- Build hype
- Find out what features users want
- Find new talent
To make such a contest a true success, the “judging panel” has to be removed, or at least loose so of its power. For true involvement it is best to get not only images from the public, but also the decision on what is best. A panel could exist to monitor the process, and maybe select qualifiers (check for ideas that are infeasible or could never be implemented or are inconsistent with company themes). Of course, the software developer can not take all of their visual ideas from contests, some mystique is essential, but I think such competitions could serve a lot of good for big name companies.
Oh, and if you were curious about the winner of the Leopard challenge It is Eric Patterson’s submission:
I don’t know enough about daily Mac use to make real comments on the image, but to mirror the words of Wil Shipley: I think this guy has a thing for Asian girls.