This is a super cool tool. I have seen attempts to do that in the past but so complicated that it just never took off. Your is simple yet powerful.
Your challenge will be to get people contributing and then driving attention then growing traffic etc. :) You know that. Here a few thoughts:
1) Make sure everybody who is contributing is exposed as a contributor. In sort of a "Hall of fame" 2) Give points to contributor. Each contribution - say - 10 points. The more points the higher up in the Hall of fame. 3) Allow visitors to actually value the content - again very simple 'like' to ranking and rating - way to complicated. Each like gives another 10 points to the author. 4) Humans are competitive, so Authors will ask friends to like the content - that creates traffic. :) 5) At some point you will worry about financing the hosting, traffic etc. You may get sponsors such as law firms, consultants, recruiter, banks etc. to sponsor it. 6) In order to make it more social, provide a vanity URL for each contributor - make sure I get http://www.foundersdictionary.com/Axels and the more likes I get for my contribution the higher I rank as an expert for entrepreneurs. That gives you also the entrance to be featured on XeeMe, where we help over 250 social media companies to gain more attention :) http://xeeme.com/smdir
Inspiring visualizations :) So how about a self serving web application platform? * People can add their ideas and solutions they are working on in a well structured online form. * Others can search by tags and see what's out there. * Yet others can add patents they just stumbled upon to complete the picture * Investors may use this to find cool ideas as they are always looking for the next big thing * Users may vote on the things they see and make them bubble up on a list * Start-ups may find early adopter for their solution to test it out before they go in production. This is kind of a base version. In our case just for social media software and in an early beta stage. But already allow people to add networks themselves: http://xeeme.com/smdir Obviously we would need to add categories like hardware, mechanics, fashion...
Very good point. I'm often contacted by European start-ups with super new ideas and that they are actually trying to file a patent. The disappointment is of course big if I point them to a URL where a similar solution is in Beta or Alpha. ( I am in Silicon Valley) Applause