Coshx is giving away $50,000 of development and design services to the winner of a public competition we will be running. Anyone can submit an idea and then the public will pick the winner through the use of a voting system. We briefly toyed with the idea of picking the winner ourselves, but that goes against the spirit of this competition. We want to provide an equal opportunity to everybody, not just those with ideas that we believe to be worthy. Although access to increasingly powerful technology has a democratizing effect, there are certain traits which increase the odds of getting an idea funded, and we want to remove those barriers as much as possible.
We like building new ideas with different teams of founders and it is always exciting to help entrepreneurs build their next venture, particularly those that are making the plunge for the first time. But what about those that have a great idea but lack the capital or technical chops to really get started? We can talk all day about low cost, low risks ways to prototype an idea or gain traction without sinking dollars into a concept, but my hunch is that many people with strong ideas need the type of help we are providing. They just need a push from people that believe in their idea, and we are letting the public decide who gets that push.
Will someone that falls into this category win the competition? Who knows. It is not up to me, and that is part of what makes this so fun. Who will you pick? Will the winner be a lost 20 something that hates their job but knows a way to make it easier, a grandparent with a fun game to entertain their grandchildren, or a middle-aged professional that simply wants to try something new? Will it be someone down on their luck that deserves a break, or someone with immense means that convinces the public to back them? Will the winner be picked on the basis of their idea alone, or on their personality? Maybe the public will surprise me and it will someone with a long track record that is just looking for free work, but that is not where I would put my money.
There are a lot of questions to be answered and details to hammer out, but no obstacles are too big to make this a huge success. There are a lot of potential landmines and reasons not to do this, but that is true of anything bold. This week I am deciding what platform to use, which is the topic of another post, but the mentality at Coshx is to do it ourselves, because we are just badass like that. All I know is that I am excited. Coshx is excited. If you are reading this post then I hope you are excited and thinking about what idea you will submit. Good luck. I believe in you.