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Google's Project 10^100 Seeks Submissions for World-Changing Ideas
Sarah Kuck, 25 Sep 08

hippo%20water%20roller.jpg During our daily search of all things world changing, we came across Google's latest contest Project 10^100, being held in part to celebrate their 10-year anniversary and in part to help those who want to help others. During the next three months, the Internet search company will solicit world-changing ideas from anyone, anywhere, no matter the size or scope and will reward the top five ideas with $10 million to see their projects come to life.

In today's Seattle Times Google's Managing Director Andy Berndt gave us some insight on why the company feels like this kind of a project is necessary:

"Never in history have so many people had so much information, so many tools at their disposal, so many ways of making good ideas come to life. Yet at the same time, so many people, of all walks of life, could use so much help, in both little ways and big."

Google will select the 100 best ideas before having the public vote for the top 20 semifinalists in late January. Five finalists will split the $10 million, which Google will give to them to help get their projects off the ground.

The categories for entry seem to be primarily humanitarian aid innovations, including things like water solutions for rural villages in developing countries, and solutions for bringing wireless internet to disconnected rural areas.

You can find both of the example ideas mentioned in the Google release -- from organizations First Mile Solutions and Hippo Water Roller in the Worldchanging book. We fully support identifying people like this who are making a difference, and getting their names and project ideas out there so that fortunate connections can continue to turn smart ideas into real-life solutions.

It's wonderful to see so many great contests and companies actively seeking solutions. We're looking forward to seeing and covering the plethora of exciting new ideas sure to come!

Photo credit: Google, The Hippo Water Roller.

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Finally we have a big company trying to help the little guy, or do we? Careful reading of the contest site reveals something a little less appealing and much more frightening.

According to the FAQ posted on the site, entrants to the contest actually receive nothing more than recognition of their idea for helping to change the world. Of course recognition is nice, but the kicker is that Google
chooses the top five ideas and then chooses to turn them over to a company of their choosing to bring to market.

According to the Terms of Service agreement that Google has posted. All entrants agree to the following "As a condition of participation, you grant Google, its subsidiaries, agents and partner companies, a perpetual, irrevocable, worldwide,
royalty-free, and non-exclusive license to use, reproduce, adapt, modify, publish, distribute, publicly perform, create a derivative work from, and publicly display your submission and the proposal provided therein" Part 3 of this same paragraph states the following "for the purposes of putting your submitted proposal into effect."

In essence, you get Karma, the recognition and fame for submitting an idea that may change the world, while Google and companies picked by them get to profit from it without the need to compensate the inventor or person that provided the proposal.

They assure entrants that they will retain all intellectual property rights, but with the Terms of Service they have, those rights they promise you retain mean absolutely nothing when it comes to them doing what they want with your idea. To add insult to injury, those free thinkers that
haven't bothered to go through the patent process to protect their ideas and inventions will most likely forfeit that ability once they disclose their concept to Google, all based on the public disclosure aspects of patent law.

I applaud any company that is willing to put their own money on the line to help others, but this isn't the way to do it. Robbing the public for the public good just doesn't fit the bill. Especially coming from a company that holds several patents and protects those rights vigilantly, why are they doing all they can to strip those very same rights away from those less fortunate.

Google should either rewrite their Terms of Service revoking some of the power they are granting themselves, or establish some sort of reward process to protect and benefit the applicant. Coming up with an idea to benefit big business so they can make more money just doesn't sit well.

At the present there is no telling how many people have been damaged by this contest. Someone that has put years of work, time and money into an idea and submitted it to Google in hopes of receiving help basically sold their soul for nothing more than a pat on the back. All to bring big business more money. How much Karma do you get for that?

Posted by: BrentNC on 25 Sep 08

I agree with the previous comment by BrentNC - if you have a Nobel Prize worth idea then it is better to patent it on your own. Anyway I think Goggle's action is focused on simple solutions that anyone can come up with. Millions of ideas will be rejected, the beauty of the project lies in that it will cause masses to think creatively toward a better standard of living for all.

Posted by: on 26 Sep 08

And idea about peace ?

Posted by: Today is free on 26 Sep 08

This site rocks! I think that this is a wondefull way to get peoples attention.

Posted by: Marissa on 26 Sep 08

The trouble with most attempts at world changing ideas is exactly what some of these comments show - people are more concerned with changing only their already relatively well-to-do world than with changing others' worlds, or realizing that we all share the same one. If you are concerned with getting rich off your ideas to help the world, then how can you possibly expect to help a world filled with people who have nothing to give and are often starving? For the most part, it is not that we are incapable of helping, nor that we really need that fantastic of new ideas, we just need better hearts.

Posted by: Josh on 26 Sep 08

I might have some promising ideas, but I will not offer them to a powerful corporation like google for free. If they want my ideas, they should come to me and show me the money and keep me in charge of the project.

Posted by: zelrik on 26 Sep 08

This really makes you think. Great idea.

Posted by: Tim West on 26 Sep 08

Marks world changing idea:
I have the blue-prints to a machine that would one day replace the motor-car. It has an alternative mechanism to a propeller and would mean no-one will ever have to wait at traffic lights ever again.
The money raised by manufactureing this machine would be enough to support many charities and change the world for the better.

Posted by: mark mahoney on 26 Sep 08

I have the blue-prints to a flying machine that has an alternative to the propeller and will mean no-one will ever have to wait at traffic lights ever again.
The money raised by manufacturing this machine would benefit many charaties and change the wirld.

Posted by: mark mahoney on 26 Sep 08

On the other hand there are lot's of us with good ideas about how to make the world a better place but we will never do anything about it because we don't have the resources to do so but would still like to see the world be a better place so why not share our ideas. because a better world is a better world whether I am rich from my idea or just rich because i live in a good world surrounded by good people.


Posted by: powel212 on 27 Sep 08

My Idea is world debt forgiveness.If we eleminate debt we can all start over. In the old tedtiment of the Bible every seven years the people would forgive all debt no matter how much. This would give the world a fresh start.

Posted by: Amanda Chapman on 27 Sep 08

If everybody summits to Jesus and follows the commandments they will live in peace.We dont need nothing more, because everybody is living in love in this world.

Posted by: Adelina Matos on 28 Sep 08

I sent the following email to Google:

I think that your project is misleading. When you post that Google is going to fund $10M from other people’s ideas it makes it sound as though the person with the idea will be involved in the process.

However… reading this statement makes me think twice: Q: What do I get if my idea is chosen? A: You get good karma and the satisfaction of knowing that your idea might truly help a lot of people.

So that means that Google is going to take people’s ideas, some that have worked long and hard on for years, and just snatch it from them for yourselves. Something like the Hippo Roller where the company is now estimated at $140 billion.

Google, you should be ashamed of yourselves for taking other people’s ideas and claiming them as your own to do whatever you want.

Posted by: S Williams on 28 Sep 08

If everybody summits to Jesus and follows the commandments they will live in peace.

Posted by: Adelina Matos on 28 Sep 08

If everybody summits to Jesus and follows the commandments they will live in peace and learn to love one another in this world we call Earth.

Posted by: Adelina Matos on 28 Sep 08

hi all,now a days all are looking for economy(Money) almost all are going to forgot the human relations. where there is a good human relation there is peace.
even if it is economically strong country,human relations, love all basic things were important for peaceful world.

if there is a good human relation betwen the people, automatically they thing for helping to others.

now a days the communication is really played good role in every thing. if big organizations like google, microsoft... concentrate on improving the relation betwen the people, they will automaticaly learn how to help to the poor people.
this will realy help to the world for good grouth and help to the poor people. please concentrate it on. not on proving the prize money's

Thanking you

Posted by: veerendra kumar satuluri on 28 Sep 08

I'm with powel212.

If you've an idea, why not let someone use it *now* rather than let it sit on your shelf gathering dust and whimsical fantasies about what you'll do with all the wealth you will receive when you get off your bum to answer the door to all those venture captialists who've been beating a path to your door...

(You stand to gain more than karma, you'll get to share the benefits)

Then again, if you've the drive and initiative to sell that idea yourself, then go to...

Ultimately, I think anyone with the ability to come up with such an idea is probably capable of figuring out how best to get it to market.

It takes all sorts: selfish, selfless, even the pod person exhorting us to 'think as I'.

Posted by: Tony Fisk on 28 Sep 08

Project 10^100 is a great idea to collect new ideas that can help the world become the better place. So many people can participate and share their ideas with other and after that I hope we'll chose the best solution to help our world changing.
Good luck to everybody

Posted by: NguyenTam on 29 Sep 08

I have an idea that is patent pending. I was considering entering the contest. Do you know if they can still take my idea and w/ no compensation? I was actually going to go thru google to attempt to market this anyway, but this would ensure at least someone at google would at least read it. Keeping me from having to fly out there and knock on doors. Thanks.

Posted by: Joan on 29 Sep 08


Posted by: Ravindra kumar on 30 Sep 08


Posted by: Ravindra kumar on 30 Sep 08

5points! 1.all the wineshops and discotech should be opened on weekend sat&sunday remaining days it should be closed
2.there should be political entry at age 19&20
and every M.L.A should be retire in 3years
so there will be chance for new people and new ideas willdevelop
3.govt should collect all Beggers from streets train them as labour and we can use them in bridge constructions
4.india havelots of jobs shall i show you see!
collect incometax from all dont leave any one
at present we reqire more employees to collect tax from all so we have a jobs
5.precaution from 'BOMB blast'=
our police persons are less
so we need more 5lacks police for india every street should contain 5police person day and nightagain
we found jobs here
traffic=we should construct MULTIPROJECTROADS so there will be traffic problem
if i won these contest i will 1RS to not give to charity because i will open with these money a big compny

Posted by: sachin on 6 Oct 08

Could someone please tell me why google does not have a customer phone line? Also what is up with all of the hoops one has to jump through (I mean technical hoops) to just get an email to them about the is really frustrating!

Posted by: Ripley on 7 Oct 08

What a JOKE. I have what I believe to be a world changing idea, and wanted to submit it to Google, but I decided to read their fine print first.

This program should be titled, "Those who have the gold make all the rules and the rest get good karma."

Posted by: Tim on 8 Oct 08

To give or not to give? To share or not to share?

To those of us who value our idea enough to get it off the shelf, who are desperate enough to help and who see karma as a bonus rather than a trade off ... strengthen your chances of changing the world by visiting and sharing your idea with this enthusiastic bunch.

There is strength in numbers - so let's put our great ideas together, create a superb proposal and Change the world!!

Posted by: Michelene Benson on 9 Oct 08

I think that this is a great contest.

I have submitted my idea. My idea deals with creating a more incentive-driven health system. Think about it: wouldn't you like to get paid for being healthy or be able to "trade" your health to other less healthy family members or friends. Sound interesting...then find out more at the URL website below (by clicking my name "Jonathan").

Also, full details can be found at

Posted by: Jonathan on 10 Oct 08

Please publish no. of entries received from each country and tabulate it so that we get a running total.This way ideas being generated can be gauge also by readers or browsers.

If possible add a window where sketch or drawing of the general idea can be entered.Thanks.

Posted by: conrad on 11 Oct 08

I do believe I found a way of producing electricity without using solar, H20, oil, nuclear power or wind. I believe i have found a way of generating energy without using the sources that have been used in the past. As far as I can see, this could revolutionize the world as we see it. Without a doubt it would reduce the depletion of the ozone layer and each and every household and business would be self supportive. It would make the world safer for all now and in the future.:)

Posted by: curtis whitfild on 14 Oct 08

U R amazing, the fact that you care makes me cry...
I realy think we should all do the effort and think really hard not for the money but for those who realy need help and for all of us who share this unique world.
Thank you google!

Posted by: Chen De-paz on 14 Oct 08



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