Well, instead of filing the idea next to “Idea #231″, publish the idea and create a following via Open Source Concepting (OSC). As a business model OSC will not protect your thinking from predators but if you want to get the concept into the real world – then go public sooner. The Open Source Concepting business model focuses on raising awareness about your concept, which can open up conversations with potential partners and in turn attract investors.
I think it’s important to distinguish that by ‘going public’ I don’t mean writing a sub-140-character-status-update about your innovation or a meagre couple of paragraphs on your blog. You need to inject enough energy into the idea to turn it into a Product Concept so that other people can visualize your thinking and further augment the concept with feedback and recommendations.
A real world example
Q. How would you approach an airline to innovate the ‘look’ of their boarding passes?A. Open source the concept; and let a community of followers popularize the idea so that the airline comes to you with an offer.
Example: Tyler Thompson (Creative Director – SquareSpace), has open-sourced his vision for a ‘better’ airline boarding pass (see: http://passfail.squarespace.com/).
Now, since he has a day job, Tyler may have no desire to ‘cash in’ on his Product Concept, but the potential of his idea becoming real has increased ten-fold. I would be surprised if designers in the Delta Airline design office are not all over the blog entry and maybe the Virgin Atlantic executives have already passed the link along to a VP for discussion. The point is; this idea could have faded away on a “Moleskin” notebook page.
But instead, Tyler designed a new Boarding Pass and decided to show everyone – whether the concept is translated into a working product is somewhat irrelevant. At the time of this post, Tyler’s Bit.ly click-thrus for the URL of his Boarding Pass site was at 12,279 clicks, which is relatively high traffic for a single blog page, and these are just the links from www.bit.ly. This highlights just one example of Tyler’s return on his (time) investment in open sourcing his idea.
Free your ideas… Open source your concepts…
See my post on the idea that I want to see open sourced for the Apple Tablet: http://creating.concepts.com.au/2010/01/syncing-your-tv-experience-with-the-apple-tablet/ … Now, am I too busy or too lazy?
Sidenote on Open Source Concepting: watch the video “RIP: A remix manifesto” – http://www.eyesteelfilm.com/rip , which discusses how the Copyright system has been subverted to the benefit of organisations that just covet revenue streams, and are not interested in innovating, redesigning, and being entrepreneurial. Every chapter of the video is available here: http://www.opensourcecinema.org/book/rip-remix-manifesto-1-meet-girl-talk.
And then, go and download Girl Talk’s mash up tracks: http://www.myspace.com/girltalk.