Rashmi Sinha is cofounder and CEO of SlideShare, the world’s largest community for sharing presentations. She manages design and business development at SlideShare. Previously, she founded Uzanto, a user experience software company, that worked with companies like eBay, iFilm, AAA and Blue Shield. She also lead the team that created MindCanvas, a rich online survey platform for customer research. Rashmi has a PhD in Cognitive Neuropsychology from Brown University. She did a PostDoc at UC Berkeley in Human Computer Interaction. She blogs at www.rashmisinha.com about social software and running a startup.
Geetesh: Tell us how the idea of The World’s Best Presentation Contest evolved.
Rashmi: The idea of the contest came from Guy Kawasaki. We had toyed about with the idea of a contest earlier. I met Guy at a conference and he mentioned that he had always wanted to organize a PowerPoint contest. We continue talking and discussed several ideas before finalizing on the World’s Best Presentation idea. It was Guy’s idea to keep it general (not focused on any one topic) and not limit to slidecasts (slides audio) which we considered at one point.
Geetesh: How is this contest being held in 2008 different from the previous one.
Rashmi: The 2008 contest is bigger – 1670 entries so far compared to 400 last week. Partly its simply because SlideShare has grown. But also, the results of the contest last year captured the imagination of many people and this year they have decided to participate as well.
Also, we were inspired by global contests and events like Oscars and Olympics. We really wanted a sense of scale (all the world participating), but we also wanted an openness that you can only have on the internet (anyone with a computer and internet connection can participate). PowerPoint is a people’s medium. We wanted a people’s contest.
Its really great to see that come alive as the contest captures the imagination of people the world over. We see slideshows from all across the world. We see blog posts and Twitters from all across the world. Its really quite cool.
Also, we have six category prizes this year that we did not have last year. Finally, we have participants form many more countries (it is truly an international contest).
Geetesh: Tell us about some entries that you find unconventional, strange, funny, or just different.
Rashmi: Here are some interesting ones this time in the contest; one interesting trend is that last time, the contest was the first time — and so many of the entries were from the early adopters; this time the audience seems to be far more broad-based.
There’s a bunch of presentations on green, environment etc. and they are all very popular (getting lots of votes)
About a social issue
A love story