What Happens to the Best Ideas?

We have received a lot of constructive feedback from the launch of Good Ideas. Thanks so much!

Probably the most common question we’ve received is “What happens to the best ideas?” This is a key question. If the answer were “nothing”, then what’s the point?

The goal of Good Ideas is to shine light on best ideas. At this point we plan to build an active community to submit and rank ideas, interview thought leaders in different categories, and launch several ideas competitions. We believe all of these will draw attention to useful ideas. We also know that as the site matures we will be able to tie idea generation to more specific problems and outcomes.

The most important uses of the best ideas, however, will come from users. Just as Flickr doesn’t dictate what happens to highest ranked photos, or Google doesn’t dictate what happens to highest ranked search results, Good Ideas won’t dictate what happens to highest ranked ideas. Good Ideas is a tool, an archive, a community — and users will have the best ideas how to use it creatively and usefully.

Do We Really Need More “Good Ideas”?

One issue I’ve wrestled with (and have received feedback about) goes something like this: “The last thing we need are more good ideas – what we really need is smart implementation”.

This is certainly partially true: success depends on good ideas + smart implementation (or as the adage goes, “10% inspiration, 90% persperation”).

That said, there is a great deal of energy wasted pursuing bad (or at least sub-optimal) ideas. Before you start climbing a mountain, don’t you want to be pretty sure you are on the right one? I believe Good Ideas, if successful, can help make sure we are climbing the right mountains.

I remember an early complaint about the Internet: “the last thing I need is more information”. Then Google came along, with its uncanny ability to provide the right information, and that complaint about the Internet went away.

Navigating Good Ideas

What is the best way to find good ideas? There are five ways to navigate the Good Ideas web site:

  • Browse: You can choose a category on the left side of each page. Each category can be sorted by “Top Rated” or “Recent”.
  • Search: There is a search box provided at the top of each page.
  • Tags: Most ideas have keyword tags. A navigation list (“tag cloud”) is provided in the left column of most pages.
  • Related Ideas: Each idea detail page lists related ideas at the bottom.
  • Contributor: Each idea is attributed to a contributor. Clicking on the contributor’s name show a list of all ideas submitted by that person.

We hope to add other search modalities in the future.