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Google just announced a contest to encourage developers to create Actions on Google. Having just finished Peter Diamandis’ book, Bold, I was thinking about how contests could be used to get developers on board. With the Ubi and with our current tools, we’ve run a number of contests with various degrees of success.

With Google’s contest, it seems to mirror some of those that Amazon had run to encourage the development of Alexa Skills. However, the prize might only be enough of an incentive for smaller sized development companies or individual developers to build under this incentive.

The real hard work is:

  1. Making the tools to develop Actions super easy to use that any novice developer (or brand wanting to experiment) can implement)
  2. Creating a team to engage the developer community and educate them.

Amazon is also two years ahead in this front and have been working with major brands to facilitate their Skill development.

So where are contests really useful? The big problems that people can rally around. Amazon ran an AI Alexa challenge for $2M in prizes for a 15 minute chat bot. Why not run something for the Cocktail Party Problem or being able to do something else really hard around voice?

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