The Webby Awards are the leading international awards honouring excellence on the Internet. Founded in 1996 and growing ever since, the Webby Awards are hailed as the “Internet’s highest honor” by The New York Times (NYT). And the NYT, North America’s largest newspaper, is the type of giant company that wins these awards. Every award category is divided into two winners (which may or may not end up being the same). There is the “Webby Award Winner,” and then there is the “People’s Voice Winner,” where the organization is awarded by the public’s votes.
Vancouver entrepreneur Matt Mickiewicz co-founded 99designs.com, an internet-based design business, won the People’s Voice award under the Web Services & Applications category.
This Canadian victory was a surprising upset and which involved a rather unorthodox, last-minute campaign. 99designs had to get the full support of its community at just the right time. The company launched its campaign to rally its community, promising that it would celebrate a Webby win with the entire 99designs team marching down a main street signing Queen’s “We are the Champions” and post it to YouTube for all to see. 99designs beat out several well-known nominees, including Dropbox and Tumblr.
Matt, who is just 26 years old, didn’t expect to win, but still plans to follow through with the promise, and is tremendously appreciative of everyone who helped 99designs win.
“To be honest, I never thought we’d have to do it; it’s just one of those things we threw out there to keep it fun for our community. I’m sure they would have voted anyway, but perhaps a tiny part of their motivation was to see us totally embarrass ourselves, ” said Matt. “In any case, we are extremely grateful to our community and we now have a video to produce – the worst part is I can’t sing.”
99designs.com will be honored at a star-studded ceremony hosted by B.J. Novak of NBC’s “The Office” on June 14th in New York City. Fans will be able to watch the ceremony on June 15th, including 99designs’ five-word speech, at the official Webby Awards YouTube Channel.