco I-Prize Update and some questions

May 27, 2008 - 15 Comments

Just a quick update: We’re now solidly in the final phase of the Cisco I-Prize. There are 12 finalist teams from 10 countries on 5 continents vying for to be the winning team. Each team met face to face with the judging panel via Cisco TelePresence for their final presentation and the judging team is deliberating. The quality, thoughtfulness and passion of the final presentations surprised all of us! We’ll announce the winning in team in June, so stay tuned.In the meantime, I’d like your thoughts on 2 topics: 1) Should we continue the Cisco I-Prize competition again (“Season 2”)? If so, what should we change or improve? 2) We’re going to morph this blog into a discussion on innovation, not necessarily specific to the Cisco I-Prize. What innovation-related topics would like to hear from Cisco on?Let us know!

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  1. If you don't won big prize you gave your idea for nothing ;) This is the trick!

  2. I most definitely agree, in the spirit of other innovative projects, such as the x-prize, the Cisco I-Prize should regularly continue and should embrace innovation within the competition as much as a result. Use the massive collaborative resources to pool ideas, such as the webex connect at for i-prize collaboration panels, telepresence stations for in person idea submittal, twitter for mass idea submission, youtube for video blogging for idea submitters, the possibilities are limitless. I also agree the rating system and idea browsing methods need to be revamped. I also think at hoc teaming would be great, the ability to join a collaboration panel with a group of people you've never met and work together to achieve something great. Let's see it happen again, and again. I also like the idea of multiple categories, much like the x-prize.

  3. I was both elated and honored to hear John (Chambers) speak about the I-Prize contest during his keynote this week at Cisco Live 2008 in Orlando FL. The fact that this contest is promoted and supported at every level within Cisco speaks to the uniform and sincere belief that collaboration will be a primary driver of business productivity, not just in the future but today as well; the future is NOW!I am confident that the I-Prize contest (and future collaboration-based initiatives) will generate many $1B businesses"" not only for Cisco, but for any company that embraces collaboration completely and pervasively throughout the organization."

  4. I agree with rsl. People or their ideas should not be taken advantage of. The prize should be a percentage of the new sales revenue from the winning idea(in writing). 250,000.00 dollars and a job at Cisco is bread crumbs compared to what Cisco could make off some average Joe Blow with a great idea. On your video clip it is clearly stated... what is in it for Cisco? That idea needs to be eliminated from your clip and more about what is in for the person bringing the idea to Cisco. It is clear what will be in it for Cisco, for that reason people need to think long and strong before putting their ideas out there because they could end up losing more than they realize. Unless you plan to treat the person with the winning idea in a more fair manner then, no... there should not be another Iprize. There could also be legal implications for the winner and for Cisco. Although I am sure Cisco has well covered their end of the legalities, it would be wise to keep in mind that when things are not being dealt with fairly amazingly karma finds it's way around many elements to come back and bite you.

  5. The I-Prize competition is a superb idea and it would be fantastic if Cisco held the competition again. It is great to see a large organization like Cisco give something back. I am not referring to the monetary portion of the competition, but more so to the support they gave the teams, their sharing of innovative tools like WebEx Connect and TelePresence and the time taken to review over 1,100 entries. This was a very cool thing for Cisco to do!The diversification of the final 12 teams really illustrates that this was a global competition that enabled anyone in the world to participate. I wouldn't change a lot - Cisco did a great job of getting the word out, encouraging innovators to step up, form their teams and go for it! I don't know what else you could ask of a company whose motive was altruistic.Like most things in life - you get out of it what you put into it. I learned a lot about Cisco, their industry, current trends, existing technologies, etc... The experience of collaborating with teammates from different countries, developing a compelling presentation and having fun doing it was a very rewarding experience. In that sense - hopefully all the teams had a winning experience.Thanks Cisco for a well managed competition and I hope your company finds it as rewarding for you as it was for me.

  6. I agree with Sergey Bessonnitsyn , especially on item 3 .Cisco may get for free solutions even from many proposals that were not selected . As a compensation example (or souvenir) a discount for taking a cisco exam (ccna/ccnp, etc.) may be provided to all participants in the i-prize.

  7. I lost it, do it again please.

  8. I would love to see a Season 2"" of the I-Prize. I would like to see a new rating system instead of the ""+3"" / ""-3"" peer voting system which is easily abused and devalued. With over 1000 idea submissions, it was hard to sift through them all and the only methods to arrange the list were by ""most recent"" and ""best"". Perhaps we could have a system set up to sort by other criteria, such as ""most active"", ""most discussed"", ""most viewed"", similar to the method used by popular video-sharing sites.In terms of innovation, I'd like to see blog-style discussions on things currently in the industry. I'd like to see blog-style discussions on new products released in the market focused on discussing the ways in which these new products could be innovated upon to solve real customer pains using uncommon logic. For example, a popular video gaming controller can be used to create a virtual smartboard. How ingenious! We should embrace and support this type of innovation."

  9. Some ideas for I-Prize ;-)) 1. All ideas were presented in different categories. Wouldn’t it be better to choose semi-finalists for each category separately? 2. What about inviting other companies to sponsor certain categories? It would increase the budget of the contest and its popularity. 3. It would be nice if each participant could receive something from Cisco, a kind of souvenir of the event. This can be a badge, a pen, a certificate, etc. Reaching the semi-final or final in such a contest could be meaningful for many participants event that could influence their career. 4. I realize this is difficult, but it would be great if Cisco would try to comment on the decision about the rejected ideas in more detail. Many participants felt resentment and misunderstanding. 5. What about having several prizes? Say, for the most outstanding idea, the craziest, etc. In this case all community participants could be retained until the end of the contest by preserving the intrigue. In the current contest the community fell apart immediately after the semi-finalists were announced. It’s a pity.

  10. 1) Yes have the event again and realize that great ideas can come from unexpected places and unexpected people. I'd encourage you to communicate more often. The website and blog have been less active then I would have thought. Try to get the length of the contest down to 3 months! That's hard but there has to be a way to turn things around faster. The current contest has been 8 months long. 2) For your blog I'd focus on real live innovation in action. Real stories about real people innovating. Also, start figuring out with the blog community how people are innovating. Are they applying innovation techniques, creating new ones or throwing out all conventional methods!! I think text book innovation needs to be mashed up with just-in-time innovation where people naturally innovate through social interaction and collaboration.

  11. The price should be a percentage 1% to 10% of the new business revenues.

  12. Yes, please do it again.I would like to participate.

  13. 1). Definitely do it again. Once people see you acting on the ideas presented, they will be less skeptical and be more likely to give you their good stuff"". I thought the voting was a little counter-productive. Too many people were trying to play a game and not working on their idea."

  14. Um, of course.Also, to get the BEST ideas, you need to do two things:1) Give founders a stake in it, great than 250k (form a company around it).2) Let it be located outside the valley. The koolaid is to rich here :)

  15. 1) Yes, please do it again - I would like to participate but found out about this competition only after reading an article on Guy Kawasaki's blog couple of days ago.