"Power to the people!" is the new mantra in Silicon Valley.
Remember how Netflix
And now Google
This is not a competition but an ongoing reward program, and open-source software backers like Mozilla have been doing this for years. But Google's direct sponsorship gives a business-class legitimacy to the idea. By offering small rewards for bug reports, Google and the Chromium developers hope to keep Chrome safer and more stable than anything else on the market, including Microsoft's
I don't expect famed control freaks like Microsoft and Apple to jump aboard the crowd-sourcing trend anytime soon, but plenty of software businesses could benefit from this kind of on-the-cheap development. Even small rewards and obscure competitions can inspire top programmers to lend their talents to your cause, and I wouldn't be surprised if Netflix and Google used their reward programs as part of their internal recruitment processes. Adobe
The possibilities are endless, and the model is still young. It's a sensible move for Netflix and Google, and others are sure to follow. Who do you think starts the next rewards program? Discuss in the comments below.
Fool contributor Anders Bylund owns shares in Google and Netflix, but he holds no other position in any of the companies discussed here. Microsoft is a Motley Fool Inside Value recommendation. Google is a Motley Fool Rule Breakers selection. Apple, Adobe Systems, and Netflix are Motley Fool Stock Advisor picks. Motley Fool Options has recommended a diagonal call position on Microsoft. Try any of our Foolish newsletters today, free for 30 days. You can check out Anders' holdings and a concise bio if you like, and The Motley Fool is investors writing for investors.