At Yahoo!, Master Inventor Awards are given to recognize and reward some of the company’s top innovators. The criteria are not just about the number of patents, but also the inventor's contribution to innovation and their capacity and experience in mentorship. We had a chance to interview some of them on their great work and suggestions to junior inventors.
Why is Yahoo a good place for developers and inventors?
Peter Mika: Yahoo! is a great place for inventors of all kinds. Yahoo! Labs in particular is unique in the industry in that it's renown both for scientific excellence externally and for having a huge impact on Yahoo!'s businesses.
Tarun Bhatia: It’s a great place for developers and engineers. There’s much room for creative solutions. We have many interesting problems with the potential of meaningful impact, large amounts of data, adequate resources, and a unique and fun culture. I love how many disciplines we embrace to solve our business challenges – economics, social sciences, artificial intelligence, distributed computing, etc. Each day is like being back in school, only better.
What are you working on now?
Tarun Bhatia: Right now, I’m trying to see if we can real-time assess how we affect a user with each interaction in a session. This has significant marketplace implications. Imagine how effectively we could delight our users and advertisers if every serve-time decision is consciously informed by this assessment.
What advice do you have for more junior inventors?
Ron Jacoby: Find something you are passionate about. Work to really understand the current state of technology and business of that market. Find the opportunities that exist. Develop your ideas and plan. And never take No as a final answer; use it as feedback to further develop your ideas and pitch.
Tarun Bhatia: Best advice I received was - write it down. Apart from that, encourage yourself to cover a problem outside your area of focus with a fresh perspective. Think of where else your solutions may apply. Do this often.
Ricardo Baeza -Yates: Do not plan your life. Just do your best and unthinkable opportunities will cross your life path.
Yoelle Maarek: Think simple, think user. Don't think like an engineer or scientist – think about your mom, your kids, would they understand the value of your invention, would they want to use it.
By David Filo, Co-founder of Yahoo!
This past weekend, we celebrated Yahoo!’s 18th birthday. A birthday is a good time to reflect on the experiences that have helped shape you. This one is no different.
That’s why our
birthday was the perfect time to bring together Yahoos from around the world
for our quarterly Hackday. We created our first Hackday in 2005, bringing some
of our most eager minds together in an all-night coding session. I’m proud that
this tradition has continued.
Hackday Final Presentation at Sunnyvale
Hackdays are special for Yahoos -- as much a part of our history as our birthday itself. Hackers from all over the world come together for 24 hours to create something truly special. The experience is memorable, not only for the eccentricities, but also for the inspiring hacks that Yahoos create. Some hacks have become full-fledged products, like Yahoo! Weather for Android.
For our 18th birthday, we decided to turn our Hackday up a notch. We challenged hackers to focus on making our core products more inspiring, entertaining and innovative.
We were blown away by the number of Yahoos, diversity of hacks and creative energy. And, in fact, we broke a hack-to-product record by integrating the winning hack into our existing products within just a few days of its victory. This winning hack intelligently helps users find a web page when they have an incomplete URL for that page. Y! Canada News and Y! Sports blog are already live with this new feature.
Hackday Winners with David Filo and Yahoo Develop Network
We also broke another record -- it was our biggest Hackday in the history of Yahoo!. Yahoos participated from nine offices across six time zones, all the way from Sunnyvale to Singapore, and from Norway to India.
We’re excited to turn our hacks into products, so stay tuned to see what’s in the pipeline.
Happy 18th Birthday, Yahoo!. Here’s to many more ..
The original post is from Yahoo! Yodel Blog