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Anatomy of a Solver


We know, infographics are SO last year—but in this case it’s true: our last Solver survey is in and here’s what we learned. 



1.They’re educated 

Now, we know that to even understand some of the challenges we’ve launched this year, you need one—or two—degrees. And for those of you who already have your phD, we thought you might be interested in this little diagram. Yes, 62% of Solvers who submitted a solution this year have PhDs.  


2.They’re young

On average, our participating solvers are 32 years old. That might seem very old to some of you, and it might be a little skewed, since when we look at the numbers in detail, the large majority are still in post-secondary education or just finished, with a significant number also in the 65-74 category. Here’s the breakdown: 


18-24   32%

25-34   22%

35-44   18%

45-54   11%

55-6     45%

65-74   13%

75+      1%


3.Why so few?

Women, we mean. And it’s a tragedy, but we’re not going to start discussing the underlying reasons why women are underrepresented in science. Only 29% of solvers who submitted solutions were women. 


4.They speak English

Delicate point. True, three of the top five countries share a common language (we won’t tell Oscar Wilde), but most of the data sifted by our crawler is in English. The platform (Open Call), problem statements, and personalized emails to Solvers (Open Search) are in English. Another explanation could be the growing familiarity of concepts like crowdsourcing, collaborative innovation, or participatory knowledge in these countries. The last, and possibly most relevant aspect could be the shear number of scientists or researchers per country. China, however, was not in our Top 10 in 2013.


1.United States



4.Russian Federation 






10.Republic of Korea



5.Open Search works

Some 38% of submitting participants were not Hypios solvers when they learned about a challenge. This falls in line with the Open Call/Open Search split to ensure that a challenge is shown to as many relevant people as possible, wherever they may be. Of those newcomers, here’s how they learned about the challenge: 


73%   Targeted email

18%   Social media

9%    Web search


6.They come back

This is where crowdsourcing—even in the case of complex R&D or innovation challenges—is highly demanding as a process. Some of our Solvers spend time and energy on ideating a solution, hoping to win the prize. And overall 60% of Hypios challenges end with a Seeker purchasing a solution. But as any Open Call platform, we want to ensure that Solvers whose solutions are not selected are willing to come back and answer another challenge, on our platform or another. Some 82% of our respondents said that they would be inclined to participate again. 


Here’s the full visualization: