Crowdsourcing: Tim Draper Unveils Final Four Fix California Challenge Ideas


By Anton Root

Tim Draper, the well-known Silicon Valley entrepreneur and investor, announced on Monday the final four ideas for the Fix California Challenge, a crowdsourced initiative to improve California’s governance.


The challenge is the first initiative executed by Innovate Your State, a non-profit founded by Draper to encourage public participation in government. 


“I came up with the ‘Fixcal Challenge’ to give you Californians the opportunity to crowdsource yours ideas, bring them to me, and see if there was something there that was more important than anything else that could really change California for the better,” Draper said in a statement. “You have responded in a big way.”


The challenge, which closed earlier this summer, brought in 426 ideas. Over the past weeks, the challenge’s coordinators have winnowed down the ideas from the top 16 to eight to, now, four.


The four ideas are: Legislative Transparency and Accountability; Neighborhood Legislature; Add a Law, Delete a Law; and County Restructuring.


Interestingly, the county restructuring idea, which would see California consolidate its 58 counties into just six, is the second least popular idea of the ones submitted. Only the (predictably unpopular) idea to ban fast food drive thru services received a lower score, determined by the number of up- and down-votes. The idea is also somewhat reminiscent of the recent Draper-backed plan to split the third largest state in the Union into six.


The winner of the Fix California Challenge is not guaranteed to receive anything, though the contest rules say that an “investor” (Draper or someone else) may help to provide the resources necessary to bring the proposal to vote in the state legislature.


Perhaps the biggest story here is that Draper, one of the world's top investors, has helped to found a non-profit that makes use of crowdsourcing to effect change. But, it’s not altogether surprising: DFJ, the VC firm he helped to found, has invested in firms like CrowdSource, Prosper, AngelList, and Meetup.


You can watch Draper announce the four finalists here.


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