OpenStudy’s newest update, Catapult, is an effort to incentivize learning by giving students the opportunity to get paid for it. Through the website, students can set up simple learning goals like “get an A on this essay” or “finish my science fair project”. Friends and family can then pledge money towards those goals, and the student collects if the goal is reached.
OpenStudy has always been about polish, and it shows in how put-together this service is. Catapult is free to use, although OpenStudy and the payment system take a few percentage points for fees. A feature I especially like is the ability to post constant updates on your goals; if it looks like you’re doing well, or like you could use an extra push, your sponsors can donate extra money. Plus, making your goals known gives you extra accountability, which is another push to Get It Done.
Of course, I am not without my concerns. Offering money for studying has been effective in the past when it’s just between a student and their parents, or a similar setup, but I worry that adding it to a system like this may pull students away from the primary incentive of learning. There are already students who treat their final grades, and not the knowledge itself, as the end goal; this additional reward may push them in the wrong direction. It’s a minor concern, but one to keep an eye on nonetheless.
All things considered, I’m excited for this update. My parents gave me money when I was a kid if I made the grades, and I distinctly remember being ecstatic. OpenStudy has once again broke the mold with a feature that makes learning more fun and less of a hassle. If you’re a student, check it out, set up some goals, get knowledge, and get paid.
Adidas Eyewear recently launched a contest on Talenthouse asking aspiring designers to help them create the next big thing in fashionable glasses.
The contest will consist of three winners: the Adidas design team will choose first and second place winners, who will receive public endorsement from Adidas and $3000 or $500, respectively. A “People’s Choice” prize of $500 will also be rewarded to the submission that receives the most public votes.
The main thing I like about this contest is Adidas’ tight compartmentalization. They realize that as a creative prompt, “design a pair of sunglasses” will result in many entries that are not at all what they’re looking for. To that end, they’ve limited the submissions to a single style of eyeglass, and have even provided a template for easy submission. Any good designer will tell you that restrictions breed creativity, and if it gets Adidas closer to the product they want, added bonus.
Submissions for this project are underway and end July 31st, at which point public voting will take up the first week of August. Winners will be announced on August 28th. Don’t miss this exciting opportunity to prove to the world the unblockability of your shine.
I’m a sucker for platforms and campaigns that give people power where they previously had none, so it was practically a given that I would write about Quirky, a sort of supercharged Kickstarter for product designs.
The idea is novel and has a lot of room for creative depth, but everything else is handled in a very standard fashion. Product ideas, as polished as 3D models or as crude as hand-drawn doodles, are submitted to Quirky and presented for public endorsement. You can vote on products you like, and if they get enough attention, they’re manufactured and sold on a wide scale thanks to Quirky’s deals with retailers like Toys R Us, Best Buy, Target, and Amazon.com. The creator of the product gets a very nice share of the profits, of course.
Like I said, as far as the process goes there isn’t a lot of new ground trodden. We’ve seen a lot of platforms conform to the go-to “submit ideas, gather votes, they become a reality” process. What determines their success usually boils down to how easy the platform is to use and how tangible or exciting the results are.
To this end, I think we’ve got a winner with Quirky. They’ve already invented some really cool products, and more are always on the way. If you’ve been looking for the perfect place to launch your new product idea, Quirky is there to help you make it a reality, and yourself a rich person (hopefully).