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Unformatted text preview: acrilege in the intensely secretive mining
industry, but it bro ught in ideas the f irm had never co nsidered. Taking the challenge was a wildly
diverse gro up o f “graduate students, co nsultants, mathematicians, and military o f f icers.” Eighty
percent o f the new targets identif ied by entrants yielded “substantial quantities o f go ld.” The
f inancial payo f f ? In just a f ew years a $ 100 millio n f irm grew into a $ 9 billio n titan. Fo r Go ldco rp,
the cro wd co ughed up serio us co in. Netf lix f o llo wed Go ldco rp’s lead, o f f ering ano nymo us data to any takers, alo ng with a o ne-millio ndo llar prize to the f irst team that co uld impro ve the accuracy o f mo vie reco mmendatio ns by 10
percent. To p perf o rmers amo ng the o ver thirty tho usand entrants included research scientists
f ro m AT&T Labs, researchers f ro m the University o f To ro nto , a team o f P rinceto n undergrads, and
the pro verbial “guy in a garage” (and yes, that was his team name). Frustrated f o r nearly three...
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- Winter '14
- The American