Seasonal

Happy Holidays from Carrot

December 15, 2021

As we approach the end of another year under a global pandemic, we have much to celebrate.

As we approach the end of another year under a global pandemic, we have much to celebrate. Each of you has decided to take bold action, adopting new approaches to achieving your goals, and we've been honoured to support your ambitions. So, I'd like to share some themes that have played particular importance in our success.

Five years ago, we decided to terminate our office space and embraced a work-from-home operational model. At the time, it was a considerable risk. Today, we are sharing important lessons with CEOs and leaders around the world. A question that I hear often is… “but how do you maintain company culture?” For Carrot, our business and our philosophy are rooted in the notion of autonomy, giving people options to express themselves however they need. When we provide that opportunity, we realize more effective outcomes. We trust that when people are given important choices, particularly those that affect their happiness, they will reward us. In real terms, that means less time wasted commuting to cubicles and more time spent with family and loved ones. As a result, our company culture can be described as generous, and the response has been an outpouring of productivity. As each of you considers how best to implement these work-from-home practices, please don't hesitate to contact us with any other questions. The theme of autonomy is also fundamental to our competitions. We simply cannot attract global networks of problem-solvers without giving them the freedom to submit their best and brightest ideas (from wherever and however they deem most appropriate). We’ve learned a lot of lessons along the way, but the investment has exceeded expectations. It's ironic that, at the same time that we’ve grown more physically separated, we’ve grown closer as a community and more valuable as an organization.

The global pandemic has forced our clients to reconsider other working conditions. I am often reminded of a quote from Bill Joy, “there are always more smart people outside your company than within it.” At the turn of the millennium, a handful of pioneers began developing new forms of prizes, online competitions, and crowdsourcing platforms. Yet, as many of you know, our research shows that this approach to "open innovation" dates back to the 1500s (TEDx). Today, we are witnessing broad experimentation and many cautionary tales. As the level of interest in this approach has increased exponentially, many of the largest institutions and investors in the world rely on our services to attract new talent and technologies to solve their challenges. Whereas previously the marketplace for prizes was at the vanguard, we are now mainstream. The World Bank estimates that global procurement for goods and services within the public sector was $9.5 trillion in 2020. With new legal authorities and mandates from highly influential leaders, the adoption of such online competitions for more effective procurement is on the rise. At Carrot, we have taken an ancient democratic principle – when you level the playing field, you can solve problems faster and more effectively – and added state-of-the-art protocols and seasoned experience to realize that potential and to meet robust and growing demand.

Last, Carrot was founded in 2010 with the goal of making the world a better and more equitable place. We are a social enterprise, and we are a service provider, an organization that is designed to help a broad range of needs. But, I could have never guessed how far we would reach. Certainly, we are an engine that is driving most of the world's largest philanthropic prizes, but we are also working with many community-based organizations to address local issues. And, who can forget that NASA has relied upon us to open source their mission-critical objectives? I could not be more pleased that we've attained such a remarkable track record and spent over a decade working with the most credible sponsors and partners around the world. Each of you has made this possible, and I am grateful.

Have a great holiday. Wherever you are or however you choose to celebrate, we are thankful for your partnership. As always, we remain available to support your needs, whether you are a grant-making organization, a government agency, or a business with a cause.

Open Government Awards 2014

Asking applicants to show real promise for both governments and citizens in data transparency.

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