Software patents present significant challenges to app developers. Vague claims, product life cycles shorter than the PTO review process, trolls and general uncertainty threaten to stifle app industry innovation and growth.
- Application Developers Alliance
Come and learn about patents, share stories of claim letters, lawsuits, legal strategies and litigation costs, and voice your ideas on software patent reform. You’ll meet policymakers, app developers, attorneys, and other stakeholders from Google, Rackspace, and more.
ChallengePost brings software makers and organizations together for online challenges and in-person hackathons that build awareness, solve problems, and spur innovation. Sign up to hear about our latest software competitions at ChallengePost.com.May 22 Comments
This is the second in a series of posts for stakeholders and organizations interested in running software challenges. If you’re a software developer who’s looking to enter an app contest, check out our latest challenges, and sign up to get notified when new competitions launch.
Nowadays, software contests run the gamut — from hackathons to several-month-long challenges to bi-monthly app jams, companies have come up with a variety of ways to set up their challenges. But whatever the case, there’s one critical component that always needs careful consideration: the matter of intellectual property (IP) rights for submissions. Our advice? See our top three pointers below.
If you’re going to run an open innovation contest, it’s simple: don’t claim ownership of participants’ IP.
Why? There are several compelling reasons, but namely, you risk alienating the very group of people you’re trying to pull into your ecosystem.
If you’ve spent any time at all with developers, you’ll know that “hacker culture” or “hacker ethos” celebrates openness and freedom, among other things. Forcing developers to sign over their IP rights clearly runs counter to that and can end up being a PR nightmare.
Your job as a sponsor is to provide incentives for building software and to encourage developers to get involved. By clamping down on the spirit of openness, some developers may find it less compelling to form ties with your organization.
The developer community is vast, but it’s also small — word spreads like wildfire and the slightest whiff of a foul experience could leave you with very few developers in your corner.
When in doubt, leave the decision to the developers.
If your organization is uncomfortable declining IP rights altogether, at least offer a choice. Don’t make participation contingent upon a forfeiture of IP.
Also consider that when you acquire a developer’s IP, you need to be prepared to improve or maintain his or her project. If your company hasn’t devoted a team to take on that work, the project likely won’t see the light of day again.
Think there’s nothing in it for you? Think again.
Often, software competitions spur ideas that last beyond the actual challenge. Whether those ideas are pursued by challenge participants or by others, your brand will benefit from continued awareness.
And don’t forget — even it’s not your business, a new business that became successful through your event is a good thing. You don’t need to own the developers’ IP to be a part of that story.
For more ideas on getting developers to join your ecosystem, be sure to read our “Five Essentials for Building a Developer Community Base”.
By BrianMay 22 Comments
Books aren’t dead… but book discovery could use some innovation. That’s why we’re excited to announce the first-ever book publishing hackathon this weekend, May 18–19! It’s an event where bibliophiles and technologists can come together to help the world discover great books. What’s more, an impressive roster of judges and mentors from the publishing and tech worlds will be on hand to provide feedback.
On May 31, three to four finalists will have the opportunity to demo their hacks at BookExpo America, the largest and most prestigious book publishing event in the US. This gives finalists two weeks between the hackathon and the expo to fine-tune their hacks. (Side note: it’s refreshing to see more hackathons extending hacking beyond the weekend. Our recent 30-hour MTA AT&T App Quest Hackathon is now a three-month long global challenge.)
The winning team gets $10,000 and a meeting to pitch their idea to Ari Emanuel, Co-CEO of William Morris Endeavor.
For full details, go to PublishingHackathon.com. Space is limited, so register now!May 17 Comments
This is the first in a series of posts for stakeholders & organizations interested in running software challenges. If you’re a software developer who’s looking to enter an apps contest, check out our latest challenges, and sign up to get notified when new ones launch.
Running a successful developer competition is an investment of time and resources, so it’s important to get internal buy-in for the necessary budgetary and personnel commitments. Thinking of running one? Below are some quick points that can help you build the business case for running app contests (or “challenges” as we like to call them) with ChallengePost.
Value created far exceeds costs
If you total all the time spent on procurement and contracting, corporations can easily spend over $50,000 to have an app built. Multiply that amount by every app submitted to a challenge, and the value of your investment will far outweigh the cost of prizes you provide to contest winners.
When a participant wins, you win
Challenge winners often go on to form companies, get funding, or continue to build upon existing businesses. We frequently hold competitions where winners progress to raise capital and gain multi-million dollar valuations. Success stories like these not only increase traffic and exposure for your platform, but also showcase the community you’re building.
Buzz is good for business
Challenges are fantastic fodder for social media mentions, blogs, and media outlets. They get headlines because they combine three hot topics: innovation, crowdsourcing, and app development.
Your ecosystem grows
Every submission to your challenge means another app on your platform. Building your developer ecosystem expands the capabilities of your product and services, and makes your platform indispensable.
You get to tap into a community
ChallengePost is a robust platform that 380,000+ users know and trust as the place for software competitions. When a new challenge launches, we tell our whole network, which means your web presence isn’t limited to a blog post or a hacked-together landing page that nobody sees.
Relationships last more than a weekend
After they’re introduced to new developers, some companies struggle to stay in touch. Challenges give you the context to continue the conversation. Hackathon participants, for example, can continue polishing their weekend’s work for a chance at better rewards a few months later. Likewise, conference attendees can engage with a project long after the keynotes are over. Projects that may otherwise lose momentum can actually be propelled by long-term app competitions.
Challenge marketing is long term
Unlike other marketing efforts, the challenge site we build for you lives on to serve as a long-term marketing piece that sponsors and participants are proud to display (e.g. “Look how we rallied and rewarded developers!” and “Check out how we won/entered this awesome competition”).
We do the heavy lifting
As anybody who has worked with software can attest, building a new website or platform from scratch always costs twice as much and takes much longer than originally anticipated. With ChallengePost, our team does the heavy-lifting and ensures a smooth challenge with minimal effort on your end.
To see how ChallengePost has powered successful app competitions, check out our case studies.
By BrianMay 15 Comments
Building a mobile app is hard work. But building a mobile app with a scalable backend, all the while managing user acquisition and retention, marketing, and distribution can seem like scaling Mount Everest without any equipment.
That’s where Kii Cloud comes in, to save the day and give you a backpack full of hiking gear in the form of cloud technology and distribution services. That way, you can focus on what you do best — building a killer mobile app.
Kii Cloud’s new challenge for mobile developers is to introduce apps that best illustrate the capabilities and breadth of features offered by Kii Cloud and its partners. If you win the challenge, your app could be distributed to China and to over 260 million end users that are part of the Kii partners’ network.
Oh — and did we mention the winners get a trip to Hawaii? Forget the chill of Mount Everest and get ready to pack that surf board and sunscreen. Register now for the Kii Cloud App Challenge!
Like software competitions? Discover more, and sign up to hear about the latest ones at ChallengePost.com.May 8 Comments