back to article Cisco offers $250k for your billion dollar idea

Ever dream of coming up with the word's next billion-dollar idea – then handing it over to Cisco for a chance to win a 0.025 per cent cut of that billion? Well, now's your next big chance, you silly goose! The network giant has launched its second-ever “I-Prize" contest to tap great business and technology ideas from you, the …


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@Prince Perfect

Austin,.... come on, really!


Sounds like a good deal to me

"Ever dream of coming up with the word's next billion-dollar idea – then handing it over to Cisco for a chance to win a 0.025 per cent cut of that billion?"

Sounds a bit harsh. Well, let's look at the economics of this.

Scenario: you invent product X, and sell it to Cisco. What do you get? 250,000 USD, huge profits for Cisco, bragging rights as inventor, and possibly some free networking kit.

Alternative: you invent product X, and don't sell it to Cisco. What do you get? No cash, no publicity, no bragging rights, you get the pride of having an unrealised idea that you will likely never have the knowledge or ability to put into practice, let alone large-scale production to a massive specialist consumer market. Sure, Cisco would make loads off your idea - but is withholding it really so much better? You'd be a fool not to.

Right, all I need now is a cracking idea. Time to trawl the Reg comments...


Maybe worth a couple of minutes thinking - no more.

From last time, the chances of a winning idea are 2500::1. For a $250k prize, means about $100 per entry. If the prize has to be shared between the winning team (lets say, 5 people) that means it's worth about $20 to the person who thinks up the idea. Assuming the selection process is random (Hey, it's a contest, voted on by strangers who form an instantaneous and superficial like or dislike for an idea: of course it's random).

So, what can you do with $20 of a professional's time? Get a cup of coffee, or go to the loo. Strike out with the woman from sales? Or maybe, just, have time to fill in Cisco's contest entry form. Sadly that doesn't leave any time for thinking about the actual idea.

A better strategy would be to lurk. See which ideas are doing well in the voting and try to barge in to join the team. Possibly by tossing in a few ideas of your own: much more time effective than going through thr drudge of coming up with something original.

Now, I was going to ask for help with my idea here, but the $20 of time I've allotted has just run o <CONNECTION DROPPED>

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so tell me does Cisco get the rights to all of the other ideas?

So what happens to the ideas that Cisco doesnt select? Are they now Cisco property to be developed if its so chooses? or are they now in the open domain (they've been seen by dozens of people in the "judging") so you've just lost any chance to patent and make money from your idea...

IMHO, You'd have to be nuts to do this... come up with your idea and sell it to Cisco if you want to but make them sign a non-disclosure agreement in the process! Does everyone who wants to look and judge these products have to sign an NDA? i doubt it...

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$250k vs ???

Let's see. $250k won't hurt, and Cisco would probably be pleased to hire you for a very comfortable salary too ....

Or have your brilliant idea in 1995 and put a prototype demo on the 'net, develop it further over 1996/7, while all the time the world ignores you. Then see Microsoft[1] has independently implemented your idea in 2001/2, and you not only got nothing, but spent time working for nothing on an idea that was too far ahead of its time.

Mine's the old one retrieved when the scarecrow got a new coat.

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