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The JOS Game!

The JOS Race Game Rules Version 0.1 (Li-fan Chen, 2004-04-12)

--------------- start of game rules ---------------

The JOS Race

"The idea"

I think a lot of the JOS forum regulars would love to
show off their crafts (or back up some of their
claims/rants, or put a conclusive end to some of
our more famous flame wars) in some way that's:
1) profitable; 2) ego-inflating. So I propose a contest,
much like the Pentagon-Sponsored Robot Race! :-)

Up to 15 teams can participate in the contest. The race
is to build a successful off-the-shelf shared-source
commercial software by January 1st, 2006 from scratch.


Start of game is June 1st, 2004

The qualifying round is on January 1st, 2005. Any number
of submissions is allowed, although the volunteering
judges will only be required to view the first 30-50
submissions if evalution time is constrained. Judges
must let all submitters know where they can submit
their entries. Submitters must fully explain how their
entries can be audited by judges and must provide
full support to any inquries or problems from judges
to help them correctly audit submissions. Failure to
comply in good faith will result in the disqualification
of judges and teams. By February 20th, 2005 teams
qualified will be announced by judges.

Qualifying rules:

1. Working shrink-wrap software. Must run on
Windows NT 5.0+, Linux with Kernel 2.4+, or
Mac OS X. No vaporware. Promises don't count--all
features listed or mentioned must be implemented.

2. Fully documented, no features can be undocumented.
Ensure grammar and formatting is clean and functional.
If not absolutely a pleasure to read. A link to a competing
software's documentation doesn't count.

3. Fully working support and payment mini-site with
administrative interface. You can't outsource credit card
payment. You can't paypal it. Have fully working site
with working dummy data for judges to view. You don't
have to reveal any password, but a credit card validation
bureau will let you have access to test accounts, so do
show source.

4. Fully working business flow (required spreadsheets,
required macros, timesheets, required employment forms).
Open bookbusiness basically. Have this ready for judges to
look at.

5. Only one version is required. However the following features
must exist in your software:

5.1 Working example of Internationalization and Naturalization.
Pick a language, any language. At least one other language
other than english must be supported. Hello world stubs are
acceptible but fully functional naturalized documents/menus/
labels/packaging are a plus. The test is not whether your
french is great, but whether you have a software that will sell
in France.

5.2 Working example of scalability, robustness, or enterprise
readiness. You don't have to implement every idea that you might
put on a white board, but implement at least one good technical
idea that will make your software that much more compelling to
business users, and point it out to the judges. Vaporwares not
welcome. Show that feature actually doing making your software
useful, don't just sell the framework your software is using ("we
use dotnet so it's great for businesses wanting to save cost on
porting!" is not a scalability or enterprise readiness feature)

5.3 The software cannot depend on a website to function. It must
be able to work offline. It may, however, have additional optional
features that depends on a website, but lack of internet access
must not render key features useless. Disputes to this requirement
must be resolved at qualification round, judges decisions are final.


* Teams can be built in any which way, but can have no more than 10

* Their role need not be technical.

* They must be current or past non-anonymous participants in JOS
threads. The definition of non-anonymous? Usually having a regular
handle of some kind and normally sticks by it.

* All members are expected to submit no more than USD$50
to a common fund used by the team for business expenditures. All
members must pay the same amount at the start of the game.

* Leadership, pecking order and conflict resolution (if any) will be
designed by the team and accepted by all members. A constitution
must be drafted and signed by all. Revisions or allowance for
revisions must be drafted and accepted by all. All disputes and
amendments must be resolved in an appropriate manner reflective
of the professionalism shown by all team members. All disputes must
be documented and signed by arbitrators. All disputes (no such
thing as private disputes in a judgement audit, omissions are ground
for disqualification), constitutions and revisions must be made available
to judges by January 1st, 2006 as required by the game. Problems
with the availability of these documents may be ground for


Each team must form a company. A simple proprietorship (or
equivalent) is acceptible, but once the business grows to a reasonable
amount the team will decide whether partnership or incorporation
will determine the payment of member's contribution. The team
must decide in all regards as a team what is to be done in the event
of conflicts. All conflicts must be documented, resolved/concluded,
and signed by a conflicting parties or arbitrator (preferrably both).
Serious unresolved conflicts (especially of the financial sort) will be
frown upon and may disqualify a team. The judges expect to see a
company behind the product. No exceptions. We don't require lawyers
and incorporation. All teams must submit original or copies of
business registration documents proving the companies are real,
with contact info to governmental registries to allow judges to
verify the authenticity of these submitted documents.

"Privacy Policy"

* All team members must provide real profiles (business or home
contact info) by January 1st, 2006 to participate in the game. All team
members must be willing to provide working contact phone numbers
and email addresses to fellow team mates at the beginning
of the game (and continue to update said profile in good faith) to

* No private information will be revealed by the team leads, game host
or the judges at the conclusion of the game unless said participant
has given explicit permission.

* No judges are to use the information made available to them outside
the scope of the game. All confidential information belonging to the
game contestents or the companies belonging to said contestents
must be shredded and destroyed or returned to the correct party
(adequate postages must be provided by the contestents).

"The winning team"

The winning team is determined to be the one nominated by
the most judges to be the winning team by January 1st, 2006.

The winning team is the first to have 5,000 recorded customers
who has purchased an upgrade for the software the team has
entered the contest. If more than one team has achieved this
goal, the one with the most customers who has purchased
an upgrade by January 1st, 2006 wins.

The pricing of the software must be more than USD$1, lost
leaders and evaluation units to encourage magazine reviews are
allowed however they cannot count toward the final score.

"The conclusion of the game"

The winning team will be announced on February 20th, 2006.

The award are yet to be determined. In the event we are not
able to provide a cash reward due to legality of such games
according to the national laws enforcible upon the game and
the game contestents, we will try to provide fame.

--------------- end of game rules ---------------

This is just a draft, please let me know if you are interested
in a game like this (instead of bad mouthing off shoring all
day) for fun, personal growth, or profit. Please contribute
ideas to help me flesh out the game rules.

Li-fan Chen
Monday, April 12, 2004

Where does the money for the venture go?

Spike Jonze
Monday, April 12, 2004

Li Fan Chen,

Nice bitchslap:)

-- You should write a book called "Building companies for people who have better things to do with their life".

But tell me, what is the idea to just copy Fog Creek Software? From what I know it is originality that makes companies stand out and be able to compete.

The folks over at Fog Creek is the only people able to build Fog Creek. However there is a bunch of people on this board that are capable of building successful businesses, not just imitating FC. That said, I have just one question for you, will you attend this competition? :)

Monday, April 12, 2004

w h y????

Monday, April 12, 2004

A game?  Who has time to play games?

not a gamer
Monday, April 12, 2004

oh .. sort of a computer software version of  "The Apprentice" but even more stupid, boring and pointless than the TV version.

Chen-li Fan
Monday, April 12, 2004

Hmmm.... I thought the TV show was as low as it gets.  I guess there is nothing money can't accomplish!  :)

not a gamer
Monday, April 12, 2004

Hmmm...I have some free time, what should I do?  Let's see I could play some XBox, watch season 4 of highlander, or spend quality time with my girlfriend and cats....No wait, I'll play 'The JOS Game!'.  Naahh, forget it, it sounds too much like work. 

Monday, April 12, 2004

This game is for anyone capable or able, if you aren't interested it's cool. Plenty of other things to do in life :-)

Li-fan Chen
Monday, April 12, 2004

Hehehe..I think it sounds interesting, but it ignore one fact about people:

Those that can; do.

Those that can't; come to a message board and rant about others.

In other words, the people that have the ability to produce winning products probably already are, and don't need a contest to demonstrate it.

Mark Hoffman
Monday, April 12, 2004


Monday, April 12, 2004

>> more than $50....
>>...The award are yet to be determined......
>>..try to provide....

419-ers are getting more and more sophisticated. Baeysian filter updates. Someone. Please.

Monday, April 12, 2004

I thought it sounded like fun.

anyone else out there at all interested?  or is this the sound of 300 JOS posters running for cover?

Monday, April 12, 2004

I agree, I am usually a 'join-in' sort of person, but I didn't even feel like reading past the first two lines of the rules.....just shows how much effort I would put in!!

Aussie Chick
Monday, April 12, 2004

No more than 10 people per team and no more than $50 per person on the team. So the business starts with a max of $500.

Why would 10 people waste their time for 2 years like that?

If I want to develop something cool on a low budget I'll just go open source. If I want to make a profit I'll start with more than $500 seed money.

Monday, April 12, 2004

My favorite are these two parts:

"The winning team is the first to have 5,000 recorded customers
who has purchased an upgrade for the software the team has
entered the contest. "


"The award are yet to be determined. In the event we are not
able to provide a cash reward due to legality of such games
according to the national laws enforcible upon the game and
the game contestents, we will try to provide fame."

Yes... "5,000 customers in less than a year, now where is my fame?"

Or, "5,000 customers, who needs a cash prize."

Or, "5,000 customers, can I price my product at $0.01 cents?"


If you really think any percentage of the people in this forum will create a product from scratch and get $50,000 (assuming a $10 price point) revenue within a year - enough to have several contestants in your contest - you're crazy. Furthermore, the motivation for this amount of work - this monumental amount of work - as a game seems sort of silly.

Or, "I'm sick of Monopoly, let's really buy & sell properties just for the fun of it. Whoever doesn't go bankrupt wins."
Tuesday, April 13, 2004

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