Posts Tagged competition

Refresh Everything

Pepsi has apparently decided that instead of spending millions on television ads (or maybe in addition to!), they’re going to give away $20 million in grants for projects submitted through their website  Each month, 1000 submissions get pitted against each other and the community votes on which ones they like.  Then Pepsi awards grants of various sizes ($10k to $250k) to the winning/most popular proposals.

This endeavor is like grant-writing-lite, and I think it would make a good exercise for me to try to make a submission.  They have six categories (Health, Arts and Culture, Food and Shelter, The Planet, Neighborhoods and Education), and some of those apply to some ideas I have kicking around in my head. Fleshing out one of the blue-sky ideas I have for making the world a better place, especially if it has an outside chance of getting me $25k in funding, seems like a totally cool way of spending my time. Plus, doing a proposal through this miniaturized process will inform my ability to create a real business plan or real grant proposal for the same or similar idea.

The tricky part is transforming a plan that could make the kernel of a good for-profit business into something more like a one-man not-for-profit venture.  Anyway, once I think a bit more about the kind of proposal I would make, I’ll post about it here!

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I used to be a lot more competitive than I am now.  I’m not sure when this change came about — my guess is partly as a result of tons of collaborative work in college, partly due to finding out the competition was insanely rougher in the wider world (e.g. past high school), and partly because of a slightly deeper understanding of my own motivations.

I think that for a lot of people, the meaningful “competition” is with one’s previous effort — continually striving to improve one’s skills and then demonstrate it tangibly via breaking personal bests.  This might even define “casual competitive,” which is a kind of player type we discuss a lot in talking about Magic and games in general.  In some sense, I think this is the default way to play games and sports.  It takes significant effort (for me, at least) to not care about how I perform with respect to my previous experience, if I have done it before (and haven’t forgotten!).

Is the range of competitiveness affected by how much you track your own ability?  I totally understand the nature of competition that involves beating other people – there is certainly positive incentive to play against others, and feel good about doing better than them.  But if you don’t take any particular utility from smashing others (and I don’t, particularly), do you convert to being competitive when you realize – consciously or not – that you are reaching the limits of self-improvement and you need others to compete against in order to break your previous boundaries?

(All of these thoughts were spurred on due to me considering a more rigorous workout schedule – routines that I always base on beating personal bests.  I then thought about the nature of competition [since there are clear benefits to being driven to succeed based on external factors] and whether I could incorporate it into my routines without needing to make other people share my experience.)

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