Below is an exact copy of what I once believed was my best idea yet. I honestly thought I had found a winner. Keep in mind that I generally spend only 30 minutes to an hour outlining an idea like this. I could first check online for a pre-existing service, but where’s the fun in that?
I try to allow time for developing an idea before attempting to immediately crush it. Interestingly enough, this little gem was created long ago by a man whose name I hope at least rings a bell. Sean Parker, the brain behind Napster and more recently a cofounder of Facebook, launched Causes in 2007 as one of the 10 original Facebook apps. You’d think I’d have heard of it by 2014…
Nevertheless, the company has quite an impressive website. I was surprisingly able to find some similarities between Causes.com and my idea. Some of the extra features I jotted down even wound up being present in the real thing.
This is not just one of my better ideas, but proof that I just might possess the ability to create something incredible. While I’m certainly disappointed that Sean Parker founded Causes seven years before I had a similar idea, I can’t help but take it as a compliment. If you’ve never heard of Sean Parker or Causes.com (I clearly hadn’t) I encourage you do to some light research.
Without further ado, this is copied word for word from my Notes:
A website to collectively solve the worlds most imminent problems. Solved by the everyday people who live with them. Open forum. Anyone can post any idea.
A new network. Not social or business. But creative.
Link with Facebook, twitter, LinkedIn
A creative network where one goes to make an impact on the causes that mean the most to them.
One can display his/her affiliated causes.
Be it charities, research foundations, cancer, literally ANYthing people can support.
Show what YOU personally have done to benefit your cause.
Center page: Search bar “What do you care about?”
New and popular causes displayed on the homepage, with a few random comments attached.
(I envision a homepage, with different causes floating around on the screen. Mousing over a cause prompts a small graphical expansion that displays a few comments (random, top, famous contributor) connected by lines)
Creating New causes:
Must be a way to organize comments and material in a hierarchical fashion. It must be organized and easy to interpret. Meaning, at any point one can view a particular cause and know within minutes exactly where the cause stands.
This way, people can immediately build upon the current information.
The random, gut ideas that first pop into our heads are the ones we want. Not some idea that you’ve cultivated for days, a genuinely unique thought.
The goal is to constantly build upon what we already know.
How do we process all this new input?
Good ideas need immediate recognition. If not, there is a system that essential “tops” the idea to make it visible to all those viewing/working on the cause.
Would LOVE to get professionals involved. Use other social networks as incentives.
MAYBE: have two segments. One with established causes, the other with upcoming. The process of becoming established varies (members, progress, awareness) but that way one can either browse new or established causes.
Guide for creating a cause:
When new, a cause works it way through the stages of becoming established.
Members can visually track the cause from conception to awareness.
For example: when the cause reaches a particular stage, it’s time to create a web presence. Give the community the choice of how they want to do it, while providing a place and the resources necessary.
Could be an app, website, other medium.
Actually guide them through it, provide resources on web development, or whatever the next stage of development is.
Should be easy for a community to build a cause from the ground up.
Once large enough: provide resources for TV advertising, magazines, news paper, etc..
IDEALLY: business that provide these resources (i.e. websites, advertising, etc..) should be involved. A cause is then able to work directly with a list of potential companies. Said companies have their own “profile”. Thus, cause and business can work together seamlessly. Allows a cause to more easily develop global awareness.
If there is incentive for businesses then they will participate. The incentive would generally be money and customers. Being a member would open the business to new markets. COULD BE HUGE HELP FOR SMALL LOCAL BUSINESSES. Like web startups.
Cause in process:
Stages of a cause:
Cause moves through stages.
Each stage provides relevant resources to push the cause forward.
So, at an infant stage, the cause would focus on idea development. At toddler stage: learning to walk (aka website, app).
At teen stage: Spreading awareness (selling merchandise, social media, commercials).
At adult: endorsements, foundations, scholarships.
At global level: events, sponsorships, etc..
Idea is that as a cause grows, influential people will begin to contribute. Eventually, a cause transitions from community driven to almost entirely professionally run.
Badges (AKA medals, etc):
A cause displays a badge, denoting its stage in the development process. Ranges from (infant) to (global awareness)
People have badges that display current and previous causes.
Could also display ideas.
Display if you joined a cause that reached a global level
Side note: Joining a cause should require contribution of some form
Causes are not segregated (i.e. cannot be filtered by location, religion, race)
The point is that IT’s the entire world’s problem, not just one demographic.
This could work similarly to Kickstarter. Inventions could potentially make their way, but they would be open sourced and crowd funded. Unlike Kickstarter
By the general lack of organization of my outline one can see that I’m still learning how to best develop an idea past conception. I focus far more on transferring my thoughts to paper versus what needs to go where. There’s no doubt that I barely scratched the surface of features, functionality, and even the idea itself.