One of the events that most dear to my hear during my Microsoft tenure has been our annual PhizzPop Design Challenge. Among the designers and partners I work with it’s been one of our most popular events.
This year PhizzPop actually ran into a few challenge that we needed to address this year.
1.) We had a rule where a team could only enter the event once. Sort of like Survivor, if you were on Season One you couldn’t be on Season Two.
2.) The event was complex to put on and participate in, teams had to pull their strongest talent off the line for a week. If they won a regional event they had to do it all over again. Those that won got the glory at a signature event but were often too exhausted to enjoy it. That and the cost of basically mounting a tour in six cities across North America was a big challenge in this economy.
3.) We wanted PhizzPop to evolve into something more authentic and usable, folks put a lot of time in to this event and often winning solutions never quite get off the ground or go anywhere the way they would for a real customer.
4.) Finally, and this one is sort of nit-picky, many of us always wanted PhizzPop to function more in the realm of a ‘Grand Challenge’. Many of us thought that means we should have a bigger prize and cause that folks could get behind. We’d come close last year with a few events, like supporting Chicago’s 2016 Olympic bid in Chicago or focusing on sustainability in Austin but we wanted a national event that was open to everyone.
I’m happy to say that’s exactly what we’re doing with PhizzPop this year.
1.) Anyone in the US can enter.
2.) We’ve got a real challenge for a real client, Boys and Girl’s Club of America.
3.) Participation is virtual
4.) We’ve got a serious prize to get some of the best talent in the business to participate.
5.) We’ve got a great set of partners with The International Academy of Digital Arts & Sciences, the judging body for the Webby Awards.
So, what are you waiting for? Go register at www.phizzpop.com
PS For those of you that are curious about PhizzPop not being at SXSW for 2010 rest assured that we’ll provide updates on the PhizzPop during SxSW and be at SxSW in full force. Look for updates at www.sxsw.com for official events that Microsoft will be hosting or participating in.