I’ve been having a lot of discussion with various friends around how to encourage people to innovate. More specifically, we’ve been discussing how to encourage people to share their business ideas and move them forward so that they might become a basis for a viable business.
We’ve come up with several approaches to try out our theories. The current focus is on idea generation but soon I hope to move onto idea development and getting teams together. For the moment there are three aspects which I will cover in more detail:
Twitter Business Ideas
I’ve been playing with Ruby on Rails recently and decided to write an app that saved all tweets with the #businessidea hashtag. People can then vote on their favourite idea. I’ll be launching an alpha version very soon. I’m encouraging people to tweet their business ideas, I’ve already started!
Twitter is a perfect platform to share early stage ideas, it’s very easy to use your favourite mobile device or even SMS to record your ideas. Something that we’ve pretty much agreed as a group is that the idea alone is useless, it’s the execution. Thus, it is pretty pointless holding all your ideas close to your chest. I certainly won’t be tweeting all my ideas but I certainly be tweeting those that I think other people can use/gain from. I look forward to seeing your ideas on Twitter!
The Innovation Network
Most of the credit for this idea goes to Nick but I did help set it up! This is a google site (a wiki) that we’ve given a select group of people access to. We wanted to create an environment that was a bit more closed to see if it would encourage better participation (see halfbakery.com for a completely open version). Here we have an inbox of ideas that people then comment on and expand.
This has been quite successful and now seems to be gaining momentum. We’ve reached a critical mass of about 10 people and the ideas are coming thick and fast. If you’d like to participate then drop me an email. We’re trying to get a broad range of skill sets so tell me a bit about what you might bring to the network.
There are several ideas that look like having a lot of potential. We’re now thinking about how to take them forward. I’ll keep you posted!
One Ton Challenge
This is another idea that Nick had a lot of input in. The basic premise is to come up with a business idea that generates Â£100 a month with minimal time and money input. The idea should be scalable so the profit per month can be ramped up with relative ease. Originally we were going to do this amongst friends but the idea has somewhat changed direction and we’ll be launching something aimed at students.
The thinking behind the idea is that everyone is trying to become the next google. Our belief is that people should focus on selling “stuff” to really get a handle on how to be an entrepreneur. We’ll be updating the website soon and hopefully launching the competition towards the end of the Summer.