Check out Pamplamousse. Something really fresh and positive about their sound. I love the DIY set up they have. From recording in what looks like their own home, to playing all their instruments, producing their own innovative videos and marketing themselves, it seems, exclusively on the web. They even get their artwork done by their fans. Amazing. I don’t think I’ve seen a group yet with so many rave comments on youtube.
The social web of course is an enabler for this and many other innovative ventures. Take the story of Sendsocial.com. This is a simple service that allows you to send gifts to people, just by using their twitter name or email address. No need for an address. Its available in the UK only at the moment and the courier service that it uses, is priced very competitively. Sounds like a great match for sellers of artisan goods to me.
The really interesting thing about this venture though, is that, it was started on Twitter. All the entrepreneurs who helped create the business, were assembled virtually through Twitter, by serial entrepreneur Ben Way. I have to disclose, I was one of those, who received a share in the venture, by virtue of spreading the word on twitter. So I may be biased? But I really wish them well, as it would set a remarkable precedent for growing business out of the social web. This is a perfect example of the matching up of a surplus idea from from a serial entrepreneur with entrepreneurs and enthusiasts on twitter, who are only too ready to make the idea into a business. Which makes me think again about my post on Inspiration and Rapid Replication.
Is there someone out there who could build a meta tool that will match up the surplus of ideas of busy entrepreneurs and creative people with the surplus of available doers out there, using twitter as the channel?
A most amazing improvisation.
I’ve also, like many others I guess, been thinking along these lines and I would like to make a few modest suggestions to improve this model. I may be totally out of whack here, so apologies if so.
First of all, I believe that the best entrepreneurs have loads of ideas, that they can never bring to reality, due to limited time and resources. So there is an abundance of supply of ideas from this group, just no channel to get it to the people who need and can do something with these ideas.
Who are the people who need these ideas?
Many of the people who are laid off and jobless will have no emigration safety net. Many people who are not naturally entrepreneurial, will be forced to be so, to survive.
In any case, I think that most agree, that we need some sort of entrepreneurial renaissance to come out of this crisis.
Yes, you can find plenty of business ideas on the internet, if you know how, but I see the value of having a centralised tool for those, not skilled in searching the internet. The tool should be easily found by those entrepreneurs who wish to contribute as well.
So we need a tool to match these groups. The Ideas Campaign seems to be taking the approach that the best ideas will get supported by business experts. This is fine, but I would add to the model.
I would let people vote on the ideas that come in and use the wisdom of the crowd to find the businesses with the most potential. Maybe, I would make the target audience a world wide one instead of just an irish one. I’m guessing that many of the ideas that come forward will be generic ones that could apply to all countries.
This is a crucial point. I would set up a twitter account for all the top ideas. Lets say an idea gets 10,000 votes, that business idea would then have 10,000 followers or part therof. So these followers can keep updated on the pregression of this business and also participate in the organisation.
Select a pilot group from the best of these followers, to develop a prototype of the business, with expert support. Every business should have a website. Make sure that the website is designed to the highest standards and then open source it, so that other followers can copy it. Note I am talking here mainly about small businesses that operate on a local level.
Lets say the pilot group develops the business in Letterkenny. Let them document all their successes and failures with blogs, marketing/business plan etc, to be available to all the other groups in the country that may want to replicate the idea. This is crucial. Every business set up should be open source and allow others within the country and abroad to copy it. (the exception being where a business requires a national audience to become viable).
I hope that’s clear. A concrete example of this would be this babysitting service idea here. A great idea that has been successfully implemented in another part of the world. Who knows when this idea might take off in Ireland, maybe never. My point is that its a terrible waste of opportunity when a business takes off in some location and provides real value to people and yet the rest of the world does without it.
The tool I am suggesting, would provide for the rapid replication of such ideas. I think this is really a ground breaking idea and could have a huge impact on the crisis we are in. This is where the experts will come into their own. They will provide the pilot group with the highest standard of support. Followers should then have a top class product to replicate.
I would pay a lot of attention to the design of the tool and use cutting edge usability experts to design it in an optimal way. (my suggestion contrast.ie).
Google also has a tool called moderator that might be useful, although I don’t like the User Interface that much and am not sure if it has an api.
I would use tags maybe to categorise the ideas, so that if I am an unemployed gardener, for example, I could click on the gardening tag for all ideas associated with gardening.
I would signify whether the person suggesting the idea was an entrepreneur or not? I would trust the ideas of a proven entrepreneur slightly more then one who is not.
I would signify whether the idea has already been implemented successfully or is a totally new untested idea?
Will Knott mentioned creating widgets for blogs. I think this is really essential also. This could generate huge traffic to the site if done properly.
Once you have the matching tool and widgets in place, I would promote this to entrepreneur bloggers. There are zillions of entrepreneur focused blogs on the interenet. A clever marketing campaign could work with these guys. Indeed the need is so generic, you could promote to all sorts of bloggers.
I really do think that its important to get cutting edge programmers working on this project, who are able to deliver the software and have the imagination and social network marketing know how to give it maximum impact. (somebody like contrast.ie maybe:) I’m not connected to them in any way and would be happy to see another equally progressive outfit do the job).
I believe that the internet can rescue us from a depression, through its networking and organisational properties but only if we exploit it to its fullest. For this project, I would not go with conservative web developers.
I really think this is a great promotional opportunity for a top class web/marketing group to take on. They might take it on for free. The payback from promotion would be enormous