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What Drives Competitors?. Jin H. Paik Harvard-NASA Tournament Lab. What Drives Competitors?. Community Membership is Increasing. 2004: 50,000 2009: 200,000 2013: 600,000+. Harvard-NTL pilot projects are launched. Motivating Factor: Money.

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What Drives Competitors?


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    1. What Drives Competitors? Jin H. Paik Harvard-NASA Tournament Lab

    2. What Drives Competitors?

    3. Community Membership is Increasing • 2004: 50,000 • 2009: 200,000 • 2013: 600,000+ Harvard-NTL pilot projects are launched

    4. Motivating Factor: Money • Competitors using crowd sourcing platforms as supplemental income (TopCoder)* • Wu Yanbo • “I have to say money is the most attractive thing…Even though the economy is not very good, I can still earn around $1,000 per month in my spare time.” • Michael Paweski • 2006 – 2008 earned $200,000 - $300,000 per year *Lakhani, Karim R., David A. Garvin, and Eric Lonstein. "TopCoder (A): Developing Software through Crowdsourcing." Harvard Business School Case 610-032, January 2010. (Revised May 2012.)

    5. Motivating Factor: Other Most people “lose” in contests, so why would anyone compete? What about non-monetary incentives?

    6. Harvard-NTL’s Signals vs Prize Experiment (2012) Design: Project examines motives and effects of various incentives on behavior; 1,000 competitors compete in “virtual rooms of 20” for different incentives Survey: Participants are motivated largely by three factors Career motive Social motive Problem-solving motive

    7. Motivating Factor: Career • Members use ratings generated by TopCoder for career advancement • Participants often list ratings on their resumes • Companies such as Google often require a TopCoder score prior to an interview

    8. Motivating Factor: Social • Participation in the community forums • Discussion around the challenges • Level of difficulty, level of interest, questions regarding the topic • Interaction with other members on other topics

    9. Motivating Factor: Problem Solving • Participants enjoy programming and solutions • Some explanations: • More satisfying than current occupation • Enjoy the difficulty of problem

    10. Harvard-NTL’s Signals vs Prize Experiment (2012) Participants randomly assigned to 3 different types of incentives Prize Types Cash Status Job Market

    11. Harvard-NTL’s Signals vs Prize Experiment (2012) Cash Prize Participants were given the designated cash prize amount 50% - 1st Place 20% - 2nd place 15% - 3rd place 10% - 4th place 5% - 5th place

    12. Harvard-NTL’s Signals vs Prize Experiment (2012) Status Prize Prominent Listing on the TopCoder website “Glory” within the Community RESULTS: Drew members with high social motive & high career motive

    13. Harvard-NTL’s Signals vs Prize Experiment (2012) Job Market Prize Recommendation letter from HBS, NASA, & TopCoder Competition results & letter forwarded to Google & NASA JPL RESULTS: Drew members with high puzzle-solving motives

    14. Other Possible Motivators: Prestige Crowd Sourcing Communities Honor and Highlight Member Efforts TopCoder’s Center of Excellence for Collaborative Innovation Challenge Winner Badge

    15. Other Possible Motivators: Prestige • Tongal’sTongaler of the Month (Community Recognition) • Q&A with member • Video of member’s most recent work

    16. QUESTIONS ?