New Rules of Competing

New Rules of Competing

Recently I helped my colleague Frieda prepare a presentation for the Community Summit.

At jovoto, we have been discussing co-opetition as a main source of motivation for the high user engagement on our platform. Co-opetition is really a new form of competiton, one that is more fit to suit the expectations and values of network society.

The winner takes it all... or not? (cc attribution license by krossbow)

The principles of this “new competition”


Submissions are played out in the open, all submissions can be screend and learned from

(old model: everyone prepares in secret, all that matters is the great showdown day, it’s not always clear who gets to see submissions in advance or how the sceening works)

Community Assessment

Peers assess and decide what works best, many works and a range of different forms of participation are rewarded

(old model: selected by a team of experts, typically there is only one or three winners, “the winner takes it all”)

Feedback and Iteration

Due to pracitcing/submitting out in the open, participants can work on their submissions and benefit from the all feedback they get. All participants feel ownership in the process

(old model: submissions need to be perfect before being shown publicly, often day of the showdown is the first time anyone ever sees it)

Flexible Team

Participants are allowed to team up if they think their combined skills can improve their concept

(old model: other good concepts/ideas are seen as dangerous competition, rather than joining forces it is about keeping one’s own idea safe or even copying the other in a clever way. If teams, than only sworn-in, long lasting relationships)


In the new model, the real benefit of the competiion is a gain of reputation, which is more complex than the idea of winning. Reputation can be achieved by winning, but also by becoming visible to others as a helpful, wise, supportive person, by giving valuable input into other people’s work and so on.

(old model: in a culture where participants see each other as rivals, the only positive outcome of a competition is to win)

And competition, after all, is a central part of our economic system too. How do the new rules of competition apply here?


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