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The Economist Magazine Looks Outside For Insight

kdawson posted more than 7 years ago | from the next-big-thing dept.

Media 139

An anonymous reader writes "All of traditional media is scrambling to remain relevant on the Net, but The Economist of London is taking it to extremes, with a skunkworks operation called Project Red Stripe. The magazine gathered six staffers from around the world, set them up in a London office, and gave them six months to come up with a radically new idea for the business. As a magazine for free markets, they figured others would have the best ideas — so are throwing open the doors for community input."

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I've been wondering... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18305128)

Hey Slashdot, why are PC users such ugly dweebs [imageshack.us] in comparison to Mac users [imageshack.us] ? Is it because nobody has the time or patience to put up with Windows/Linux except for friendless, sexless nerds like you?

Re:I've been wondering... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18305164)

Macs and their users are the scum of the earth. The PC is the future.

Business Model (5, Insightful)

ChadAmberg (460099) | more than 7 years ago | (#18305196)

Man, that rules as a business model.

I'm hired to come up with new ideas. Paid who knows how much $$. So rather than do any actual work, I'm going to let the internet schmucks do it for me! I just have to pick which ideas are best.

Man, I'm in the wrong job...

Re:Business Model (2, Insightful)

figment (22844) | more than 7 years ago | (#18305250)

No kidding.

I've read the Economist religiously for several years. I firmly believe it to be probably the best magazine/newspaper out there. I subscribe despite their sub price being approximately 5 times that of Times or Newsweek or any other magazine out there.

That said, this is the most stupid idea I have ever heard out of them. They actually will compensate you, with a rocking 6-mo web-subscrption to economist.com (street value: roughly $50).

Perhaps the Economist should actually talk to their economists, and ask them what 'Incentive Compatability' means. $50 for a new revolutionary business idea surely isn't incentive compatible. If I were the Economist, I'd be terribly embarassed about this.

Re:Business Model (5, Informative)

PRC Banker (970188) | more than 7 years ago | (#18305612)

this is the most stupid idea I have ever heard out of them. They actually will compensate you, with a rocking 6-mo web-subscrption to economist.com (street value: roughly $50).

Perhaps the Economist should actually talk to their economists, and ask them what 'Incentive Compatability' means. $50 for a new revolutionary business idea surely isn't incentive compatible. If I were the Economist, I'd be terribly embarassed about this.


I couldn't agree more. They're failing at the first hurdle. Even worse, the terms upon which the idea is submitted basically means they can use the idea in any way they like and they will hold a patent on it. So it's not just getting a poor level of compensation for an idea, but giving that idea up for use by anyone except the Economist Group. Here are 4 clauses from their terms and conditions [projectredstripe.com] :

1. You grant to The Economist Group and its designees a perpetual, irrevocable, non-exclusive fully-paid up and royalty free licence to use such Submission without restrictions of any kind and without any obligation of payment or other consideration of any kind, or permission or notification, to you or any third party.

2. The licence shall include, without limitation, the irrevocable right in the name of The Economist Group or its designees throughout the universe in perpetuity in any and all media now or hereafter known (i) to reproduce, prepare derivative works, combine with other works, alter, translate, distribute copies, display, publish, perform, license the Submission, and all rights therein; (ii) to apply for and obtain a patent in respect of any inventions disclosed in the Submission; (iii) to file an application to register any designs and/or any sign capable of being registered as a trade mark; (iv) to register any name capable of being registered as a domain name.

3. In addition, you agree that you will (at the request and expense of The Economist Group) enter into such documents as may be required to perfect or secure such rights or to assign such rights to The Economist Group absolutely if so requested.

4. In exchange, if we use your Submission then we will give you credit by acknowledging you as a contributor on our website at ProjectRedStripe.com and if we launch a product or service thanks to Submission, we will also offer you a free six-month subscription to Economist.com. Where The Economist Group applies for a patent in respect of an invention of which you are the inventor The Economist Group will name you as the (or if appropriate an) inventor in such patent application.

Re:Business Model (4, Insightful)

zippthorne (748122) | more than 7 years ago | (#18305910)

1. You grant to The Economist Group and its designees a perpetual, irrevocable, non-exclusive fully-paid up and royalty free licence to use such Submission without restrictions of any kind and without any obligation of payment or other consideration of any kind, or permission or notification, to you or any third party.


Let's not ascribe more evil than necessary.

Re:Business Model (1)

Plutonite (999141) | more than 7 years ago | (#18306410)

Something about that sentence is beautiful.

Re:Business Model (1)

LordSnooty (853791) | more than 7 years ago | (#18306882)

Love the bit about 'universe'. Yeah, just in case we conquer other solar systems. Although the idea of whether licence conditions set on Earth apply in other solar systems' legal jurisdictions is still going through the Galactic Supreme Court.

Re:Business Model (1)

Yvanhoe (564877) | more than 7 years ago | (#18307520)

Well, as I read it, they protect themselves from you, in case you would like to patent your idea once it gets accepted. They want to be sure they can use your idea. The keyword here is "non-exclusive". They will be able to use it, and you will be able to "licence" it to anyone else.

Re:Business Model (1)

Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) | more than 7 years ago | (#18305650)

Perhaps the Economist should actually talk to their economists, and ask them what 'Incentive Compatability' means. $50 for a new revolutionary business idea surely isn't incentive compatible.
Have you submitted that idea yet? Because if you haven't, I'll do it claim the 6 month free sub!

not much different from VC'ers... (4, Funny)

SuperBanana (662181) | more than 7 years ago | (#18305682)

I'm hired to come up with new ideas. Paid who knows how much $$. So rather than do any actual work, I'm going to let the internet schmucks do it for me! I just have to pick which ideas are best.

Laugh as you might, but this is almost exactly what Venture Capital firms do. People beat on their door with business ideas, they pick the most profitable, dump some money in with ludicrously favorable (for them) terms, and see what happens.

One might say, "ah, but people benefit from VC money; here, people just get a magazine subscription." Well, I'd argue that the benefit to the idea-holder is about on par, comparing the two...

Re:not much different from VC'ers... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18305702)

lol what?

Model (4, Insightful)

Mark_MF-WN (678030) | more than 7 years ago | (#18305688)

This seems doomed to failure. You think comittee thinking is bad? Imagine a comittee of tens of thousands or more. Filtering good ideas out of the gibberish would be a gargantuan undertaking -- probably one that is more difficult than just thinking up your own ideas. Didn't the article say that they got some of the best minds in the business? So why would those great minds turn to a few thousand sub-mediocre minds? Given the choice, I'll take half a dozen smart people locked in a room with a whiteboard and an espresso machine over ten thousand jackasses making decisions by mob thinking.

It's interesting how in every modern war, the government that wins (assuming there is anything even vaguely like a winner) invariably puts a very small group of top military minds in charge of the war effort, even to the point of managing relevant aspects of the economy. Losers do just the opposite -- they let their legislature, congress, senate, president, chairman, corporate interests, beauracrats, and cronies make war decisions. And naturally, they either make retarded decisions or they rob the public blind at the expense of the war effort.

Comittee thinking is a disease. The bigger the comittee, the worse it gets. Human collaborative efficiency for creative works tops out at around 4 or 5 people. If you hope to invent new paradigms, you'll be hard-pressed to accomplish it with even as many a three people, and even two is pushing it.

Re:Model (1, Funny)

Harmonious Botch (921977) | more than 7 years ago | (#18305806)

This seems doomed to failure. You think comittee thinking is bad? Imagine a comittee of tens of thousands or more. Filtering good ideas out of the gibberish would be a gargantuan undertaking -- probably one that is more difficult than just thinking up your own ideas. Didn't the article say that they got some of the best minds in the business? So why would those great minds turn to a few thousand sub-mediocre minds? Given the choice, I'll take half a dozen smart people locked in a room with a whiteboard and an espresso machine over ten thousand jackasses making decisions by mob thinking. It's interesting how in every modern war, the government that wins (assuming there is anything even vaguely like a winner) invariably puts a very small group of top military minds in charge of the war effort, even to the point of managing relevant aspects of the economy. Losers do just the opposite -- they let their legislature, congress, senate, president, chairman, corporate interests, beauracrats, and cronies make war decisions. And naturally, they either make retarded decisions or they rob the public blind at the expense of the war effort. Comittee thinking is a disease. The bigger the comittee, the worse it gets. Human collaborative efficiency for creative works tops out at around 4 or 5 people. If you hope to invent new paradigms, you'll be hard-pressed to accomplish it with even as many a three people, and even two is pushing it
Everybody here disagrees with you.

Re:Model (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18305892)

lol, funny mod please

Re:Model (3, Interesting)

dotslashdot (694478) | more than 7 years ago | (#18305828)

You obviously thought this up all by yourself, without the help of a committee, because it is really stupid, thereby disproving your point. Democracies ARE committees; that's the whole point. When you leave one or a handful of people in charge, you get Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan. Incompetence. Occasionally you get Hitler, Stalin and Mussolinis. Unchecked madness. Are you saying democracies are losers and military fascists are winners? Also, your pointless rant is unfounded. These 10,000 assumed jackasses you refer to are merely offering ideas. A handful of people are making the decision of which ideas to go forward with. I don't understand why you're going crazy, except maybe that you could use a committee.

Re:Model (2, Insightful)

Mark_MF-WN (678030) | more than 7 years ago | (#18306002)

Democracy is a horrible form of government. Can you point out even a single example of a democratic state that doesn't operate in a state of complete and utter lunacy?

The problem with Vietnam and Iraq is precisely the fact that they were run by committee. Congress got to periodically hamstring the war effort, senators got to earmark funds for projects that did nothing more than keep useless people employed, generals couldn't agree on how to wage the war and were going in a dozen directions at once. In Vietnam, the government couldn't even agree to have the goddam basic courage to admit that they were waging war and not a "police action". In Iraq, there isn't even any clear military leadership -- Bush is such a complete and utter retard that he puts civilian and corporate leaders in charge of a military effort and lets them completely ignore the actual military experts.

Your confusion stems from the fact that you assume that ANY handful of people will be equivalent. I'm talking about a handful of COMPETENT people.

How do you find the five best ideas in a hail of "advice" from 10,000 people? You can't -- it's molecules of gold in a river. Valuable in theory, completley worthless in practice, because it's unrecoverable.

The only thing democracies have going for them is that they can assign power to where it's most usefully employed -- small groups of experts that are close to the problem domain. Committees are only marginally better than small groups of idiots. Despotic governments routinely outperform democracies. That's the main reason that communist governments are so good at waging war. It's just that there's no way to ensure that despotic governments remain competent, or to replace them once they lose their way. That's the main reason that communist governments are so BAD at running their economies in the long-term. Democracies have the flexibility to go both ways -- to operate despotically when necessary, and to revert to the nice, safe, lowest-common-denominator shittiness of committee thinking the rest of the time.

Re:Model (1)

DrSkwid (118965) | more than 7 years ago | (#18306344)

I interpreted it that you get Vietnam and Iraq: the countries, not Vietnam and Iraq: the mess the US/UK make trying to sort out the mistakes they made incorporating said countries in the first place.

Re:Model (2, Insightful)

Antity-H (535635) | more than 7 years ago | (#18306018)

Filtering good ideas out of the gibberish would be a gargantuan undertaking -- probably one that is more difficult than just thinking up your own ideas


What if the garguatuan dataset was the filtered through a community process ? like everyone can submit ideas and everyone can vote for the ideas they like best ? :)

Re:Model (1)

ThosLives (686517) | more than 7 years ago | (#18306932)

What if the garguatuan dataset was the filtered through a community process ? like everyone can submit ideas and everyone can vote for the ideas they like best

Except "most popular" does not imply "best", and "best" does not imply "most popular". This is what the GP was stating by asserting that democracies aren't really that good at determining "best" courses of action.

Of course, for this discussion to have any meaning, you have to have some more objective measure of what is meant by "best" in the first place.

Re:Model (1)

Moderatbastard (808662) | more than 7 years ago | (#18307046)

Except "most popular" does not imply "best", and "best" does not imply "most popular".
So it's nothing like Slashdot, then.

Re:Model (1)

Mark_MF-WN (678030) | more than 7 years ago | (#18306946)

So they get 10,000 ideas submitted by ideas, and then we get more idiots to choose the best from among them? I take it you don't live in a democratic nation. Voting en-mass gives you results that are -- at best -- mildly horrible. At least when a small expert group makes a decision, you get the nice cleanly defined possibilities of -- at best -- awesome, paradigm-changing ideas, and -- at worst -- world-shatteringly stupid and evil. It's good to have such polarized outcomes, because it makes it easier to decide who will be up against the wall.

Re:Model (1)

dodobh (65811) | more than 7 years ago | (#18306408)

Fred Brookes put it far more succintly in TMMM.

Re:Model (1)

Mark_MF-WN (678030) | more than 7 years ago | (#18306916)

The Mythical Man Month, if I recall correctly, is a book. That would seem to be significantly LESS succinct than my garbled pseudo-paragraph. Unless of course you mean the phrase itself -- which actually makes a lot more sense and is the very epitome of brevity.

Re:Model (1)

dodobh (65811) | more than 7 years ago | (#18308424)

'The Mythical Man Month' is also chapter 2 of the book of the same name. Chapter 3 is 'The Surgical Team'.

I would recommend reading the book anyway. It's still one of the best project management books out there.

Re:Model (1)

TapeCutter (624760) | more than 7 years ago | (#18306654)

Yeah, back in my day we had no stinking commitees, the Pharoh drew a trinagle in the sand and proceeded to beat people until he got what he wanted.

Pyramid (1)

Mark_MF-WN (678030) | more than 7 years ago | (#18306904)

The dude got results, you can't argue with success. :)

Re:Model (2, Interesting)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 7 years ago | (#18306976)

Don't forget, though, that the country that wins gets to write the history. And, since people in power hate the idea of anyone but themselves making the decisions, they will invariably ascribe faults to the loser such as you describe:

"They waged war by committee, legislature, blah blah blah".

There were a couple of countries in "the modern era" that were extremely authoritarian in model (Germany, Japan) and who lost a fairly big skirmish to countries that were anything but (USA, England) who both had huge running squabbles between political parties, legislatures, committees, etc. all through their war effort.

Mark, you're a bright guy, but you didn't think this one through.

Re:Model (1)

rustalot42684 (1055008) | more than 7 years ago | (#18307114)

Right, but you're forgetting that the U.S. had way more production capacity, so once they [finally] went to war, they were producing more tanks, more ships, more planes, &c , as well as having a large population with which to man them.

Re:Model (1)

daigu (111684) | more than 7 years ago | (#18308214)

Thank you Ayn Rand. If you are focused on decision making efficiency, then yes, committees don't tend to be efficient in that way. However, there are many circumstances in this world where a focus on decision making efficiency or heirarchicial models of decision making are worse than the committee model.

I'll give you two examples - one abstract and the other concrete. People that believe in "free markets" are ultimately arguing that the decisions and inputs of many individuals in a committee called a "market" leads to better decision making than "controlled economies" where you put the top 4 or 5 economic minds in charge of the economy.

Peope that like the controlled model argue that it enabled agrarian countries like Russia and China to develop at a much faster rate than they would have in a "free market" system because they were more focused toward a particular end. You could probably also add the early years of Hitler Germany as an example.

Which is better? Obvious problems with the controlled model comes from selection bias of individuals and what they value (both a good and bad thing depending on what decisions they make and how well they line up with what you value), larger likelihood of having incomplete information, information lag that makes it less likely to respond to changing circumstances, etc. However, it is really good about strategically focusing the economy. Which is better depends on what you value - to put it more simply, you might look at they at efficiency vs. development.

Another interesting example is to look at resource allocation as it is practiced in any large organization - say Fortune 500. Resource allocation is a top-down, heirarchial decision making model that has a few people in charge and typically is characterized by how very difficult it is to get funding for any kind of unconventional idea that would improve the business.

Now, one of the reasons that resource allocation uses a controlled model is because it is effective at stablizing and reducing costs. However, it also has disadvantages. For example, it is terrible at finding ways to create operational efficicencies (say, through building new infrastructure) - typically because the people making the decisions about funding are too far way from the operational problems to even be aware of what they are, much less understand them and the possible solutions. The result is the problem typically grows until it cannot be ignored - then more money is spent in a shorter amount of time to address it, in other words it is less efficient. You can perhaps also look to the matured economies or China and Russia after they reached a certain point to see similar problems.

Some companies have tried to address these problems by making mixed systems. I seem to recall reading in Gary Hamel's, "Leading the Revolution" that Shell had a system set-up where anyone can an submit idea, and a small committee evaluates it within 5 days. The committee has people from every aspect of the business and they decide whether the idea is interesting enough to be developed. If so, then they provide $XX,XXX dollars to the individual/group to test and develop the idea and submit a report within 30 days. The committee then evaluates it again. If it has promise, then rise/repeat with more time and resources each time until it either is implemented to the degree it can be within the company or dies out/gets killed. This model combines centralized decision making, but it also tries to address the problems of centralized decision making - ignorance of on-the-ground problems, poor responsiveness and so forth - that are inherent in an authoritative model.

Bottom line: Top-down heirarchical models can work best when you are executing an idea. However, if your goal is to find unconventional ideas, more people and more groups are better because the number of unconventional ideas that a single group can think of is finite and small (and is typically limited by group values and biases).

Re:Model (1)

stewsnooze (1074366) | more than 7 years ago | (#18308378)

From projectredstripe.com [slashdot.org]
"We already have some ideas, of course. But as champions of free markets, we abhor the concept of a closed system. This is why we would like you to submit your idea by filling out the form at ProjectRedStripe.com. The deadline is March 25th, 2007."

Now read the first five words. They have ideas. All businesses must try to innovate around there product offerings. I for one am happy to see companies embracing the web and its users. Companies stop existing pretty fast without customers and The Economist seems to be reaching out and saying. "What can we do for you?" I'm glad they are not just going to push some in house fluff out on the world.

The six months subscription is obviously, for me, a legal thing that they had to throw in to stay legal. You can't have a contract between parties without payment. I guess this is why my house lease cost a peppercorn. They are a company and I am not sure whether they have even figured out what to do with the ideas. Perhaps they'll involve the idea originators in a serious way when the gathering and selection round is over.

I think that if they are going to be creative and help build and combine the ideas they receive they will need to be together. One thing the web hasn't gone anywhere near emulating is the personal touch. The ability to see the wince in someone's eye. An uneasy shift of the legs. They need to be together.

Re:Business Model (1)

Seumas (6865) | more than 7 years ago | (#18305760)

I'll throw them a few ideas if they plan on paying me for them. If not, then fuck them.

Re:Business Model (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18305946)

I'm hired to come up with new ideas. Paid who knows how much $$. So rather than do any actual work, I'm going to let the internet schmucks do it for me! I just have to pick which ideas are best.
You can do it too: http://ask.slashdot.org/ [slashdot.org]

Re:Business Model (1)

jackv (1068006) | more than 7 years ago | (#18306478)

..and also reword the proposal and claim it was mine!

Ok, here's the deal (5, Funny)

CrazyJim1 (809850) | more than 7 years ago | (#18305202)

We make a beer. But just not any beer. A beer that's brewed in Jamaica mon.

Re:Ok, here's the deal (1)

shadowspar (59136) | more than 7 years ago | (#18305464)

That's exactly what I thought when I saw "Project Red Stripe". You get to sit back, kick around ideas, and pound back lots of Jamaican beer [wikipedia.org] ? How sweet of a job is that?

(Red Stripe -- It's beer! Hooray beer!)

Red Stripe Beer? (3, Funny)

Lord Prox (521892) | more than 7 years ago | (#18305648)

Ya know, this does explain the wacky-ness of the idea. It sounds just like what would come out of a brainstorming session with Red Stripe neuron lubricant.
[exec 1] *glug* *glug* *glug* *belch* Yeah, like lets ask the Internet what to to...
[exec 2] whadda we gonna call it? *glug* *glug*
[exec 1] [voice type=bevis-n-butthead] hu-hu-hu hu-uh like Red Stripe hu-hu-hu


SciTechPulse. Geek News Netcast. Hot Polynesian Geek Chick Host Silulu. [scitechpulse.com]

Re:Red Stripe Beer? (1)

nacturation (646836) | more than 7 years ago | (#18306294)

You know, there's something called a sig where you can put your advertisements. You don't need to spam everybody in the body of your comment.
 

Re:Red Stripe Beer? (1)

DrSkwid (118965) | more than 7 years ago | (#18306356)

he does if he wants it to be seen by people who turn off signatures.

And, if he changes is sig, it gets changed in the comments.

Re:Red Stripe Beer? (1)

ZERO1ZERO (948669) | more than 7 years ago | (#18306686)

"There are 11 types of people in the world, those who know binaries and those who don't."# Uh, who's the third type?

Re:Red Stripe Beer? (1)

DrSkwid (118965) | more than 7 years ago | (#18306928)

There's more than one binary encoding, hence the plural. You just filtered yourself into 0.
Only you can change yourself into a 1.

Re:Ok, here's the deal (1)

Hoi Polloi (522990) | more than 7 years ago | (#18305950)

"Wait, I just read about something called trademark law."

"Damn...project blue stripe!"

Re:Ok, here's the deal (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 7 years ago | (#18307706)

No one who did the one would say the other...

The plan so far (4, Insightful)

wombatmobile (623057) | more than 7 years ago | (#18305208)

The magazine gathered six staffers from around the world, set them up in a London office, and gave them six months to come up with a radically new idea for the business.

In the first week, the staffers bought beer, wine, wisky, condoms, flat screen televisions and gaming consoles.

In the second week, the staffers hired a young graphic artist through the internet for $35 per hour to set up a rudimentary web page asking for innovative ideas.

The next 5 months is a blur.

The final two weeks were a flurry of activities. So many good ideas to review! So little time!

Re:The plan so far (1)

phantomcircuit (938963) | more than 7 years ago | (#18305390)

Don't forget the webcam!!

They couldn't have their own personal Real World® without a webcam!

Re:The plan so far (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18305508)

The final two weeks were a flurry of activities. So many good ideas to review! So little time!

More like the final two minutes. The winning plan was:
1. Steal underpants.
2. ???
3. Profit!

Hint #1 - lose the "Web 2.0" crap. (1)

khasim (1285) | more than 7 years ago | (#18305212)

Focus on content, not the technology, okay?

Now, decide upon what your content will be that will make it different or more useful than all the other content out there. That's hint #2.

Re:Hint #1 - lose the "Web 2.0" crap. (2, Insightful)

Mard (614649) | more than 7 years ago | (#18306058)

Wow, you have no idea what you're talking about. Nice work!

I'll qualify this troll-like statement by pointing out that The Economist IS IN THE BUSINESS OF MAKING CONTENT. Take a look at their website, since you've obviously never even heard of the little magazine they run that puts Newsweek and Time to shame, and you'll realize how uninformed your comment is: http://www.economist.com/index.html [economist.com]

red stripe? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18305220)

boo traditional media...Yay online services!

Hold on... (3, Funny)

Bill, Shooter of Bul (629286) | more than 7 years ago | (#18305226)

They want us to come up with their business plan?

Well, ok. for a price I'll let them in on a way to turn their debt into wealth following my easy five step program. Soon, they will be able to afford the lifestyle they deserve. This is a risk free, money back guarantee on how to turn their outstanding debt into outstanding wealth.

Re:Hold on... (1)

susano_otter (123650) | more than 7 years ago | (#18306188)

I'll let them in on a way to turn their debt into wealth following my easy five step program.

Let me guess: The fourth step is "????", am I right?

Wikipedia killer for selected areas (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18305298)

including international politics and economics, and big money science (space, biotech, energy, environment). The difference would be that each article would be written and edited by specialists in the subject area, and all would be credited as in a regular magazine article.

The problem with Wikipedia goes beyond hoaxes, fraud, and silliness. The problem is that an article written by 50 people usually doesn't "flow" the way an article written by two or three people can. Replace amateur journalism by a crowd with real journalism by a few.

Sorry, could not resist (2, Funny)

Cyberax (705495) | more than 7 years ago | (#18305320)

1. Create Economics journal.
2. Let the people on Internet do your work. ...
3. Profit!

Re:Sorry, could not resist (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18305704)

Welcome to slashdot. You just failed pattern matching. Next time include the ??? step.

HA HA HA HA HA (1)

innncomingg (1064000) | more than 7 years ago | (#18305338)

NOW THEY want it for free....all my best ideas i have to give to the economist for free... i LAUGH HA HA HA HA HA at these pretensions by the big corporations that they are on the side of FREEDOM!!!! HA HA HA HA HA

recursive business (3, Funny)

jjeffries (17675) | more than 7 years ago | (#18305352)

They should start a business consulting for other groups who want to go into business but can't quite figure out what business they want to be in...

You Can't Create Innovation (3, Interesting)

tedhiltonhead (654502) | more than 7 years ago | (#18305354)

This raises an interesting question about the value of ideas. Naively, one might guess that anyone with sufficiently good ideas for the Economist's future are a) already working there, b) already working for some other organization that will use them, or c) independent entrepreneurs, implementing their ideas themselves. However, there is a real possibility that forward-thinking people do exist outside those categories, and who are perfectly willing and able to articulate their ideas to others in an actionable way.

From the Economist's standpoint, however, creating an "innovation group" seems misguided. You can't *cause* innovation and creativity; you can only *allow* it to happen on its own. This occurs through maximal exposure to atypical influences, such as books, activities, people, and entertainment that one might not ordinarily choose. This, in fact, is how the brain grows -- by forming new synaptic pathways among its neurons.

The Economist, or any organization, can best innovate by encouraging *all* its employees to, in the course of their ordinary work, occasionally take a moment to submit to management their views of how the organization's processes or other aspects can be improved, as it occurs to them. Good management must know how to create this culture. Everyone can be an innovator.

Re:You Can't Create Innovation (1)

DrSkwid (118965) | more than 7 years ago | (#18306454)

You'd better CC: that remark to all the businesses that have R&D divisions.

Okay by me (1)

dave562 (969951) | more than 7 years ago | (#18305374)

Anything that the Economist does is okay by me. That organization consistently releases exceptionally informative and insightful articles. If there had to be an Information Ministry for an ideal one world government, I'd hope that it would be as useful as what the Economist is.

Well, for starters... (1)

CPNABEND (742114) | more than 7 years ago | (#18305398)

I am running 1024*768, and the page sucks. If they can't even get a request for what is wrong done correctly - this may explain what they are doing wrong!

Re:Well, for starters... (1)

skeeterbug (960559) | more than 7 years ago | (#18306166)

you have to have javascript turned on or their submission form doesn't work. they haven't even figured out how to make their entry form fail gracefully for people who don't have JS enabled. what can i say... this is like asking someone else for an answer while saying, "i already know the anwer, i just want to see if you do, too." frankly, i think this is in poor taste - those 6 folks are pulling in ~$500k per year and they want to add value by using the insight of others without compensation? they must abhor gratitude as much as they abhor closed environments. do they need to follow minimum wage laws? if not, how long until we get the... "i need people to run my business effectively. i'm not paying - but i'll give you credit on the company website. i can't wait to hear from you!"

Re:Well, for starters... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18306660)

Get a real computer?

Deal killer (4, Insightful)

Somnus (46089) | more than 7 years ago | (#18305412)

From their FAQ [projectredstripe.com] , on the subject of remuneration [projectredstripe.com] :

What will I get for submitting an idea?

Unfortunately, we can give no direct reward or compensation for your contribution. If, however, Project Red Stripe chooses to develop an idea you have submitted, you will receive recognition on the Project Red Stripe web site and a free six-month subscription to Economist.com.


I'm sure as hell not giving a money-making idea to the Economist Group if I'm not getting a piece of the pie. If it might save the world, maybe; if it's not money-making and helps folks, I probably would.

Re:Deal killer (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18305874)

>What are the constraints and resources?
> [...] We have six months and a budget of £100,000

> What will I get for submitting an idea?
> [...] you will receive recognition [...] and a free six-month subscription to Economist.com.

Hey, impressive, the winning idea gets a 6-month free subscription! ;-)

Come on economist guys, that's really cheap. You could at least save 80k of the 100k GBP budget and give it to the winning idea as funding for a startup.

Mavericks at Work (1)

ddebrito (33316) | more than 7 years ago | (#18305424)

One of the "best business books" of the year 2006 that
the Economist recommended was:
Mavericks at Work: Why the Most Original Minds in Business Win
By William C. Taylor and Polly LaBarre. William Morrow

In the book the cover some open source business models.
One of their favorite example was an Canadian Gold mine
that opened up their data and asked for new mining designs
(or where to dig for gold in their fields).
Sounds like the Economist is following this business model.

Re:Mavericks at Work (1)

alphamale (53715) | more than 7 years ago | (#18306402)

The same anecdote about the Canadian gold mine features in the opening chapter of Don Tapscott's new book, Wikinomics. Odd.

Dogbert-esque (5, Funny)

Wazukkithemaster (826055) | more than 7 years ago | (#18305470)

Give me $10000 a month, every month for the next 100 years. Your business will improve every year. If it doesn't, I'll just blame uncontrollable global market forces and claim your losses would have been more significant if not for me. It's bloody brilliant.

The Economist Magazine Looks Outside For Insight (1)

SoundDirections (991459) | more than 7 years ago | (#18305478)

Yes, what a model!!

I hardly think gathering "staffers", employees, from around the world, is outside-the-box thinking, LMAO!

Red Stripe (1)

breadboy21 (856238) | more than 7 years ago | (#18305492)

Yea, Economics!

Never give a sucker an even break (2, Insightful)

dsdtzero (137612) | more than 7 years ago | (#18305552)

The knee jerk reaction to this sort of thing is that they are trying to get something for nothing on the backs of us under appreciated geniuses. I've
seen the NGASAEB W.C. Fields quote in The Economist many times so this mindset may actually exist in thier mission statement somewhere. However,
I have a list of ideas in my head that I would like to see happen but know I will never make them happen. Ideas--even really good ones--are cheap. The hard
part is making them happen. If they can extract something useful from the minds of the creative but uninitiated, bully for them.

N.b.: Corporations do this all the time... Consider the pharmaceutical industry. Without the research that they get for free in the form of research
articles that are in large part paid for by taxpayers the pharma companies would have to do WAY more R&D than they have ever done or will ever do.

They deserve to be (2, Informative)

2Bits (167227) | more than 7 years ago | (#18305596)

... doomed if all they can do was set up a lousy web site to ask for ideas from people on the street.

That said, that's what the so-called "business consultants" do anyway. So what do you expect?

(Note: I'm a long time Economist reader, I like it, although I do not necessarily agree with their sometimes-very-conservative view. I think they should throw those fuckheads out of the window instead of wasting time there.)

Re:They deserve to be (1)

martijnd (148684) | more than 7 years ago | (#18305740)

The Economist itself is one of the few fine print magazines that does not have to worry about going extinct anytime soon, but I second this-- the website and its pathetic implementation, not to mention the "submit your ideas, we will give you a honorable mention" fall far short of what I expect from the Economist.

They gathered their most notorious underachievers in one spot -- and set them up to hang themselves?

Potentially good idea -- but so far looks pretty shitty.

Re:They deserve to be (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18306870)

Let's not be so hard on them (both the parent and grandparent posts) ... I am a long time reader and subcriber of The Economist (and the website) and personally, it is THE BEST magazine there is, and compared to reading any of the US based magazines, the psychological sense of well being while reading it is enormous. The staff is first rate in their fields, though they lack tech/web savvy in the street-smart sense (e.g., their "screen saver" isn't reallly one - haven't looked for it lately). They don't have a hidden agenda (it is usually made very clear) and I never get a sense they are trying to manipulate me. They have been wrong many times (e.g., the Microsoft anti-trust case positions they took initially) and they sometimes openly acknowledge that over time. I certainly don't always agree with them, but I'll still say there is no better magazine for keeping track of what is important in the current world affairs.

Having said that, the "idea mining" idea, with almost no rewards except a possible involvement for the originator is certainly insufficient to get a lot of people motivated.

-rathinam

Humour Paper (0, Troll)

sugarmotor (621907) | more than 7 years ago | (#18305724)

When I read the Economist it strikes me their readers are interested mostly in humour pieces about world events, mixed with right-wing illusions and then also flashy ads.

In other words, it's in my mind in a league with "The National Enquirer", and "The Globe", of course with a different audience and subject matter, but of comparable actual usefulness.

Stephan

Stupid MBAs (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18305732)

Once again, I'm terribly disappointed at those stupid business (possibly MBAs?) types.

Open source and all that shit is based on the concept of reciprocity of benefits. If I help them, am I going to get a position at The Economist and get a visa to be relocated to London?

At least, am I going to get a piece of the dough?

There's absolutely no benefit for me, since only them will be able to reap the benefits!

Shit, these bozos at The Economist should at least learn the damn thing called "economics"!

Who are these staffers? (1)

Skeezix (14602) | more than 7 years ago | (#18305770)

It takes 6 staffers to run a blog?

Innovation tank! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18305794)

A room breaming with hope and inspiration. Nothing says innovation like a big square table.
But hey! At least they're "Available to go to the Pub"

http://redstripe.dyn-o-saur.com:8000/view/view.sht ml [dyn-o-saur.com]
(link to a webcam of their office taken TFA site)

And What's to Bet.... (2, Insightful)

darkonc (47285) | more than 7 years ago | (#18305800)

That, if they get a useful idea from the public, that they patent it (at least, in the US, where business method patents are allowed).

I'm not sure... (1)

Mard (614649) | more than 7 years ago | (#18305840)

I have no idea if this plan will result in some way for The Economist to survive, but I hope they find a way to modernize where so many other papers are currently failing, because I've found them to be one of the single best sources for news in the world. Sure it's a week old by the time the paper (okay, "magazine") reaches my mailbox, but I still find myself learning more about topics that I'd previously only find headlines and blurbs about in mainstream national media. Sometimes the paper takes a stance I don't agree with (for instance, they basically support Bush's troop surge), however they present their stance on hot issues like this one in such a way that you really understand how someone can hold that belief rationally, rather than traditional media which simply tries to dismiss opposing viewpoints (or sometimes doesn't even present them, ala Fox "News"). It's refreshing to read compared to, say, AP source articles, which are written to the lowest common denominator. I suggest everybody take a look at their website to see what quality journalism in today's world can look like. The full content of next week's issue is available for free online (such is the nature of the internet), as well as some additional media content. If any paper deserves to survive the tradition to the new electronic era, it's this one....oh and I guess the NY Times should live, too.

Check them out: http://www.economist.com/index.html [economist.com]

Typically I would take the stance that if an industry can't adapt to the information age, it deserves to die... Leaner and meaner companies are still capable of competing in some markets, but journalism is an industry that by its vary nature requires more manpower to achieve success, yet their revenue streams are failing as people flock to the internet for news. The problem is, people ignore advertisements online and nobody has found another model that can support news organizations. Some companies will survive this "great dying": CNN and Fox News, for example, are owned by parent companies and are essentially pet projects of very rich men. It helps that television is still profitable, too. But must all independent news organizations be purchased to survive? Will the news industry solely survive as the philanthropic arm of gigantic megacorps in the future?

Wow (1)

Strange Ranger (454494) | more than 7 years ago | (#18305980)

I'm reading a lot of what sound to me like childish viewpoints regarding their request for idea submissions. Great ideas are thought up every day. In bars and laundramats and grocery lines all over the world people come up with ideas. Most of them suck, and most of the rest are never shared with anyone, even if they're decent ideas. How many people thought of a chip-clip before somebody actually made and marketed one? My mom used to use clothes pins back when they weren't such a rare item. WAY before anybody sold a something called a chip-clip.

Back to the Red Stripe solicitation for ideas... you don't need to (and shouldn't) spend a lot of money on a fancy website, or promise riches, for what is essentially a request to be spammed with thousands of bar-napkin ideas from people who are otherwise very unlikely to do ANYTHING about their idea, including share it, if it weren't for Red Stripe.

If they have created a sort of small targeted think tank, then what they are really looking for is an endless flood of "inkblots" and doodles and crackpot ideas so they can sit around playing free association games in their effort to "innovate".

I seriously doubt they are expecting to receive a business plan for the next e-bay. But in exchange for the word "auction" they'll toss you a bone.

Sounds fair and bright to me.

Re:Wow (1)

popo (107611) | more than 7 years ago | (#18306008)


Riiight. You send them your "crappy back of the napkin idea", and they'll use their razor sharp Oxbridge eyes to spot its actual brilliance. (You didn't even *know* it was brilliant. Afgterall, you're just some dolt in a bar.)

Yes, these chosen ones have a unique talent: not for actually generating ideas, but for "knowing it when they actually see it". \

Now here's the question: Let's just say for the sake of argument you had the most incredible idea for a media company in the history of corporate media.... Great! You've earned yourself a big thank you from these guys, and the satisfaction of seeing them promoted.

Sounds fair and bright to you? That's funny, it sounds like an immense pile of horseshit to me.

Re:Wow (1)

Strange Ranger (454494) | more than 7 years ago | (#18306168)

Let's just say for the sake of argument you had the most incredible idea for a media company in the history of corporate media...


You're missing the point. Ideas all by themselves are worthless. You have to actually take big risks to do something with them to create value. Anybody who thought of the next "most incredible media company" has 3 options,

1- interrupt their busy schedule, miss their kids soccer games, likely quite their job, and then dedicate a good portion of their lives trying to get seed money.

2- share it with their bar buddies and tell themselves it would probably never work anyway.

3 - or toss their idea at Red Stripe and see if it sticks.

The corresponding risk/reward scenario is then

1 - Huge risk, give up tons of family time, maybe declare bankruptcy, maybe kill your marriage, and MAYBE make your idea work and get rich.

2 - no risk, your buddies might think you're clever for a minute or 2.

3 - No risk again, but your idea might take flight and you might get some small credit.

Now... which risk-reward proposition do you think sounds the most attractive to most people?

Again, ideas are totally worthless by themselves. Here on Earth, it's risk and effort that create value and earn rewards.

Or do you think somebody will send Arthur C. Clark a check for his idea to build a space elevator? [google.com]

Re:Wow (1)

skeeterbug (960559) | more than 7 years ago | (#18306280)

You're missing the point. Ideas all by themselves are worthless. You have to actually take big risks to do something with them to create value.
worthless is actually better than burning $500k on 6 people and a blog, no? you've entirely missed the point, imho. *if* one turns in so much spam, no compensation should be required or expected. BUT, should someone share the idea THAT SAVED THE FREAKING ECONOMIST, that person should be duly rewarded - much more so that 6 people running a blog groveling for free ideas. you see, if they *really* want the idea from the smart guy, they won't get it this way - so they've already defeated their purpose. what's wrong with offering $100k to the person with a successful submission? heck, they have no problem spending ~$500k on 6 folks who OBVIOUSLY don't have "the idea." it seems the person with "the idea" is the power broker in this equation, no? who are you going to work for - the person who pays you or the person who will put your name on a web page as they rake in millions off of your work? COME ON! this is the freaking ECONOMIST HERE! do they know NOTHING about, well, micro-ECONOMICS? perhaps a remedial econ 101 class is their first step in this process.

Anybody who thought of the next "most incredible media company" has 3 options,
you've missed the point again. this isn't about a person with "the idea" who wants to strike it rich... it is about 6 people paid to generate "the idea," BUT CAN'T! what are their choices? groveling for a "hail mary bailout" is obviously one such choice.

1- interrupt their busy schedule, miss their kids soccer games, likely quite their job, and then dedicate a good portion of their lives trying to get seed money. 2- share it with their bar buddies and tell themselves it would probably never work anyway. 3 - or toss their idea at Red Stripe and see if it sticks.
but why? this is the ECONOMIST. why should the person with "the idea" spend any time trying to save a group pulling in ~$500k for a large corporation? why? i would ASSUME the ECONOMIST covers micro-economics, no? again, you asked the wrong question. "the idea" guy isn't groveling here, the 6 "the idea, NOT!" people are in a world of hurt, not "the idea" guy / gal.

The corresponding risk/reward scenario is then 1 - Huge risk, give up tons of family time, maybe declare bankruptcy, maybe kill your marriage, and MAYBE make your idea work and get rich. 2 - no risk, your buddies might think you're clever for a minute or 2. 3 - No risk again, but your idea might take flight and you might get some small credit.
iow, effectively NO REWARD. what does micro-economics say about situations such as this? the worse the reward, the better the ideas that will flow in - s that where these guys/gals are at in their knowledge level? have these ECONOMIST employees exposed an INCREDIBLE gap in understanding regarding econ 101 principles and concepts?

Now... which risk-reward proposition do you think sounds the most attractive to most people?
effectively no reward == effectively no time spent on project sounds the best. don't you agree? how many times have you stopped by and helped out a business THAT DOESN'T PAY YOU. i'll bet you can add value to what they do... so why don't you stop by and add value FOR FREE? after all, your idea to add value to this company is worthless unless they implement it, right? so, go help every company you can for free.

Again, ideas are totally worthless by themselves.
not as "worthless" as 6 people without "the idea" - they COST ~$500k per year.

Here on Earth, it's risk and effort that create value and earn rewards.
there is no reward to give "the idea." the guy at the bar won't bother leaving the table to help these 6 "the idea, NOT!" people out. don't you get it? these guys have only HURT THEMSELVES! the idea guy isn't out a darn thing for going on with his daily life. these 6 people may be out their jobs b/c they are so cheap. you miss the simple fact that the idea guy has all the power here. these 6 people are groveling, not the idea guy.

Or do you think somebody will send Arthur C. Clark a check for his idea to build a space elevator?
if someone was blogging for space elevator ideas, i wouldn't bother telling them about Clark if they didn't offer some kind of reward. personally, i'd rather give my charity to the 1. helpless, 2. hungry, 3. homeless, 4. down and out folks before i'd give charity to 6 well heeled chumps kicking back drinking lattes (likely spiked, given this nonsense) and hoping someone does their job for them. you see, if "the idea" was "low hanging fruit," as it were, they would already know the idea. the truth is that "the idea" may not even exist UNLESS someone puts lots of thought into all the variables involved. the problem these "idea guys/gals" have is that guys like me will spend more time writing notes telling them how dumb their approach is instead of actually trying to generate "the idea." now, if $100k was on the line, i likely would not have responded and i'd be working hard on "the idea." so, will the quantity of ideas received be better if everyone spends their time calling them cheap for this kind of groveling or if people actually sat down and put the sweat into developing "the idea?" i think the answer is obvious... their groveling highlights a severe lack of basic econ 101 concepts and principles that is limiting their ability to be successful in their effort.

Re:Wow (1)

TapeCutter (624760) | more than 7 years ago | (#18306678)

To paraphrase Eienstien (or was it Edison?): "Genius is 5% inspiration and 95% perspiration". If you "save the Economist", I would asume 5% of their company is a fair price.

Re:Wow (1)

sane? (179855) | more than 7 years ago | (#18306318)

You're missing the point. Ideas all by themselves are worthless.

Let's see: Good idea + Effort = Success
or. . . . . . . .No Idea + Effort = Failure

If you refuse to value ideas, then you get NOTHING. Why should I? For all I know I might have use for it in the future, or I might find the effort to exploit it myself. Not telling you maintains its value; telling you loses it.

Personally I'd say that a good idea has more worth to a company than the CEO, since its been shown time and again that most CEOs have little better idea how to make a company succeed than the average chimp. If you pay the CEO six figures, you pay me six figures for the idea on success.

Translation: (1)

popo (107611) | more than 7 years ago | (#18305986)

"We have no ideas."

I've got this brilliant idea ... (1)

chris_sawtell (10326) | more than 7 years ago | (#18306010)

... which will cut transport carbon emissions by at least 75%.

BUT I'll share it with you lot only after I see a few million dollars / pounds / euros / whatevers. Yup, it'll work absolutely guaranteed!

A fresh database to play in! (1)

blu3 b0y (908852) | more than 7 years ago | (#18306192)

If they want free ideas from teh intarweb, I say we give them the kind of quality one can only expect from late night posting trolls.

Here's my entry:
====
Title: The New Operating Paradigm
Keywords:econ, windows, os, browser, mind-blowing, RSS

body: We're just now on Web 2.0, and there are people already writing and blogging about Web 2.1. Pretty soon we'll be on Web 3.1, and just like Windows 3.1, that means a new paradigm of using computers. When the browser becomes the operating system in a few months' time, people will personalize their computing environments like they personalize their office or dorm room. Econometricians will seek their own profit-maximizing fiscally-embedded platform from which to make their trades. That will be "Economist X, the Operating System."

How awesome is that?
====

Another fifteen or twenty thousand of those and they'll spend all summer just looking for the few kernels of free corn in a sea of jabbering chaff...

The Economist is the best.. (1)

mumblestheclown (569987) | more than 7 years ago | (#18306364)

The Economist is the best magazine ("newspaper") in the world, which is why I pay a premium price to subscribe to it. The entire USA, sadly, has nothing that comes close. Hey geniuses: don't change anything.

Re:The Economist is the best.. (1)

homer_s (799572) | more than 7 years ago | (#18308356)

I used to subscribe to the Economist, but stopped after realizing that they had very few ppl there with any economic sense.

The final straw was an article where the author claimed (rather proceeded with the assumption) that inflation is a general rise in prices.

It is like a magazine about evolution being run by creationists.

Cantor Fitzgerald comes to mind... (2, Informative)

JRHelgeson (576325) | more than 7 years ago | (#18306502)

Cantor Fitzgerald is a bond trading firm, one of the few firms who can trade U.S. Government securities with the Federal Reserve Bank. They lost 658 souls on the 9/11 attacks, more than any other single company (their offices being above the impact site of One World Trade Center).

In the early 1990's, it became apparent that their traditional way of doing business was going away. The future lay in electronic trading, not in suits talking on phones. The problem was their entire culture was built up around the brokers working the phones. They soon realized that changing the entire culture of how they did business would be nearly impossible.

They realized that failure to change meant that newer startups would be soon coming online to take advantage of electronic trading, and that they would be doomed to a slow death of attrition as the competition cannibalized the marketplace.

Rather than waiting to be cannibalized by some unknown competitor, they decided to create their own competition, to create their own cannibalizing agent. Thus was the birth of eSpeed which went public in 1999. As the broker/dealer market declined, the eSpeed market took up the slack and eventually consumed the old guard completely.

The transition was so successful that before 9/11, Cantor handled about one-quarter of the daily transactions in the multi-trillion dollar treasury security market. The fourth quarter of 2001, after losing 2/3 their workforce, Cantor Fitzgerald posted a 25% profit.

Today, thousands of traders at hundreds of global financial institutions conduct transactions worth over $45 trillion annually in eSpeed's multiple buyer/multiple seller markets.

%-%-%

Traditional media is scrambling to remain relevant on the Net because the 1:1 communication provided by the internet has completely decimated their existing business model. They are used to owning the information gathering and distribution networks.

I have now completely abandoned the print media because I know that the reporting I will read is going to be one-sided, heavily slanted, while at the same time professing complete objectivity. How many print newspapers have had to shut down the online feedback on their editorial pages because the blowback was so overwhelming that they couldn't tolerate it?

Digg is nothing but a groupthink mob rules mentality with no decent way to hold an actual conversation, which is fine because the one thing the groupthink mob mentality abhors is open discussion, so Digg is a perfect match for them. The positive result is that the level of discourse on Slashdot forums have risen significantly now that the Diggers have gone.

I say that the future for The Economist would look a lot like Slashdot's discussions, where experts from around the world can opine on the news of the day.

I have more to add, but it is getting late.

Re:Cantor Fitzgerald comes to mind... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18306592)

>I say that the future for The Economist would look a lot like
>Slashdot's discussions, where experts from around the world
>can opine on the news of the day.

Wow. There's a second version of Slashdot that I'm unfamiliar with!
Where is it, and how do I participate??

It's their advertising agency's idea? (1)

romit_icarus (613431) | more than 7 years ago | (#18306746)

I'm willing to bet that the Project Red Stripe initiative springs from their current advertising agency - BBDO!

Why else would the team be situated at AMV-BBDO

Where is the project based?

Our digs are at AMV-BBDO, The Economist's ad agency, on Marylebone Road in London. Take a look at our web cam.

And Ad agencies (I've worked in one) are usually credited for such poor ideas..

Re:It's their advertising agency's idea? (1)

The Cydonian (603441) | more than 7 years ago | (#18306920)

Answered [projectredstripe.com] on their blog.

Re:It's their advertising agency's idea? (1)

romit_icarus (613431) | more than 7 years ago | (#18307380)

Thanks, but it still doesn't adequately answer why they chose their advertising firm's offices.. London real estate is too costly for this decision to be simply casual as it implies!

we dunno (1)

Hognoxious (631665) | more than 7 years ago | (#18306940)

they figured others would have the best ideas -- so are throwing open the doors for community input
In other words "er, we dunno!".

'Net = decentralized; Red Stripe = centralized??? (1)

kevinmc (917497) | more than 7 years ago | (#18307298)

Their bosses obviously don't get it (same 'ol same 'ol). Before the project the employees were scattered around the world, communicating via the Internet. When the project was created (to create something relevant for the internet) all of the project leaders were required to move to London and sit in conference rooms. As we all know, conference rooms are the worst place for innovation to take place. So the only idea they came up with was to throw their arms up in the air and beg for help.

Economist must be in some deep Sh*t... (1)

corecaptain (135407) | more than 7 years ago | (#18308202)

This has got to be one of the lamest things I have ever seen ...

"We already have some ideas, of course. But as champions of free markets, we abhor the concept of a closed system. This is why we would like you to submit your idea by filling out the form at ProjectRedStripe.com. The deadline is March 25th, 2007."

They abhor closed systems? Why aren't they sharing any of their ideas?

"Your idea can be as simple or complex as you like. It could be a product, a service or a business model. Before you jot your idea down, think about how best to describe it (here are some hints for doing this). If you want to track our progress, please visit our blog, where we would love to hear from you."

Okay, I have two great ideas for you!

a) Online pet supplies for those on a budget.... ECONOPETS.COM

b) Online delivery service for those on a bugdget ... ECONOVAN.COM ......

jeeeeeez.

Tilting at windmills (2, Interesting)

SideshowBob (82333) | more than 7 years ago | (#18308256)

There are no 'revolutionary business ideas'. For a century people have been conditioned to expect electronic media to be free, while print media has always been for-pay. The 'revolution' will be in changing those expectations. That just takes time.

I'd also add that electronic media hasn't caught up to paper media in the area of convenience. I can roll up a copy of the Economist and stick it in my back pocket and read it while I'm waiting in the doctor's office. To read the Economist.com I have to take a laptop (or at the very least a PDA) and I have to somehow get the articles downloaded onto it first or rely on wi-fi service wherever I'm going.
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