Trading on the mind market – buying and selling innovation

May 16, 2007 In many ways it’s a dream come true – IdeaConnection is quite seriously offering a penny for your thoughts. The newly launched website is marketing itself as a trading ground for ideas; allowing users to post problems and handpick a team of thinkers varied in age, experience, location and field of expertise to work on the solution. Whether you’re an armchair expert or battle hardened industry veteran, you can register to post a problem, propose your ideas, or place yourself in the site’s directory, allowing future posters to call on you for assistance. With a price tag of at least US$1000 per problem, the service does not come cheaply – however, by concentrating such a large amount of intelligence and experience into a collaborative community, it is likely the benefits that emerge from the site will far outweigh the costs.

Sadly, many of humanity’s greatest thinkers have been limited not by technology, or even budget, but by simple geography. For most of the scientific age, it was impossible for researchers to maintain effective tabs on experiments being conducted in similar fields around the world. Inventors would spend years working on a product only to find that someone else beat them to it. Even in the modern age, when technology allowed for efficient communication on an unprecedented scale, Cold War paranoia has prevented scientists from truly collaborating internationally for much of the last century. It is only with the widespread adoption of the internet that people from all around the world can exchange large volumes of information instantly and effectively. IdeaConnection is making the most of this historically unique opportunity. “The goal is collaboration and getting great products and services to market” it states on its website. “Millions of ideas are thought of every day; all but a few die on barren ground. IdeaConnection is the fertile ground where ideas flow and grow.”

IdeaConnection facilitates individual and corporate innovation, ideas, and solutions by offering access to an international pool of thinkers. It is designed for use by anyone seeking a solution to a problem. The problem can be simple or complex. This is a destination where ideas percolate. This is how it works: A problem is posted; a sum of money is deposited. The solution seeker then reviews the problem solvers CVs online and selects and invites one or more people to collaborate to solve the problem. Funds are distributed to the participants upon a successful solution. IdeaConnection is also a place where people buy and sell ideas, inventions, and intellectual property. Unlike other such web based services, all submissions are screened, making it worth while to pay to search this database.

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