“I wish you could buy...” “I wish someone would invent a...”
Ever started a sentence that way? Had an idea for a product or service that would be really great, spent five seconds contemplating ditching your job to start a new business, then forgot all about it?
We have a new feature here on The Restless Consumer. The idea behind Run With It is that you share those ideas while giving implicit consent for anybody who reads the blog post to, well, run with it. Then maybe, just maybe, someone else could turn your idea into reality and make themselves some money out of it.
What kind of ideas do you mean?
Absolutely anything, really. To give a few examples from my own fizzing tank of ideas, it could be a system of traffic lights with a filter to give cyclists priority*, or a double-sided make-up stick with eye make-up remover on one side and concealer on the other so you can tidy up your make-up before going out after work, or a “nose cosy” to keep your nose warm while still allowing you to breathe...
Why should I give up my intellectual property on some stupid blog so someone else can make a fortune from my idea?
Well, obviously Run With It isn’t compulsory. But look: how much value does your idea really have while it’s still in your head? Run With It lets you get your idea out there, with a tiny chance that it might actually happen. You want a coffee bar serving “hot” drinks at room temperature so that busy professionals can drink them more quickly...but if you’re not going to set up that bar, how exactly does it benefit you that nobody else will set it up either?
Look, I’m a professional writer and a trade union member. Getting credit and payment for creative work is a subject dear to my heart. But most of that creativity isn’t about the initial idea. It’s about the hard work you put into actually creating something coherent and real. Anyone can talk about setting up a social networking site that’s “Facebook for nurses”, or making pyramid-shaped doughnuts to teach kids about three-dimensional shapes. But actually doing it: that’s the hard bit.
Any other rules?
The product or service idea can be as wild or wacky as you like. But it has to be something that you would personally hand over good money for if someone else made it.
Also, if you’re going to Run With It yourself and actually turn a stranger’s idea into a business, you should:
- tell The Restless Consumer so we can blog about it
- give the original idea-haver some credit somewhere on your website or promotional literature
A freebie to the idea-haver would be a nice gesture too. But you’re under no financial obligation to them whatsoever.
*Already exists in the Netherlands
Got an idea for Run With It? Get in touch!