Google back off from original vision

My Twitter search on Project 10 100 just started to yield results. With great excitement I rushed to my PC to see this:
Project 10^100 voting
Is ColaLife one of the 100 semi-finalists? No it isn’t. But hang on, there are not 100 semi-finalists! Google have changed the rules of the game!

There won’t be 100 concrete ideas to vote on, but 16 broad-brush themes. It now looks like a programme that a government or an aid agency would announce. Each theme is huge and it seems to me would need a lot more than a share of $10 million to make a significant impression. As an example, the first theme is ‘Help social entrepreneurs drive change‘ and within that is the idea to ‘Create a non-profit, venture capital-like revolving fund to invest in high-impact local entrepreneurs’. Nothing wrong with that idea, but it has been done. In the UK we have just such a scheme – UnLtd – which is wonderful. But UnLtd was set up with a £100 million endowment, not a $2 million investment.

Project 10 to the 100th has morphed. It’s not going to give 100 individual and amazing ideas the oxygen of publicity they need to become a reality. Perhaps that notion was just too innovative and too ambitious. It looks like we’re going to get a modest amount of additional funding with the traditional four or five key themes that existing organisations will bid for.

It turns out that Project 10^100 has been a bit of a distraction for ColaLife. We now need to move on and vigorously explore other options to make our idea a reality.

Onwards and upwards.


  1. I am really pissed at Google for changing things up like this. I wish more of the blogs out there would call Google out on this instead of the typical luv fest of “Google does no wrong.”

  2. Russell Tanner says

    This is so disappointing. Google have moved from a really creative, inspiring idea to a bland, cheap one.

  3. Google Project 10^100 disappointing. What type of company is Google?

  4. Sad. Maybe I’ll post about it.

  5. Silly Google. This is almost like a competition in reverse – rather than starting with themes and ending up with ideas they seem to have done it the opposite way round – leaving them with very little…

    Disappointing for Colalife … but something brilliant will happen there anyway because it is such a practical and inspiring idea.

  6. Very disappointed that Google have done this, but agree we need to explore other avenues rather than expending lots of energy in lobbying Google to change its mind.

  7. Magdalena Serpa says

    I agree with Steve.

    I just received this information:

    The SMS for life initiative is a new ‘public-private’ project that harness’s everyday technology to eliminate stock-outs and improve access to essential medicines in sub-Saharan Africa.



  8. This development is indeed disappointing. Now, instead of launching a couple good ideas with ten million dollars, Google is planning to donate ten million to existing five organizations chosen by an “advisory board”. This is why the project should have been open from the very beginning.

  9. Disappointing, but colalife is too big and important an idea not to succeed. There will be other ways…

  10. I found the ideas that Google have mentioned to be very underwhelming. Banal, already done, unambitious. They mention clones of FixMyStreet, educational projects that are behind what we are already doing in the UK, bland calls for transparency for transparency when details are required.

    It is a shame that none of the categories fits for ColaLife. It would stand out a mile.

    Keep going Simon.

  11. Very disappointed that Google have done this. I agree we had better find out other ways outside of Google.


  1. Simon Berry says:

    @TessyBritton Thanks! please comment on the blog! #colalife

  2. edcharvet says:

    RT: @51m0n Google back off from original vision for project 10^100 – very disappointing – – pls comments on the blog

  3. RT @51m0n: Google back off from original vision for project 10^100 – very disappointing – – pls comments on the blog

  4. Howard Lake says:

    RT @51m0n: Google back off from original vision for project 10^100 – very disappointing – – #colalife

  5. Simon Berry says:

    @TessyBritton Thanks for the comment on the blog. #colalife

  6. Simon Berry says:

    For those who missed my tweets of dispair last night re Project 10^100, please look at this! Pls comment #colalife

  7. Simon Berry says:

    Google do a U-turn on Project 10^100 and go from inspirational to ordinary.

  8. Not just me thinking #google 10^100 initiative is weak (IMHO it’s pathetic).

  9. Jess says:

    RT @51m0n: Google do a U-turn on Project 10^100 and go from inspirational to ordinary.

  10. Google 10^100 neutralized a bit from the quite ambitious plan that was announced to the more generalized one now

  11. Simon Berry says:

    Heartened by the kind comments on the colalife blog piece on Project 10^100. Thanks.