Software Awards

9/9/2004 7:29:51 PM

Software Awards

I hesitated to write this post for fear of falling flat in my face when my software comes out.

Eric Sink in his MSDN series on entrepreneurship writes this:

I find it terribly ironic that while I was in the process of writing this article, the postman showed up at SourceGear and delivered a trophy. It turns out that on July 17th at the Shareware Industry Conference, the 2004 Shareware Industry Award winners were announced. Although we didn't even realize that our product was nominated, SourceGear Vault (our source control system) won the award for "Best Application Using .NET".

I recall attending a WSA (Washington Software Association) lecture by the marketing head of a local software company in Seattle, that won the top spot in a ranking of software companies by a well-known magazine. I don't recall what the ranking was--maybe fastest growing company.  The speaker described how the company set a goal of reaching the top spot in that specific list and planned accordingly.

The talk was fascinating for two reasons: First, it revealed how much awards depended on the manipulation of perceptions, active effort, and other factors unrelated to qualities that the award is trying to recognize. Second, it described how winning an award, can set off a nice positive feedback loop in new business, attention and so on (potentially, setting you up for the next award).

They are a host of contests out on the internet; they may not all be well-known, but they do provide third-party validation, additional positive publicity, and something to include in marketing collateral alongside testimonials. Many of those, which require voting, are won simply by the company that mobilizes their customers to vote for its product. The non-winners usually don't realized their product have been nominated or simply leave the results up to fate. Usually, unaware people like Eric, don't win; apparently, his product was that good.

Though I don't have a product yet, I am planning on collecting a number of awards--first, by creating an exceptional innovative product and, second, by actively lobbying for the top prizes. I looked at the winners of the Shareware Industry Awards and was somewhat unimpressed with the offerings of many of the nominees and some of the winners. That contest looks like it might be easy pickings.

There are some other major ones like People's Choice Awards, Codie Awards, Isidor Awards, and a lot of minor ones.

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My name is Wesner Moise. I am a software entrepreneur developing revolutionary AI desktop applications. I worked as a software engineer in Microsoft Excel group for six years during the 1990s. I worked on PivotTables and wrote the most lines of code in Excel 97-- about 10 times the median developer. I have a Harvard BA in applied math/computer science and a UCLA MBA in technology entrepreneurship. I am a member of the Triple Nine Society, a 99.9 percentile high-IQ society.

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