I subscribe to Tony Gentiles great Buzzhit blog, and came across a real interesting post on how Become.com used a simple ad on Craigslist to acquire some juicy intellectual property for their new product. Check it out:
Are you an entreprenuer? Looking to bootstrap your latest start-up? Need cheap — cheaper than offshoring! — development help?
No problem. Just take out an ad for $75 on Craigslist, and convince 100 out of 2000 applicants to spend 40 hours developing new algorithms for you as an “employment test”.
According to SiliconBeat, that’s what Become.com did. And, they’re gloating about it (emphasis mine):
“About 100 of the applicants took the challenge, which required about 40 hours of coding. Yang says that many of the concepts that came out of that process ended up in the Become.com algorithm.”