Monday, February 07, 2005

The Idea Adoption Agency

Collaborative intelligence is one of the most powerful aspects of user-centered media. One example that is near to my heart as an inventor, and as a fan of electronic communities, is The Idea Adoption Agency.

This is designed to be an open marketplace and large-scale collaboration medium for disclosure and development of very early-stage inventions.
  • It applies collaborative rating processes within a large online community of innovators to bubble-up and refine good ideas from any contributor.
  • It also exploits the 1-year grace-period for US patent filing, as a way for this process to capture value that is commonly lost -- for original inventors and value-adding participants/developers/commercializers -- and for society. (Inventors can expose ideas openly, then file within 1 year.)

This draws on the same powerful energies as the open source software movement and Creative Commons. Some may oppose patents completely, but I suggest that this opens up the patent system to much wider participation and fairness -- and can appeal to advocates of free speech, if not of free beer.

While a direct ROI case for funding such a business is challenging, I believe it could provide huge social value (with only modest investment) --by enabling the productive adoption and development of the large numbers of good ideas that are now lost because they do not find the support they deserve. I see it primarily as a pro-bono project, one that might attract some kind of sponsorship funding. A summary is at


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