As the applications are already pouring in, we’d like to use them as a starting point with which to provide some feedback to others who plan to apply.
1. Don’t try to impress us, try to inform us and try to make us understand what your project is about. Avoid the buzzwords and basically try to explain your idea as you would to a friend. That should do it. Although we’re also interested to the effect your idea willl have, it’s more important to have a clear and tangible image of what exactly your product will be. This is especially important for applications without a prototype or a mockup.
2. Be sure to make clear what the advantages of your idea and implementation are compared to the competition. Remember we’re talking about global-market businesses and there has to be a competitive advantage. If there isn’t, you probably have to convince us by substituting it with something else.
3. The team matters. Make sure to tell us if you’ve worked together before and if not how the skills of one member combine with the rest to create a sum that’s more than adequate for the project to succeed. Significant achievements in the past, track record details and background information on the individuals (and if applicable) to the team too will all get you points – even if your idea is not that good. Ideas (especially those that have not been implemented yet) evolve and improve much faster and more easily than people, so if you have tha latter right the former will be no problem.
4. It doesn’t matter if your project seems difficult and like going against impossible odds. As long as you realise the difficulties and have reasonable plans of overcoming them, don’t limit yourselves to already existing solutions and easy problems. Remember, it’s all about the internet (and as such global, borderless market), innovation and creating something that will be useful – the rest (including revenue) will follow.
And what about those that have already submitted? Isn’t this kind of late to tell them all this advice? Well no, because in order to ensure a high quality of submissions to choose from we’d like to engage with applicants from even before they are selected. As such for a limited time, certain applicants (i.e. those that apply early) will enjoy the benefit of receiving some feedback regarding their application. The feedback’s extent and the time we’ll take to reply will vary but we’ll make every effort to provide valuable advice. The deadline for this ‘early-bird’ feedback is September 5.
Will this provide an unfair advantage to those that apply later and have had no chance for feedback? Well, there’s nothing stopping people from applying early and then improving their submission by reapplying with it later. Just denote in the form that this is a reapplication and your newer version will replace the old one. Simple as that. Now, go apply.