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Editor’s Note: This post was originally published on Seattle 2.0, and imported to GeekWire as part of our acquisition of Seattle 2.0 and its archival content. For more background, see this post.

By Matt Paulin

Some amazing irony happened recently.  As you know, my focus on this blog is; ideas, generating ideas, and talking about the properties of ideas.  I also run events through the Seattle Think Tank where I’m working to build up a community of people who enjoy talking about ideas.  What you probably didn’t know is that for the last month we have been building a website called tryDea .  It is going to become a place for the starter ideas to grow and form teams.

Then on Friday I ran across ahhha .

It is also an idea submission site that at first glance looks strangely similar to what we are doing.

Here are two screen shots to make my point.  The first is ahhha, and on the second is tryDea.


Both sites are for submitting ideas to a community, and both sites have a “hot or not” feature for ideas.  Basically you click on the idea that you think is better.  Its a pretty simple way to start ranking ideas. Just two weeks ago I was talking about this exact situation with Idea Ownership .  How keeping an idea secret will not stop the same idea from appearing somewhere else.  

So I will guarantee that we created ours before seeing theirs. It is still somewhat comical that the technology to do this has been around for quite some how we both decided to do this “hot or not” feature at the same time.  


Probably the biggest thing to point out is we no longer feel original about that feature, which is always a boost for team morale.  On the other hand this isn’t a bad thing. We now have a chance to define ourselves by showing what we are not. Also, we don’t have to feel the pressure of being the leader.

It is very interesting that both teams have started with the same foundation idea, “Hot or Not” for ideas. But, then you start to notice how other very different ideas are being blended into the applications.  For instance ahhha emphasizes “Stake your claim” where we are pushing an open idea philosophy.  From our perspective that is the only way to frame ideas and build teams properly. I have to admit, that fear effect is catchy.  It plays right into the human primal need to horde.

This is proof enough for me that ideas form spontaneously but, only if the conditions are right.  It also makes me wonder if you can control the conditions to cause a certain set of ideas to happen.  I wonder if it is repeatable?  Also if you follow this line of thinking, then what are the conditions that are causing idea sites to start forming?  Does the world suddenly need ideas?  Maybe there was an article, or speech that got into our subconscious. Perhaps this is the year of looking for solutions and opportunities. I think all of these questions would make for a good discussion in the future.

Now we are not unique.

It is good to see them in this space. It shows there is interest and that we aren’t crazy for thinking that folks are looking for somewhere to think through ideas with a group.  But, to be honest, they are not unique either. Check out the Half Bakery, its been around forever and definitely is about ideas with groups.

Regarding tryDea.  We will still continue to create and should have a beta together in the not so distant future.  Also, we are quite good at building an application trifecta.  So expect not just a website but, also an Android and iPhone app to show up as well.

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