Monday, July 23, 2007

Ideas about Ideas

Let's just say I am addicted. Addicted to it all, of course, but specifically to ideas.
I think it could also be said that I have pretty dodgy organization of those ideas. Couple that with my apparent perennial difficulty with following through on those ideas and you get some pretty serious insanity built up....


I have more than a few ideas posted on the Global Ideas Bank but I got a bit frustrated with the format and the fact that a great deal of the contributors were in England and nowhere that I could meet them personally. That's a weak excuse now that I think about it, but that's what happened. Here are the ideas I came up with.

I worked for a bit with a company called SolutionPeople and they were trying to help people generate, collect, and choose good ideas in a more corporate setting. That was cool but I was grossly underpaid and underutilized. Plus, I want to focus my ideas in a particular direction now, the Progressive Party and Alternative Energy. Simply coming up with ideas is like eating candy for dinner. Yummy but empty and slightly unhealthy.

I've bumped into a few other people with this bend, but in the end because I had a hard time CAPITALizing on idea$, the idea of getting paid for idea$ kind of flopped on me. I've seen the concept of ideas for sale work at the BrainStore and Idea-Sandbox people, but why must these people not actually have a couch to meet on in North Seattle?

The concept of coming up with a company that got paid to come up with ideas isn't new, but it's been pretty hard to do. The company I tried to start in 1999, Anythink, which eventually changed to RocketForge and then stopped doing the idea thing altogether was frustrating as well.

Now that I have more of a focus, I think it can be done again, but perhaps in a different way. I confess I do not know that way yet. Alternative Thinking about Alternative Energy, something like that. I don't want to dive back into small business ownership right now anyway, but it's something that I cannot seem to shake, the idea of selling ideas.

Perhaps that's the issue, the selling part. If I just continue to post my ideas, maybe the idea itself will arise, or people who like one or another idea will come out of the woodwork and help with the capitalization. Perhaps it should be free...freeeee!

I know I want to brainstorm for a living, but I need to find an outlet and a place to pour the ideas into it. I have literally hundreds of unexplored ideas written down, with no real place to arrange them (some have already been realized, too).

I did some good informal versions of the idea idea in a very social format: two friends of mine went out to a bar and we talked about ideas, calling the weekly event "ThinkTanked".

Perhaps the internet is just one place to do this. I know it also has to happen in person, though, and it has to be a part of my Right Livelihood. I know enough just to come up with the question, but the answer is just out of reach right now. Weird, I have an idea to come up with ideas, but I don't yet have the idea launching idea fleshed out concretely. Grrr!

Any thoughts on the thought thinking and leveraging concept welcome... Please go ahead and leave a comment if you think you might have a strand to add to the rope...


Ethan Borg said...

Hi Aaron,

As you know, I love ideas too. But I am not sold on making ideas commodities. Not everything should be capitalized upon. The very reason I searched the internet to find you was to tell you about something I just launched: Open Source MedicineTM. Medicine should be a universal right, not part of the capitalistic structure.

You can find it at:
Tell me what you think!

Your old friend,
Ethan Borg

Sammy said...


This is very interesting. Pure ideas definitely have capital value and many people earn their keep and much more by their creation. I see no reason why it can't be right livlihood .. Of course ideas are a time a billzillion. has an intersting social networking way of sharing them but you are writing about something different. I guess the challange is transforming the idea idea into something solid. That can take time and there will be cracks .... though, as Leonard Cohen says, 'everything has cracks - that is how the light gets in.'

Becca said...

I know there are lots of think-tanks out there, thinking the good thoughts, but I wonder if just thinking up ideas isn't the obstacle itself.
The Highest Source did not give us a huge brain without hands, heart, and feet. We've been gifted all of our parts for a reason. Now, I know you value your brain a lot, which you should, but to me, part of conscious living includes execution.
I suggest to you (as well as myself) that you write down explicitly (!) how you spend your days. Maybe coming up with ideas is simply a fun way to use your brain and you'd rather do X, whatever that is.
My point is not to help you find right livelihood, my point is to ask yourself why you value YOURSELF and then keep doing THOSE things...right livelihood comes. And also, eat less sugar.

glowplug said...

Mind you, I don't want ideas as commodities. I want collaboration, innovation and progress. For that, people should be paid, the same way consultants are paid. Surely, the follow-through on the ideas is essential, but some people are not cut out for doing the actual engineering (engineers are!). This is a thread that I've been putting up there for years now. I just want to make it worldwidely available.
Brainstorming for dollars!