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The Creative Co-Op

Finding the people with the skills needed to help realise ideas can be extremely difficult, especially when you lack the necessary network of contacts. The Creative Co-Op is an enabler for all, allowing people to source collaborators from their peers

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Written by DeletedUser

As a creative, realising ideas is important - it allows you to develop a portfolio, add to your CV, make contacts and, most importantly, build up experience. The majority of young adults with big ideas often lack the contacts or resources to realise their ideas, and have no other option but to develop and produce the work on their own.

This is an inefficient state of affairs - not only must people spend time learning new skills, but it means that practitioners with the necessary skills are missing out on an opportunity to build their own experience. What's more, these specialised practitioners would presumably be better equipped for the tasks in question.
But how do you find the people with the skills your project needs?

There is a need for a platform that allows people with similar interests, ideas and goals to find one another and begin pooling their resources of skillsets, contacts, knowledge and creativity to make big ideas happen.

How will your concept support web entrepreneurship?

The Creative Co-Op solves this issue by offering a platform for people to publicly display their ideas, in an attempt to find people interested in helping realise them. It is the ultimate collaboration platform. Much inspiration for this proposal came from Kickstarter.com, which has a focus on funding rather than pooling brainpower. Users would be able to make a “pitch page”, where they outline their idea and advertise for others to join in the realization of the project. People must apply to The Creative Co-Op in order to have a project posted on the site, and each project would be reviewed before being accepted. Project owners choose a deadline and post which roles they are looking to fill. They must also outline what (if any) work they will be doing throughout the project. Each project has 15 days to fill all the job roles it's looking for, before applications automatically close. People applying for a position will fill in an application form, customised by the project creator, and may also have to attach a CV. The project creator can then choose whether to accept each applicant. Those who offer up their skillset would do so in exchange for an agreed stake in the project, and therefore any revenue generated by it. Terms and conditions in consideration to copyright, user protection and liability would be outlined at different stages as users progress through finding others to work with, and would be essential for protecting both the rights of the idea creator and the people putting their time into the project. To have their idea accepted, the creator should offer a small summary of the business side to the idea, if there is one, with an estimate on potential revenue. This will enable potential applicants to better evaluate the project they're getting involved in.

What kinds of resources will be needed to get this concept off the ground and scale it?

The foundation of the Creative Co-Op is it's website - that's where the magic happens. That would require a team of web developers and web hosting. The website would also need to be curated over a longer period (highlighting exciting projects, etc.). It would probably be important to have a social co-ordinator in order to create an engaged community atmosphere. Once the product was actually running, funding would be generated through successful projects (of which the website would take a small stake).

Virtual Team:

Meena Kadri, who suggested integrating existing platforms like LinkedIn into the service.

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DeletedUser

Good idea Maxi. Some possible inspiration here: http://thecreatorsproject.com/studio
It's not the same as your proposal but it has a really excellent bit of UX design, especially the concept of the Studio, where creators can get together and plan joint projects.

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DeletedUser

I love the idea, but I could see some problems. One is how are you going to get people with certain skillsets to look on this site? You could end up with more people making a pitch page and not enough skillset people. Another possible problem is the 15 day limit, to me it seems too short a time to find the people you might need to start your business. Especially if there are not a lot of skillset people on the site.

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DeletedUser

Great idea to tap the enthusiasm of individual entrepreneurs for the benefit of many startup businesses! It might also be worth thinking about how entrepreneurs could trade services through the Creative Co-Op. Sometimes it is difficult at an early stage to imagine how offering an equity stake could impact the project later on or take needed revenue away from early cash flow (which could affect how attractive it is for other potential investors once it's built). If you help create a barter-type system where entrepreneurs are serving each other with specialized skills, it helps them 1) define what they need to complete their business, 2) find the talent to help complete the task, and 3) foster collaboration and awareness among like-minded people.

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Interesting stuff, Maxi! A potential build here might be to connect with existing platforms to amplify such an initiative. A bit like Behance did with LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/opensocialInstallation/preview?_applicationId=104096&_ch_panel_id=1

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DeletedUser

You're right - integrating the service with something like LinkedIn would make it easier to use for everyone, especially applicants. And of course, if it's easier for applicants to represent themselves, its going to be easier for those reviewing applicants. Thanks for the suggestion!

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Glad you liked the suggestion, Maxi. If you want you can add any collaborative builds to your concept post as we proceed – by hitting the Update Entry button up there to the right of your post. Looking forward to seeing more of you on OpenIDEO!