GoogleâˆšÂ¢â€šÃ‡Â¨â€šÃ‘Â¢s new idea contest is such cool throwback concept, that you half expect the finalists to be a gum-chewing chatterbox, a boob tube-obsessed cowboy, a spoiled daddyâˆšÂ¢â€šÃ‡Â¨â€šÃ‘Â¢s girl, a fat suspendered German and an every boy with a bad haircut.
GoogleâˆšÂ¢â€šÃ‡Â¨â€šÃ‘Â¢s deep pockets are funding Project 10^100 (âˆšÂ¢â€šÃ‡Â¨â‰ˆÃ¬10 to the 100thâˆšÂ¢â€šÃ‡Â¨Â¬Ã¹, the link can be found here:âˆšÃ‡Â¬â€ http://www.project10tothe100.com/index.html ) a community-engaging contest asking the global community to come up with ideas to make the world a better place. And you donâˆšÂ¢â€šÃ‡Â¨â€šÃ‘Â¢t need to be an engineer, physicist or magician to make this happen. According to the rules, you only need to come up with the idea, not actually build the rocket boosters or million-dollar mousetrap. Plus, the ideas donâˆšÂ¢â€šÃ‡Â¨â€šÃ‘Â¢t need to be technical at all; they just need to fit into one of the following categories: Community, Opportunity, Energy, Environment, Health, Education, ShelterâˆšÂ¢â€šÃ‡Â¨Â¬Â¶and (seriously) Everything Else. We figure our idea for a solar-powered, calcium-fortified chalk dust eraser falls into at least five of these buckets. Beat that!
Unfortunately, you donâˆšÂ¢â€šÃ‡Â¨â€šÃ‘Â¢t have time to lock yourself in a room, grow a beardâˆšÃ‡Â¬â€ and ponder the contest. ThatâˆšÂ¢â€šÃ‡Â¨â€šÃ‘Â¢s because entries are due Oct. 20. But all you need to do is describe your concept in brief and answer six easy questions âˆšÂ¢â€šÃ‡Â¨â€šÃ„Ãº and you can answer in one of 25 languages. GoogleâˆšÂ¢â€šÃ‡Â¨â€šÃ‘Â¢s creative wranglers will whittle the entries down to the top 100 by Jan. 27, and then the voting will open to the public for one week online. The top 20 will be evaluated by a panel of mystery judges âˆšÂ¢â€šÃ‡Â¨â€šÃ„Ãº which probably wonâˆšÂ¢â€šÃ‡Â¨â€šÃ‘Â¢t include Sharon Osbourne or The Hoff âˆšÂ¢â€šÃ‡Â¨â€šÃ„Ãº and five winners will named in February.
The project, which amounts to Google throwing a surprise 10th birthday party for itself, comes on the heels of Bill GatesâˆšÂ¢â€šÃ‡Â¨â€šÃ‘Â¢ TV commercials aimed at making him look like a real man of the people and community activist. The timing is no accident. Mix in the new browser wars, Chrome vs. Windows, and I wouldnâˆšÂ¢â€šÃ‡Â¨â€šÃ‘Â¢t be surprised to see a new Google commercial featuring founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin hanging out with Ray Romano. Sorry, Seinfeld.