We can all be Bell, or Marconi, to name just some of the world’s greatest inventors. Why? Because we all have those great ideas. Naa, you’ll think, I don’t have great ideas, my ideas are whacky and not suited for the outside world. Think again. What do you think they said to Marconi when he told his government that he could transmit wireless signals and pick them up again? They told him they weren’t interested. And can you imagine what the world would have looked like without radio? Neither can I. So, those whacky ideas are the ones you need. You might not even be the only one having them. Now what’s keeping you back? Developmental costs? Not anymore. Meet AHHHA!
AHHHA is a platform where your whacky ideas can come into existence. You submit your idea, claim it, and then share it. Now, others comment on it, you improve it and before you know it, your idea is propelled to life and you get a prototype on your doormat (see the example of the SleeperSleeve). AHHHA’s managed to turn the long and time consuming process of developing an idea into a product into a crowdsourced process, while at the same time shielding you of the risk and costs related to the development. They call themselves a crowd ideation platform: it’s all about putting your whacky ideas out there, see who shares them and who likes them, and putting some of that into action.
AHHHA uses the wisdom of the crowd to evaluate and improve upon ideas. This way, they minimise the effort for themselves and for the owner of the idea, making it easy to participate on the website. When a product gets developed and reaches its final stage, AHHHA makes a deal with the ideas owner: the inventor gets 10% of the proceedings. Once you’ve entered your idea, you’re part of the community, browsing other people’s ideas and commenting on them as they do with yours. So you can be in it for love, for glory or simply for the money (1). As research indicates that the more your concept is being watched and commented upon, the more active you become yourself, the AHHHA community offers an excellent platform for those with good ideas (2).
In this format, there is a nice tension between collaboration and competition. Clearly, you want to have the best idea, but you need others for that. However, since there is not one final product, the two don’t harm each other (3). Since others do a lot of reviewing on your project, the tension between the time necessary for idea evolution and the time actually spend on the project is not so big. Of course you need to spend time on it, but you need to lie back too to receive input from others (3). Anonymity of users here is not a problem, as you need not reveal your real name to comment on ideas (3).
So wait no longer, blurt out your whacky idea and you might get something out of it!
- Majchrzak, A., and A. Malhotra. “Towards an information systems perspective and research agenda on crowdsourcing for innovation.” Journal of Strategic Information Systems 22.4 (2013): 257-268.
- Bernardo A. Huberman, Daniel M. Romero and Fang Wu “Crowdsourcing, attention and productivity” Journal of Information Science, 35 (6) 2009, pp. 758–765
- Malone, Thomas W., Robert Laubacher, and Chrysanthos Dellarocas. “The Collective Intelligence Genome.” MIT Sloan Management Review 51.3 (2010): 21-31.