Salesforce.com, Inc. (CRM): Hacking up a Hackathon? That Must Be Embarrassing!

Salesforce.com, Inc. (NYSE:CRM) will not be forgetting its 2013 Hackathon tournament anytime soon. This is because the software maker ended up with egg on its face due to the negative press it attracted due to a goof-up, but also had to shell out an additional $1 million in order to make up for the error in its judgement. But the participants who were the beneficiaries of the largesse of Salesforce.com, Inc. are no longer complaining.

The $1 million mistake

In the run-up to the Thanksgiving holidays last week, Salesforce.com, Inc. (NYSE:CRM) had announced winners for a tournament it had organized for the developer community. This journey had been on for close to one month now and carried a record prize purse for the winning team. The contest for the developers involved teams coming together to build new apps and the winners would be chosen by a star-studded panel of judges put together by the software maker.

Costly mix-up

All hell broke loose when the winning team of the monthlong contest was announced last week. The runner-up team complained that the winning submission was not a full-fledged new application and the winners had tried to build new features into an existing app. Salesforce.com, Inc. (NYSE:CRM) in turn was forced to face a lot of embarrassment when it had to explain to the contestants that as per the rules of the tournament, addition of new functionalities to existing apps was allowed and the judges would be evaluating only the new features.

Salesforce.com, Inc. (NYSE:CRM)

All’s well that ends well

Salesforce.com, Inc. also disclosed that it had not done a good job of explaining the ground rules of the contest to the judges which had led to the mixup. In order to make good its faux paus, Salesforce.com, Inc. (NYSE:CRM) decided to award an additional $1 million to the aggrieved team which had been adjudged the second-best team by the judges.

Apple Inc. acquisition

In other tech news it has been reported that smartphone and tablet maker Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) has bought out startup tech firm Topsy. It is being speculated that more than $200 million has changed hands as part of this deal. Topsy has developed niche analytical capability around slicing and dicing Twitter Inc (NYSE:TWTR) tweets and data to come up with trends related to customer choices.


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