•   about 11 years ago

Picking the Finalists

From the rules and the main page of this site it appears that you will be picking the 5 finalist by virtue of their submission time only (of course meeting the requirements as well). This is a terrible idea:

1. Your requirements are loosely defined and not testable with the current submission requirements

2. Picking the first 5 who meet the requirements will result in a very poor competition

Let me explain #2. If you select the first 5 that MEET the requirements you will most surely ignore any submission after those 5 that may EXCEED the requirements. The simple fact of the matter is if I spend more time on my submission I can make sure it’s the BEST submission I can make. Someone who puts marginal effort in their submission will most likely be the first ones to submit.

This circumstance, coupled with the poor requirements, makes me think the organizers of this challenge have absolutely no idea what they are doing. The rules were definitely not written by someone who has ever developed a technical product before.

The only real suggestion I have, if you actually care about getting the BEST product to help the homeless veterans (like I do), is to scrap the entire rules set and start over with someone who knows what they are doing. As it stands now this challenge looks more like a joke than anything.

Sorry for the brutal honesty, but there is a good amount of money and people’s lives at stake here and I do not take this stuff lightly. Helping the veterans should be our number one priority. As the rules are written, you will not succeed in achieving that goal.


  •   •   about 11 years ago

    I think the honesty is well put. At the end of the day, bringing experienced people on board - or gathering information in this forum - to help outline the rules and reqs will take this from publicity tactic to a useful and successful app.

    There's a second part to this: the success part. There is going to have to be a marketing piece that will motivate people to download and use it. As a marketing person who is challenged with getting information out to our clients that there is help for them, I am wildly eager to see this project get done. We serve a wide population of Veterans in North Jersey. I'd love to see this come to fruition.

    I see there's one judge. How do you get on that committee? And what about marketing...is there a plan? Having Bon Jovi behind this is half the battle, however there still needs to be a plan.

  •   •   about 11 years ago

    Matt, I think Caryl is agreeing with us. She has a vested interest to seeing a successful product come out of this challenge.

    And I totally agree with your sentiments on not wanting to compete as stated.

  •   •   about 11 years ago

    Matt, sorry if that was unclear. I was responding to the above thread (thanks for chmining in, Jonathan) in agreement. I agree there needs to be more thought put into the finalist selection qualifications. I also think there needs to be clarity on what happens after a winner is chosen. I'm eager to see an app like this developed but recognize it will be useless if we don't get people on board to support it from a marketing perspective. (And maybe that last thought belongs in a new message thread).

  •   •   about 11 years ago

    @Jonathan .... seriously?
    Is your plan to lobby against every single rule on a daily basis?
    Do you even plan to participate in this?

    I am sorry, but as a matter of principle, I will have to oppose any effort like this to change the rules. This is a contest that is under way, we are in the submission period. Changing the rules now would just be unfair to anybody that has put significant work into this already.

    Now let's imagine they change all the rules as you ask and you participate. If 2 months from now they update the rules again, how would you feel then? You've got to understand that some people have started already (and most likely the ones that are the most serious about this project), and it is just not possible to do that...

    You mention that helping the veterans should be the number one priority. So please then, get to work and let's talk about ideas, and not about the rules of the challenge every day...

  •   •   about 11 years ago


    Please stop trolling the forums. Your responses to everyone's valid criticisms of this challenge are not helpful.

    This challenge was JUST POSTED 2 days ago. There doesn't seem to have been any pre-deliberation in the public sector as to the rules of the challenge. Therefore this is the most appropriate time to have these deliberations.

    I refrained from commenting further in the Android vs. iPhone discussion where you trolled that one too. There is no way anyone has put in significant amounts of work on this challenge. THE RULES ARE NOT WELL DEFINED. How can you expect anyone to be serious about this when there is standing ambiguity with the primary requirement (Available Beds).

  •   •   about 11 years ago


    Not sure why the aggressive tone, I don't think that's the spirit here...

    Anyway, no, I have been working on that thing full time for 5 days now, there were already 50 followers or so when I joined... And yes, I have put significant work into this.

    Now, you mention ambiguity about the requirements; this is a complete different story to ask clarifications about some ambiguity, or to ask the rules to be changed from this to that.

    So if you want to bring the topic back to clarifying the requirement on available beds, then for sure we should spend time on that.

  • Manager   •   about 11 years ago

    Thanks for the constructive discussion. We are working on getting a clarification of the selection criteria (specifically regarding "near real time") finalized. However, as has been noted on the discussion thread, substantial rule changes are not planned.

    Please keep an eye on the Updates section of the Project REACH site. We'll post the information there.

    VAi2 Team

  •   •   about 11 years ago

    This is a very simple idea that will allow any homeless Veteran to get a bed anywhere, anytime, all across the country.
    Get in contact with the VAC and have them develop a program to partner with all motels and hotels in their service areas. I am a member of the Tampa,FL. Veterans Advocacy Council, There should be a council wherever there is a VA medical facility.
    What do you think?

  •   •   about 11 years ago

    VAi2: I would really like to take part in this contest as I am a Vet, who works for a government contractor building databases for the FBI, Homeland Security and many police departments. Our team consists of graphic designers project managers and more .. but more importantly we actively feed the homeless and provide necessities to them in our area (outside of LA) every week. We want this system as an end user as well.

    Our team was going to meet on Sunday to discuss this and move forward but really concerned about the selection process. Please clarify. Your not picking the best system (its far more then an "app") at the end of the day .. Your picking the 1st 5 systems that meet the requirements? We would need the full time period to create a fully functional system that not only meets the requirements but has the usability and functionality that people would want.

    Please clarify for us that if we submit the "best" system on the last day if it would even be considered if 5 systems that already meet the requirements are already submitted?

    This should not be a race, it takes time to QA a project as large as this. We are all willing to do this open source and free

  • Manager   •   about 11 years ago

    Thanks all for the useful input. Please check out the newly added Update that provides a response to this question here: http://reachthehomeless.challenge.gov/updates/253

Comments are closed.