Monday, November 12, 2007

How to Build Software with Cheap Labor and no Bennies

Viv brought this to my attention.

It used to be that a company would use customer/third-party developer ideas to upgrade software products -- NOT to build them in the first place.

But if you've pre-announced a new product, so suddenly you're in a bind to add some real functionality and a decent user interface to the system . . . oh, what to do, what to do?

The answer for Google is: Start a contest!

What frustrated braingeek wouldn't jump on this opportunity to mold Android 1.0 ? Five thousand hours and 213 pizzas (sausage and black olive), an hourly rate to compete with Indian outsourcing? Sign me up! Then it's on to Phase II, where Google takes the beauty contest winners and loads them onto the first handsets, oh, sometime around the end of 2008.

The rumor going around is that Jobs pimped this idea to Google CEO Eric Schmidt during an Apple board meeting after Schmidt griped that Apple was hiring all the best software engineers. According to the scuttlebutt, Jobs convinced Schmidt the contest idea would lure the remaining talented and creative self-starter types left rotting in the dungeons up in Redmond.

Hmmm, it could work, but Viv says not to upgrade the stock on it.


Anonymous said...

What happens if you spend the 5,000 hours and don't make it into the top 50 to win 25,000? Do all entries become property of Google, or can you sell the software later?

Stan Scott said...

cNe interviewed Andy Rubin, one of the founders of Danger, who created the Android open software platform. After non-answering MANY of the questions presented to him, he was finally asked this:

Q: What do you think of the iPhone?
Rubin: I love it. I use it every day. That's my phone, and I think it's a great product. It's probably the best version 1.0 piece of consumer electronics that I've ever used.

Q: Do you think that the Android devices are going to be competing with the iPhone?
Rubin: No, I do not. I think it's a different business. Apple has a great business in building really, really high-quality consumer products, and the platform that we're building can go into a lot of different products.

I do NOT understand that, at all.

Anonymous said...

How do they build software to integrate with hardware design if they don't know the hardware specs?

Will software design drive hardware design?

Your odds of success are probably better in Vegas.