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March 17, 2020 Opportunities in The Passion Economy: Dave Messinger Keynote TCO19

Innovate Faster, Better with The Passion Economy

As thinkers like Malcolm Gladwell have shown, we as a society can be surprisingly slow to adopt new innovations, and corporations in particular often lag far behind their own technology’s potential. Fortunately, the passion economy and open talent models are helping to close that gap by allowing individuals themselves to drive change and fuel innovation.

At the recent Topcoder Open 2019 conference, we heard from Topcoder’s own Chief Technologist Dave Messinger with his insights into the passion economy and the opportunities it affords. Here are just a few pieces of wisdom Dave shared from his nearly two decades in tech on how we can more effectively and efficiently drive innovation, and build software at scale in today’s world.

Test Early, Test Often

A huge part of developing any new technology comes in testing. One of the most important ways we can keep the ball rolling on innovation is to incorporate testing and feedback earlier in the development cycle. By identifying problems early and often, we save time and energy down the road. Fortunately, the passion economy makes this easier than ever with Topcoder’s community available to test products immediately, allowing for ongoing improvements and solutions.

Add Passion

Dave uses the example of Facebook and how one component in the tremendous success of their products has been allowing their employees to choose the projects they work on, rather than assigning them. Just like Topcoder’s own community members doing it for the love of code, harnessing people’s own individual passions leads to more innovation and better outcomes all around.

Tap into Immediate Resources

Another opportunity Dave highlights from the passion economy is the ability to tap into talent on demand, whenever you need it. Whether you need developers to build an algorithm or content writers to supply a write-up, platforms in the open talent model allow you to find those resources immediately and secure those components with less friction or lag time. That access, in turn, supplies further momentum to innovation, with none of the usual delays.

As Dave discussed, the passion economy has tremendous potential to accelerate innovation. At Topcoder, we’re proud to have been one of the first to recognize this potential in the early 2000s, and we’re even prouder of the community we’ve built since then, with over 1 million talented and passionate individuals from around the world. See how our clients have tapped into this talent — and how you can do the same.


Alexa Baray


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