NaNoWriMo grew to 59,000 participants last year. To use their own words,
National Novel Writing Month is a fun, seat-of-your-pants approach to novel writing. Participants begin writing November 1. The goal is to write a 175-page (50,000-word) novel by midnight, November 30.
Because of the limited writing window, the ONLY thing that matters in NaNoWriMo is output. It's all about quantity, not quality. The kamikaze approach forces you to lower your expectations, take risks, and write on the fly.
I participated in the event three years ago. I had just joined Google, and every day after work, I went home and wrote my 1667 words. On November 26, 2003, I crossed the 50k-word mark, which made me a "NaNoWriMo winner".
Except that it was 50,000 words of drivel. I've since deleted the file from my computer, and hope to God no traces of it exist anywhere.
I can identify with the protagonist in this video. (In a display of irony, the quality of the video is also crap.)
Almost all the other NaNoWriMo excerpts I read online and at Bay Area readings were the same way, except JTR's novel which is condensed genius.