I registered ideatraders.com with the idea of building roughly what is
now ideaexchange.com (an independent venture with which I have no ties or
associations). I conceived of ideatraders.com as an *alternative* to using
U.S. patent law protection for inventions. I designed ideatraders.com as a
place for individuals to freely give away some of their inventions (which
they would not take the trouble to pursue themselves using any traditional
means, usually due to the extreme amounts of time and energy that
successful entrepreneuership and patent protection demand) in exchange for
*reputation effects*. Once an inventor has built a reputation for having
good ideas, he may actually get established companies to look at his work
and sign agreements from which he may monetarily profit.
Farther into ideatraders.com's design evolution, I began to conceive of it
as a place to share all sorts of productive ideas. Not just potentially
patentable inventions, but also life-enhancing "tips" for use in the home
or at work.
In that stage, I recognized that I was really starting to design a new
sort of lifestyle portal: a place for individual users to share and find
individual ideas for living well across all areas of life. Ideas from how
to most engagingly spend your drive time each morning, to how to move to a
distant city, to when best to meditate on what's most imporant to you. I
registered www.heightenedsenses.com with the idea of making it into
exactly that portal.
I immediately realized that each of these two sites would benefit
hugely from collaborative filtering engines. Flooded with a sea of
lifestyle ideas that would be terribly difficult to hierarchically
organize ("There is no 'Yahoo!' of the human psyche!"), collaborative
filtering provides a class of algorithmic technologies to let us quickly
sort according to your real personal interests.
I still have great affection for the ideas behind heightenedsenses.com,
and I may further pursue some of those as a future business venture.