This Day On The Street
Continue to site right-arrow
ADVERTISEMENT
This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here
TheStreet Open House

Netflix, Google Win in Their Own Contests

Stocks in this article: NFLX GOOG VZ

LOS GATOS, Calif. ( TheStreet) -- Netflix (NFLX - Get Report) awarded a $1 million prize to a team of engineers that met an initial challenge: to improve the company's rating-prediction algorithm by 10%. Netflix was pleased enough that it immediately launched a new million-dollar contest focused on improving new users' experience. Hosting a contest to garner input from the public is gaining favor among small businesses. And for entrepreneurs, winning such a prize can result not only in cash prices, but in publicity.

Email-security startup StrongWebMail.com offered $10,000 to anyone who could hack into its chief executive's email account. In June, several technology news sites reported that a team of hackers had won the challenge in a matter of hours. While a public hack may seem humiliating to a security company, it's a clever way to get free advertising and quality-assurance testing at the same time. "It gave us a chance to test out our platform to see where there were vulnerabilities," says Ryan Disraeli, vice president of marketing at StrongWebMail.

"Contests are a nice way for companies that might have limited resources to get a cheap security review of their applications from thousands of security experts," says Dennis Fisher, editor of Threatpost, a computer security news blog. "Even if they have to pay a prize of 10,000 or 20,000 bucks, that's a fraction of what a full-scale security code review would cost from a top firm. And that doesn't even count the free publicity they get from the contest."

It's also a way to drive site traffic and, for software developers, to encourage product adoption. Startup Twilio, which makes tools for building phone applications, attracts developers to its site with a weekly contest in which the winner receives a Dell (DELL - Get Report) mini-netbook.

1 of 2

Check Out Our Best Services for Investors

Action Alerts PLUS

Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link reveal their investment tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
Quant Ratings

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
Stocks Under $10

Jim Cramer's protégé, David Peltier, uncovers low dollar stocks with extraordinary upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
Try it NOW
Try it NOW
Try it NOW

Check Out Our Best Services for Investors

Dividend Stock Advisor

Jim Cramer's protégé, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Trifecta Stocks

Every recommendation goes through 3 layers of intense scrutiny—quantitative, fundamental and technical analysis—to maximize profit potential and minimize risk.

Product Features:
  • Model Portfolio
  • Intra Day Trade alerts
  • Access to Quant Ratings
Options Profits

Our options trading pros provide over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.

Product Features:
  • Actionable options commentary and news
  • Real-time trading community
Try it NOW
Try it NOW
Try it NOW
To begin commenting right away, you can log in below using your Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, OpenID or Yahoo login credentials. Alternatively, you can post a comment as a "guest" just by entering an email address. Your use of the commenting tool is subject to multiple terms of service/use and privacy policies - see here for more details.
Submit an article to us!

Markets

DOW 17,316.37 +125.00 0.73%
S&P 500 2,009.52 +7.36 0.37%
NASDAQ 4,646.0790 +8.0850 0.17%

Partners Compare Online Brokers

Free Reports

Free Newsletters from TheStreet

My Subscriptions:

After the Bell

Before the Bell

Booyah! Newsletter

Midday Bell

TheStreet Top 10 Stories

Winners & Losers

Register for Newsletters
Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs