×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Idea Stock Exchange

ScuttleMonkey posted about 8 years ago | from the soylent-futures dept.

160

Retrospeak writes to tell us The New York Times has an interesting article on an interesting business strategy used by a company called Rite-Solutions. The system recognizes the need for harvesting ideas from the entire company instead of just one or two "idea-men" in a stock-market-esque idea exchange. From the article: "We're the founders, but we're far from the smartest people here," Mr. Lavoie, the chief executive, said during an interview at Rite-Solutions' headquarters outside Newport, R.I. "At most companies, especially technology companies, the most brilliant insights tend to come from people other than senior management. So we created a marketplace to harvest collective genius."

cancel ×
This is a preview of your comment

No Comment Title Entered

Anonymous Coward 1 minute ago

No Comment Entered

160 comments

Hey (5, Funny)

smvp6459 (896580) | about 8 years ago | (#14999060)

Can I sell ideas short?

Re:Hey (1)

digitalunity (19107) | about 8 years ago | (#14999155)

the most brilliant insights tend to come from people other than senior management

I thought this was always the case.

Brilliance not all coming from Senior Management? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#14999201)

hmmm... Maybe the Management Steering Group should start a focus group on this to verify...Is this rumour substantiated at all?

Re:Hey (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#14999318)

harvesting ideas

Sounds like The Matrix. Oh, and if you're wondering how this is relevant to what you wrote, it's not. Just like your reply had nothing to do with the post you responded to... it's simply karma whoring.
 

Re:Hey (3, Insightful)

moro_666 (414422) | about 8 years ago | (#14999359)

Re:

"We're the founders, but we're far from the smartest people here," Mr. Lavoie, the chief executive, said during an interview at Rite-Solutions' headquarters outside Newport, R.I.


  Admitting to the reality is actually a vital sign of the intelligence in the leadership. If you'd hire people more stupid than you in any intellectual business, you're f-d.

  I wish my boss would consider this fact in some areas more often :) I think it's a quite normal case in any IT company, the bosses are "oldschoolers", meaning sure they know how a pic cpu works and how perl text databases are cool, but their knowledge doesn't always map to the current situation out there. Transaction rdbms is the word, not a text database.

  I do understand that the bosses in situations like that usually do realize that their workforce is more talented or at least more up-to-date in the expertise, but unluckily for the workers, the selfpride of the bosses preceeds the rationality that you'd expect.

  Anyway, seems like one company (at least officially) is trying to fight the /disease/, i hope they do well and give a good example to the others.

  Ps. how would you fight this "pride" issue ? My current strategy is either to explain very calmly my selections in development paths or if that fails, just go along and point the primary reason out when it starts to fall apart... Humans are supposed to learn most from their "personal" failures.

Japanese methods? (4, Insightful)

CarpetShark (865376) | about 8 years ago | (#14999065)

Didn't the Japanese have methods like this way back in the 80s??

Re:Japanese methods? (5, Interesting)

tomhath (637240) | about 8 years ago | (#14999097)

My experience with employee suggestion systems or quality circles is exactly what the executives at this company are trying to avoid. An idea comes in, some big shot decides it's not worth pursuing, and the whole suggestion system/quality circle/whatever falls apart because employees get discouraged. These guys are willing to let their decisions be driven by internal market forces (the employees). Sounds like a pretty good process to me.

Yes, even the general public could brainstorm (3, Funny)

GuyMannDude (574364) | about 8 years ago | (#14999354)

Yes, in fact, the Japanese used this method to allow the general populace to brainstorm creative solutions to the country's most vexing problem. Unfortunately for them, the demographics of the country were such that the votes of children aged 5-12 largely determined the resulting solution [wikipedia.org].

GMD

Re:Japanese methods? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#14999380)

Do you like Japan? I like reading manga and watching anime. I draw doujinshi in my spare time. E-mail me at crazy4japan@gmail.com

IP (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#14999067)

Listen. Ideas don't come for free. You have to pay money.

see what happened to patents...

Re:IP (2, Insightful)

ZeroExistenZ (721849) | about 8 years ago | (#14999207)

Ideas don't come for free

Uhmm.. I just got an idea.. absolutely for free...
Nobody can make me pay to use my brain.

What are you? A commy? *shifty eyes*

I got great ideas (2, Funny)

fputs(shit, slashdot (645337) | about 8 years ago | (#14999071)

My ideas most involve inflatable sex toy, small rodent and chocolate spread. Where do I sign up?

Re:I got great ideas (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#14999663)

Hey buddy, swap out the chocolate spread for a jar of honey, and it's a date!

Re:I got great ideas (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#14999730)

I understand small rodent and chocolate spread, but what's the inflatable sex toy for??

A market for innovation (4, Insightful)

LadyLucky (546115) | about 8 years ago | (#14999078)

Just as stock exchanges and other markets have created the flow of money that has been the foundation of modern capitalism and the greatest wealth engine in the history of mankind, a market for innovation may well be the next step.

How often is the person with the idea and the vision the guy with the business smarts to capitalize on it? How often does a company with excellent execution thirst for the next big idea? A marketplace for ideas and innovation is possibly the solution to this.

It may be unpopular here, but in order to make such a market work properly, it's necessary to have the necessary protection for ideas and innovations - i.e., intellectual property laws need to be improved. That isn't to say that draconian laws are needed, but if I have an idea, I need a reasonable expectation that I will not get fleeced by offering it on a marketplace.

An efficient innovation market backed up by appropriate laws may well be the next driver of wealth.

Re:A market for innovation (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#14999123)

I love reading slashdot for comments such as this. The ignorant hoi polloi attempt to sound erudite but only exposure their shortcomings. Kudos sir, kudos.

Re:A market for innovation (1)

zippthorne (748122) | about 8 years ago | (#14999370)

I think you've misunderstood what happened here. The only thing in that comment that is related to the article is the word "Stock Exchange." It is clearly a prepared comment just waiting for a slashstory with the words "stock exchange" in it.

Re:A market for innovation (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#14999861)

You took the words right outta my mouth. Except I would have used hoiti-toiti (sp?), instead of hoi-polloi. They aren't all that different, are they. You an Indian, aren't you?!

Re:A market for innovation (1)

pHatidic (163975) | about 8 years ago | (#14999141)

How often is the person with the idea and the vision the guy with the business smarts to capitalize on it? How often does a company with excellent execution thirst for the next big idea? A marketplace for ideas and innovation is possibly the solution to this.

Same thing with science. There are a lot of brilliant scientists who spend their time researching really trivial stuff because they can't think of anything better. And at the same time, there are a lot of people with great ideas of research projects who don't have the PhD. What if we created a system like Wikipedia, but instead of holding the sum of all human knowledge it held the sum of all human ignorance? I.e., people could post questions on topics that science could answer but hasn't yet.

Re:A market for innovation (1)

TheKidWho (705796) | about 8 years ago | (#14999750)

LoL

Good luck with that one, don't think there exists a server large enough to store all that info ;-)

P.S. the majority of it would be filled with questions that are alread answered.

Re:A market for innovation (2, Interesting)

killjoe (766577) | about 8 years ago | (#14999145)

I have a hundred ideas every day. It's easy to come up with ideas. The hard work is in trying to figure out if the idea is feasable, gathering resources, manufacturing, marketing, etc.

Your system would allow anybody with an idea to instantly stop anybody who is actually trying to accomplish something by working. It rewards the people who sit on their ass all day and type their goofy ideas into a web site hoping somebody actually tries to make something some day.

That's the problem with patents. It punish people trying to accomplish something. It punishes doers.

Re:A market for innovation (2, Interesting)

MP3Chuck (652277) | about 8 years ago | (#14999365)

Reminds me of an article [oreillynet.com] by Derek Silvers (creator of CD Baby).

"To me, ideas are worth nothing unless executed. They are just a multiplier. Execution is worth millions."

Re:A market for innovation (1)

Alef (605149) | about 8 years ago | (#14999423)

I agree completely -- ideas are cheap.

In my experience, people who argue for stronger "IP protection" and the possibility to trade with ideas are often those with few ideas of their own (and hence think there is great value in them, I guess).

Re:A market for innovation (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#14999577)

I have a hundred ideas every day. It's easy to come up with ideas. The hard work is in trying to figure out if the idea is feasable, gathering resources, manufacturing, marketing, etc.

Marge: "You see all that stuff in there, Homer? That's why your robot never worked!"

Re:A market for innovation (0)

maxume (22995) | about 8 years ago | (#14999874)

Of course, patents are intended to reward doers, rather than the guy with the most money. Sure they aren't working real well at the moment, but does anybody really want to live in a world where the only protection the little guy has is to keep secrets?

Re:A market for innovation (1)

Anne Thwacks (531696) | about 8 years ago | (#14999149)

Here in the UK, the last thing companies want is new ideas. They all tell you they have enough ideas already. "F#@% off with your new ideas - we have enough already" is what management, especially financial management will tel you.

If anyone wants ideas enogh to actually pay money for them, let me know. (I mean good, sound engineering ideas that will make someone a million dollars a year or maybe a billion. This is engineering - actual long-term investment required.)

Re:A market for innovation (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#14999160)

It may be unpopular here, but in order to make such a market work properly, it's necessary to have the necessary protection for ideas and innovations

That doesn't mean it's a sensible goal to have such a market. Logically, this isn't significantly different from "it may be unpopular here, but in order to make a slave market work properly, it's necessary to have ownership rights over slaves". It's trivially true but says nothing about the ethics or morals of having such a market.

I consider I"P" unethical. I will fight to the death and slightly beyond (autonomous software agents) to defeat I"P"ists.

who's fleecing whom? (1)

srussia (884021) | about 8 years ago | (#14999164)

I need a reasonable expectation that I will not get fleeced by offering it on a marketplace

Definition of "to fleece" (Webster): to charge excessively for goods or services

I think you meant: "I need a reasonable expectation that I will be able to fleece everyone else when I offer it on the marketplace."

Or do you think that although, in general, monopolies must be prevented "to make a market work properly", sometimes a monopoly must be created in order to "make markets work properly", and that Congress knows when to do one and when to do the other?

Re:who's fleecing whom? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#14999210)

Definition of "to fleece" (Webster): to charge excessively for goods or services

Another defintion of "fleece" (Webster): "to strip of money or property by fraud or extortion"

I think you meant: "I need a reasonable expectation that I will be able to fleece everyone else when I offer it on the marketplace."

I think you meant: "srussia is an ass licking moron incapable of logical thought."

Re:A market for innovation (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#14999262)

"An efficient innovation market backed up by appropriate laws may well be the next driver of wealth."

Or maybe its the fact that "markets" are obsolete, the fact that people are forced to whore themselves out and need to "protect" their ideas with laws so the can be the exclusive ones to profit from them actually hinders innovation. you take an idea and lock it up and give one person or body of people the exclusivity to implementation rather then the free exchange of ideas and sharing. Co-operation > competition. The fact is markets exist because at bottom people are willing to co-operate and agree co-exist peacefully and agree to respect laws. Human beings simply are not evolved enough yet to get to the point where they move beyond the predatory phase of human development.

Re:A market for innovation (1)

twem2 (598638) | about 8 years ago | (#14999310)

Markets are fascinating. Already they've been used to predict flu outbreaks with greater accuracy than experts.
The Iowa Electronic Markets [uiowa.edu] is very interesting and in the UK there's a growing trend to use betting markets on political events to predict results.

Of course markets fail, and this one may, but its definitely worth a go, especially if it can be linked to implementing the idea somehow.

Public wanking session (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#14999350)

That post is exactly the reason why Linus Torvalds made his famous comment:

"Gaah. I don't tend to bother about Slashdot, because quite frankly, the whole _point_ of Slashdot is to have this big public wanking session with people getting together and making their own 'insightful' comment on any random topic, whether they know anything about it or not."
--Linus Torvalds
 

Re:A market for innovation (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#14999437)

The amusing thing about this whole mess is that most companies already have contracts for this kind of thing. You come up with an idea, the company pays you $1, and they get rich off of it.

I guess it's driving someone's wealth, though I have to wonder how that scheme is doing for innovation.

It's a trap! (4, Funny)

Jester998 (156179) | about 8 years ago | (#14999088)

We're the founders, but we're far from the smartest people here

Anyone who submits an idea gets labelled "not a team player" for not backing management's ludicrous schemes.

It's a trap!

[/end Dilbert-esque paranoia]

Idea Stock Exchange (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#14999104)

I'm going to short neoconservatism.

Art by committee... (4, Insightful)

IanDanforth (753892) | about 8 years ago | (#14999110)

The difficulty in any system like this is what I like to call the Artistic Paradox.

Great art comes from experience and talent. It almost always comes from the vision of a single individual. Truly fine art cannot be done by committee.

Thus while brilliant and committed people in business need the ideas of those people around them, a system like this can only serve as an inspirational tool for those people with talent. The idea is not the art, the execution of that idea is.

I have lots of great ideas, but no matter how many I give out, or see on the web, few, if any, ever get done. Why? Because I'm lazy.

This marketplace could easily give rise to dependence on it for ideas, and ignore the fact that people who can get things done often don't have the best ideas, but because they can accomplish them, are infinitely more valuable than the armchair quarterbacks scattered throughout a company. And asking people to implement ideas other than their own, even if they are objectively better, reduces a talented individuals ability to great true greatness.

-Ian

Remixes? (1)

drewzhrodague (606182) | about 8 years ago | (#14999197)

Great art comes from experience and talent. It almost always comes from the vision of a single individual. Truly fine art cannot be done by committee.

While not quite a committee, how 'bout remixes -- hip-hop, mashups, or otherwise? I'm sure there's some sort of exception to allow for that. Afterall, remixes are quite popular, some are quite artistic, if not so long lasting. [wikipedia.org]

Re:Remixes? (1)

Tyler Eaves (344284) | about 8 years ago | (#14999957)

The amount of talent for those hack jobs is no where near that needed to make the material that was ripped off.

this is a win for everybody (5, Insightful)

Schlemphfer (556732) | about 8 years ago | (#14999226)

>This marketplace could easily give rise to dependence on it for ideas,
>and ignore the fact that people who can get things done often don't
>have the best ideas, but because they can accomplish them, are
>infinitely more valuable than the armchair quarterbacks scattered
>throughout a company.

Those people you're mentioning who "get can things done," -- isn't it to their interest, and everybody's interest, that they are implementing the very best ideas available? It's not like anybody's suggesting that these people be fired -- if anything the value of what they're able to produce increases as they are given better projects to see through to completion.

And those "armchair quarterbacks" -- this term seems needlessly insulting, by the way -- if these quarterbacks are able to come up with the very best ideas in the company, shouldn't they receive all the encouragement in the world to dream up new ideas? And shouldn't they share the spoils of this success with the people who can implement these great ideas?

Seems to me that this stock exchange idea is win/win/win for the GTD people, the quarterback people, and the company as a whole.

Re:Art by committee... (1)

blueadept1 (844312) | about 8 years ago | (#14999309)

You hit it bang on: Greatness doesn't only take a good idea, but good execution. Thus, you must have smart people to execute properly. But then, why will smart people be unable to think of a good idea? o.O

Re:Art by committee... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#14999882)

This must be why the Sistine Chapel sucks, and (possibly) the Iliad and the Odyssey, and virtually all of the collections of folk-verse (the sagas, that Finnish national tale, etc) as well.

If this is true, they'll succede (3, Insightful)

drewzhrodague (606182) | about 8 years ago | (#14999111)

That's right, good ideas don't only come from one person in the 'idea department.' If this holds true, and people aren't punished for speaking up, they may be much better for it -- and be able to monitize those ideas. Many companies I have worked for in the past, have an 'open door' policy with opinions, ideas, and better ways to do things. Not once have I ever heard a success story from someone piping-up. Didn't someone say something about hiring people smarter than you?

How does valuation go?.. (1)

clevershark (130296) | about 8 years ago | (#14999117)

I have the feeling that an awful lot of ideas out there are the "penny stock" kind -- you know, the type you get a lot of spam about...

Good idea, but doomed to fail (1, Interesting)

Opportunist (166417) | about 8 years ago | (#14999122)

It might've worked in Japan. It won't work in the Western world. Here's how it would most likely end up:

Some worker on the chain finds out that what he does could be streamlined. He commits some of his free time (you don't think you'll be allowed to hand in ideas during work hours, do you?) to write down his idea and submit it.

Middle management sees the idea, ponders it and punches as hard against it as it can, since it comes from one of the grunt workers and by default, they can't have good ideas. If they did, middle management could be sacked without a problem.

Should the idea somehow survive this pummeling, the middle manager will write his name onto it and ship it upwards. Where it's found to be great and the manager gets a huge bonus.

Should the grunt complain it was originally his idea, his reward is a pink slip.

True... (1)

clevershark (130296) | about 8 years ago | (#14999165)

The idea of a pure meritocracy, although noble, is doomed because it is at odds with existing hierarchies.

In a sense it's the same reason why getting a degree is a good idea nearly 100% of the time. Bill Gates may be the richest man in the world AND a college dropout, but the only reason he was able to achieve this was that he (with a number of other people) formed his own company. The minute you want to step away from the entrepreneurial path you need to have a degree -- any degree, as long as it's a valid one.

Likewise in any existing business hierarchy merely delivering the goods is not good enough -- you have to deliver the goods AND play the office politics game in order to get ahead, and more often than not that means letting your boss take credit for ideas you come up with.

Re:Good idea, but doomed to fail (2, Insightful)

Elminst (53259) | about 8 years ago | (#14999328)

Did you even read the article? Oh wait, this is /.
Your "description" of how it works is utterly and completely wrong. In fact, it's near opposite to how this program works.

I'd tell you to RTFA, but it seems clear you're just trolling.
As someone already commented, I'd hate to work at your company.

Re:Good idea, but doomed to fail (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#14999745)

Middle management sees the idea, ponders it and punches as hard against it as it can, since it comes from one of the grunt workers and by default, they can't have good ideas.

Anecdote:
Many years ago, I made quite a bit of money consulting for small companies in the area. I helped one; got word-of-nouth for the next, etc.

This built until I went into one company, was told what the problem was and, as was my wont, went down to talk to the people on the floor. As usual, they already knew of the problem and knew what the solution was. I took their input, verified the technical merits of the solution and typed it all up into a report.

When I handed it off (and collected a paycheck) I took a lot of praise from the man who was in charge of it all. Finally, I could take it no more and told him exactly how I solved this problem. The man immediately accused me of lying! Although he could think of no benefit from my lying, he was convinced that I was, because "Those lazy SOB's just never have any solutions for anything; they just create problems!"

Pot, kettle, black.

Rite Aid? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#14999124)

I doubt my all knowing, all powerful, neighborhood Rite Aid pharmacist is going to take this without a fight.

Re:Rite Aid? (1)

Khyber (864651) | about 8 years ago | (#14999338)

I dunno about you, but Rite-Aid got bought the fuck out here in Memphis. All the stores I've seen that belonged to Rite-Aid now have Walgreens signs plastered all over them. I fail to see how they're going to survive much longer without some major help.

RTFA (1)

Heembo (916647) | about 8 years ago | (#14999427)

"But the two men, co-founders of Rite-Solutions, a software company that builds advanced -- and highly classified -- command-and-control systems for the Navy, don't worry much about Nasdaq or the New York Stock Exchange."

Google (3, Insightful)

binkzz (779594) | about 8 years ago | (#14999127)

Isn't that what Google already does, with their personal project time and whatnot? That's how GMail got started, and Picasa, and probably a few other things.

Re:Google (2, Informative)

bheer (633842) | about 8 years ago | (#14999258)

Isn't that what Google already does, with their personal project time and whatnot? That's how GMail got started, and Picasa, and probably a few other things.

Google has done some good things, but please don't give them more credit than due. Picasa was acquired [google.com].

they should learn from us (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#14999134)

In our company the ideas are generated by the CEO and his lieutenants - any ideas from the rest of us are met with "Why aren't you getting on with your work?"

OK so our profits have tumbled dramatically since this guy took over a few years ago but money can't buy happiness, right?

Great.... (1, Insightful)

RazorJ_2000 (164431) | about 8 years ago | (#14999136)

Great concept but I can already envision a problem in the (lawless) US where an employee comes up with a great idea and some other employees leave to go pursue development and market delivery of said idea. And they get sued for idea theft or something along that line. What, did something similar happen with RIM / NTP where one great company developed a real, market demanded product that another (totally useless) company claimed was their idea? Hmm... food for thought in the mighty US, isn't it.

(long live Canada)


A good friend of mine... (1)

FST (766202) | about 8 years ago | (#14999144)

...was among those who came up with the idea. He did note that there was a flaw in the plan, that is, not enough incentive for people to "buy" and "sell" stocks in these ideas, despite the few incentives put in place. The people at NYTimes are currently trying to think of a new incentive method to completely replace the current one, without costing the company much.

A great idea (4, Insightful)

argoff (142580) | about 8 years ago | (#14999159)

Believe that patents and copyrights are sewage, and act on that belief accordingly.

If you did, you would have seen that the internet is more than a passing fad (1992), that Linux
was more than a "toy" os (1996), that the x86 architecture and the IBM compatable PC was going
to take over the market place(2000) inspite of it's original inherent design flaws. That p2p was going
to explode in usage, that ethernet would win out over Novell, and Token-Ring despite being
"technically" inferior. Plus you would have been able to anticipate the technology explosion
that happens every few years when a new technologies 18th annaversary approaches and patents start to
run out.

All to often, a companies version of a great idea is something that they can patent, sit on,
and collect royalities on without any real application usage or work. Well, bullshit - it's just
the opposite. A great idea is something that proliferates and spreads in usage freely, without
restriction.

Re:A great idea (1)

stubear (130454) | about 8 years ago | (#14999324)

When the hell are you fucking morons going to realize that intellectual property protects the EXPRESSION of an idea, not the idea itself? This is a very basic concept and withoutunderstanding it we get the mindless crap often repeated on Slashdot like that from the parent thread.

Re:A great idea (1)

Tacvek (948259) | about 8 years ago | (#14999421)

When the hell are you fucking morons going to realize that intellectual property protects the EXPRESSION of an idea, not the idea itself?
You seem to be confused. Let's look at the different types of intellectual property, and what they officially protect:
Copyright: Expression of Ideas
Patent: Idea (officially an applied idea)
Trade Secret: Idea (officially an applied idea)
Trademark: This may protect an idea or its expression in some cases, although that is not the primary use.
Mask rights: Expression of an idea.

So it seems like some IP rights do protect ideas.

On annother topic, I don't see the need for mask rights. The claim here is that copyright is not sufficent since the design of semi-conductor masks is mostly functional. The flaw in this line of reasoning is that in an average chip design there are many thousands of slight variations that are functionally identical. Slight differences in routing are often possible with no adverse affect. Placement of subsystems can be somewhat arbitrary. Chip manufacturers don't always stive for the most efficient layout. So it seems to me that copyright is most certainly sufficient in most cases.

Re:A great idea (1)

argoff (142580) | about 8 years ago | (#14999429)

When the hell are you fucking morons going to realize that intellectual property protects the EXPRESSION of an idea, not the idea itself? This is a very basic concept and withoutunderstanding it we get the mindless crap often repeated on Slashdot like that from the parent thread.

property? protects? EXPRESSION? mindless crap? I think you need to re-evaluate your statement.

This is half the problem, too many people just think that the patnet and copyright issues are just semantic issues. they are not. Intellectual property is not "property" in any sense of the word, a monopoly backed by the full coercive force of the government is not "protection", the fact that it's an expression vs an idea is irrelavent because no matter how you look at it - people who apply the ideas or information are coerced, and "mindless crap" is what happens when people believe all the bullshit that has been spoonfed to them about copyrights and patents without question.

Patnets and copyrights are about real coercion, and that coercion has real consequences. In the scientific world, theories and awkward labeling are irrelavent - what matters are the measurable results. In the political and business world, it still seems they have some catching up to do.

Re:A great idea (1)

MythMoth (73648) | about 8 years ago | (#14999473)

The IBM compatible PC was already pretty obviously the future of the market place in 1995. By 2000 you'd have to be working in a different industry and be struck deaf and blind not to know this. Your other dates seem pretty specious too.

Re:A great idea (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#14999694)

...that ethernet would win out over Novell, and Token-Ring despite being
"technically" inferior.


I know that ethernet and tokenring are comparable (electrical/protocol specs). What is this Novell? Did it have its own part in that area?

In the age of... (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#14999162)

...employment agreements where the employer claims dominion over something the employee thinks of when he's taking a dump in his house during his Christmas vacation, I don't see how anyone would be trusting enough to throw their good ideas out for the taking like that. What if the company takes your idea and makes billions with it? What's to prevent the company from screwing you from a compensation standpoint?

Once again, the marketplace should act as a filter (1)

btarval (874919) | about 8 years ago | (#14999932)

"What's to prevent the company from screwing you from a compensation standpoint?"

Not a single thing. However, note that there is a feedback loop here; it's in the companys' long term interest not to do this. If the company is run by the typical quick-buck artists, then word gets around, and people aren't as motivated to offer their best ideas to the company.

If a competitor has a better compensation plan for employees, then this implementation plan should (in theory) work better there; and over the long term the competitor should do better.

So, in short, market competition between companies over the long term ought to result in filtering out the poorer implementations of this.

Which is refreshing; this sort of approach makes the current standards in industry look positively feudal.

Newport, RI? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#14999200)

Mr. Lavoie, the chief executive, said during an interview at Rite-Solutions' headquarters outside Newport, R.I.

w00t, I'm from Newport! Funny, I don't remember any technology places around the area, but I can tell you where to get some great seafood.

Not Quite New (1)

saridder (103936) | about 8 years ago | (#14999203)

There are plenty of online exchanges for info and ideas, even problems that need solutions that link corporate R&D, Universities, and individual scientists. This is how a lot of companies innovate today - through collaboration, called C&D.

Here's a few:

ninesigma.net
InnoCentive.com
Yet2.com

Re:Not Quite New (1)

chgros (690878) | about 8 years ago | (#14999292)

through collaboration, called C&D.
A Cease & Desist is usually not considered "collaboration"

Oh really (1)

iamdrscience (541136) | about 8 years ago | (#14999228)

The system recognizes the need for harvesting ideas from the entire company [...] so we created a marketplace to harvest collective genius.
We call it "The Matrix".

Smartest Idea of All (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#14999349)

Of course the first smart idea should be a financial model that allows the valuation of other peoples ideas.

Stock Market? (1)

c0dedude (587568) | about 8 years ago | (#14999390)

I dunno if a stock market is the best way to model this, it feels more like a futures market to me.

No futures market (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#14999800)

Cute. But in the future's market, the traders at least know what the underlying asset is (though not the price, which is precisely the point of the market). This "idea" business, who the fuck knows what it even means?!

Ideas that kill companies often come from within. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#14999422)

Companies are often the victims of disruptive technology. What makes the technology disruptive is that the company can't take advantage of it because of the company's cost structure. It is often the case that the disruptive technology comes from within the company itself. That is, the company often develops (but can't use) the technology that kills it. This is hard to deal with and is often best solved by splitting off a division specifically to implement the disruptive technology.

The idea exchange is a good idea. Taking advantage of the resulting ideas might be harder than management expected it to be. Good luck guys.

I strongly suggest that these guys read Clayton Christensen's books on innovation and disruptive technology (if they haven't already).

"Idea Futures" (3, Informative)

samkass (174571) | about 8 years ago | (#14999462)

Really early in the Internet's history (about TEN YEARS ago!!!) there was a site called "Idea Futures" that did exactly what this article describes. It was pretty fun... I wonder if it's the same folks.

Re: "Idea Futures" - We didn't develop this market (2, Interesting)

daveperry (575391) | about 8 years ago | (#14999617)

The market you are referring to is called the Foresight Exchange and is located here [ideosphere.com] (originally launched in 1995). I work for the company that develops the software and we did not develop the Rite-Solutions market. However, we are working with GE, Siemens and others to do the same type of collective forecasting and decision making. More info can be found here [consensuspoint.com].

You can already share your ideas on the Web (2, Funny)

walnut_tree (905826) | about 8 years ago | (#14999501)

There are a number of "idea banks" already on the Web such as Should Exist [shouldexist.org] and Halfbakery [halfbakery.com]. These sites are a bit diffrent from the approach described in the NYT article though.

The smartest people here ... (1)

Mahler (171064) | about 8 years ago | (#14999569)

The system recognizes the need for harvesting ideas from the entire company instead of just one or two "idea-men" in a stock-market-esque idea exchange. From the article: "We're the founders, but we're far from the smartest people here,"

I'm having an Enron flashback

When Pentagon tried this idea... (2, Interesting)

mi (197448) | about 8 years ago | (#14999572)

When Pentagon tried this [pbs.org] to help predict the outcomes of and details of conflicts, terrorist acts, etcaetera, the project went down in flames amid accusations of "trading in blood and destruction" and similar nonsense.

The idea is not entirely dead yet, and so the opposition continues its histerical "criticism [hangoverguide.com]" of it...

Wiki (1)

Tablizer (95088) | about 8 years ago | (#14999705)

You can't beat a wiki for this kind of thing. I don't mean the "formal" kind like wikipedia, but more like the original: c2.com's Portland Pattern Repository. That is the best place on the web to share random thoughts and opinions on software engineering. (However, it can be a bit messy at times.)

Definition of "idea" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#14999731)

In the interest of communication sanitation, it would help if someone/something clarify what they mean by "idea." Are we talking about "I feel like meatball hoagie with hot cherry pepper, onion, and extra cheese?" If not, why not (cuz that's my idea at the moment, and a darn good one, too)?

Kinds of ideas? (1)

Geminii (954348) | about 8 years ago | (#14999747)

Are we talking multi-billion-dollar new business ideas, or just "Gee, my job would be a whole lot easier if they issued us with black pencils instead of blue ones" ? I can see why employees might be wary of submitting the first type, but the second type is just "I can see how to run this place a little better, but I don't have the authorisation to make the change."

Linux as a role model (2, Funny)

zpeterz63 (851922) | about 8 years ago | (#14999779)

That's a key lesson behind the rise of open source technology, most notably Linux. A ragtag army of programmers organized into groups, wrote computer code, made the code available for anyone to revise and, by competing and cooperating in a global community, reshaped the market for software. The brilliance of Linux as a model of innovation is that it is powered by the grass-roots brilliance of the thousands of programmers who created it.

Just in case anyone might wonder why this on /. ...

Hudsucker Proxy? (1)

Hershmire (41460) | about 8 years ago | (#14999947)

Did anyone else think of "The Hudsucker Proxy" when they read this article?

"What is it? A circle?"

"It's a hula hoop!"

"No one will ever buy that."
Load More Comments
Slashdot Account

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Don't worry, we never post anything without your permission.

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>
Sign up for Slashdot Newsletters
Create a Slashdot Account

Loading...