Hacker News new | past | comments | ask | show | jobs | submit login
Ask HN: Is there a platform for sharing ideas that people want to “give away”?
287 points by balzss on Jan 8, 2020 | hide | past | favorite | 165 comments
I'm in the camp of "Ideas are worthless, execution is everything". Not in a literal sense, obviously, but I definitely have more ideas than time for executing them. Most of them are fun little thing or tools that would be helpful but not enough to actually do them.

I would like to submit them somewhere and maybe someone likes it and wants to create it. Or maybe I could get input why it's a stupid idea or how to improve them.

It would be also nice to see others' fun ideas. Maybe find a collaborator to work on them together.

Are you aware of such a platform? If there is none, what do you think about the concept?

I tried to tackle this problem, or atleast the problem of helping people find ideas. I built http://oppsdaily.com and http://oppslist.com. They're both now sunset and I'm no longer sending emails out or updating the platform.

I will say that ideas are generally far less valuable than a first customer. My readers told me time and time again that they wanted to be connected to someone who would pay for the idea. That is the real challenge, and if you can figure that out, you're going to have a booming business. And I think there is opportunity in the space somewhere between e-lance and just "ideas". Some kind of platform that matches a developer and an initial customer in a way that rewards both. Finding these people is a challenge, but I think it's possible, and the person who figures out how to do it is going to have a MASSIVE business on their hands. I could go on about this a lot further, but I wholly recommend exploring it.

I'm onto my next project now, which interestingly is helping people find investing ideas. We launched yesterday so we'll see how it goes. If you want to chat about the idea space - cory @t topstonks.com or check out the the new project its at http://topstonks.com. Good luck!

Sharing idea's are pretty useless in general, if you're not excited enough to work on your own idea, why would someone else be excited to work on it?

I'm curious if people posting things they NEED would be more functional, along with a bounty. Other people who also want it can contribute to the bounty. Anyone can work on the idea's and the bounty is awarded to whoever solves it first/best. (I think you would need some sort of oversight to make sure the bounty is awarded to the rightful solution).

"$1,500 - An API that lets me send send snail mail by posting a PDF and address to an endpoint"

Maybe it slowly gets up to $4,000 with 15 other people contributing to the bounty. That's finally high enough that someone solves it, posts it, collects the bounty, and already has 16 customers.

I have more ideas than I have time to implement, so I focus on the ones that are most interesting/doable/potentially profitable.

The bounty idea is a good one, but again, I think it will rapidly become a race to the bottom on price. As soon as the bounty gets to the point where someone in e.g., Eastern Europe thinks it's good money, they'll bid on it even though a dev in SF thinks it's pocket change. I'll bet dollars to doughnuts that in a lot of cases it will happen as soon as the bounty hits $100.

Wouldn't this be a win-win-win situation for everyone? The guy with the idea gets it built, the guy in eastern Europe, earns some decent money, and the guy in San Francisco didn't waste his time for chump change.

Don't we already know the magic number is $5?

Wouldn't that be an excellent outcome for the person with the idea?

Absolutely. But OP is focused on getting good projects for the developers and usually the devs saying they can't find customers are in locations where the COL is too high for this to be profitable for them.

One to get around this problem is to focus on only doing the same kind of work and getting better at doing it quickly so it becomes profitable to you, or doing it in a more Productized Service fashion. But that's a solution to a different problem, not what the OP was asking about.

This is huge, and what plagues a lot of software engineers / product developers to this day. You may find a super cheap software company somewhere out in the world - but if the project is anything more than something like a webpage with jquery (as most modern projects involving software are) you end up spending more on fixing, re-fixing, and billing than you would have if you had just paid one time for the more expensive company / service / consultant that is well vouched for or acreddited

Sure, this is absolutely true. That said, if you can test a prototype for $100 and validate the business idea it's easier to figure out how to pay for (and/or that it is worth spending the time building yourself) the better, built from scratch version. You'll probably also get some good feedback.

I think this is the disconnect for me when reading this question. If the question is "where do I find good ideas for my personal tinkering projects" that's one thing, but if you're looking for profitable startup ideas it's not about the engineering - it's about testing quickly and validating the business so the development piece can be much less important (unless of course the business is software tooling)

There's a site I used to look at that does something similar called mindsumo.

They do more than just tech problems though, and the solver doesn't really maintain ownership

Someone actually developed an MVP of this concept. It was really highly upvoted on hacker news but I can't remember the name of it. I don't think the project ever got off the ground, but I can say it was definitely a popular idea amongst developers. So you'll have no problem getting that side of the equation to show up.

It's finding folks with a problem and some money that is the challenge. But if you figure it out you're gonna be in a great spot!

Inkit? Pretty cool product https://www.inkit.com/

A quick search for "send letter online" shows there are at least 2 or 3 companies that offer this currently.

I was one of the early subscribers of Opps Daily! I loved the idea originally when it came up but after a while, the daily emails got a bit much. I believe I suggested a weekly version/aggregate over a daily email (which you immediately implemented).

Watching it from the outside, I'd say after a while it became "the ideas are decent/worth looking into, but I already have too much on my plate right now that I can't pursue any of it" and the aspiration to follow through is pretty much gone. I think monetizing based on that (and making it worth the time investment) is the big egg we all want to crack.

Anyways props for you for running it for so long! I saw the email and appreciate you taking us on your journey through the lifecycle of it.

Thanks for coming along for the ride :)

I think you're right. There might have been more value in sending out one idea a week and vetting it really well.

What about pushing it a bit more, and doing it once per month? Each month 1 idea + ~1 month of research to back it up and what makes it a great one worth of consideration. If you can share the idea directly with some initial market research, etc, that's a great value for people to start working on something.

Those sites do exist in a way, but you have to do the customer acquisition work yourself.

There are many technical forums where people ask "how do I do X" or "can anyone help me with Y?" There's often opportunity there to provide a paid solution. Sometimes it's explicitly asked for, other times you have to find out if the poster is open to paying for a solution.

I've been doing this for a while and I generally pick up a few small projects each month, but it takes some time before you get good at seeing which ones are real opportunities and which are just people looking for DIY guidance.

I suspect that if a free site to do this were to emerge, it would quickly end up with the same issues as eLance, Freelancer.com and the rest: race to the bottom on price.

To more specifically address the OP's question: in the past I tried using RentACoder for product ideas by datamining the job postings to see if there was enough overlap in requests that would indicate a product need. Never came up with anything concrete that I wanted to work on :-(

> Some kind of platform that matches a developer and an initial customer in a way that rewards both. Finding these people is a challenge, but I think it's possible, and the person who figures out how to do it is going to have a MASSIVE business on their hands. I could go on about this a lot further, but I wholly recommend exploring it.

I'd pursue it, but I wouldn't know how to go about finding a first customer for the platform :)

Haha, this is "THE" great question. Maybe if you can find a way to siphon off demand from another platform, like craigslist or someplace? I think about it a lot!

Just my opinion, but I think you need some sort of immediate display or realtime feed of the number of stock mentions you're tracking. For me personally, it's the sort of thing that sounds interesting but that I'm probably not going to sign up for an email to explore at some arbitrary point in the future.

I don't get the 'idea' of selling ideas, however. Surely to be willing to pay for an idea, you'd want to know what it is. And to know what it is would mean you wouldn't have to pay for it.

The only solution I can see to that is some sort of sci fi phenomenon, like entering a room with an 'ideas guy,' whose ideas you evaluate and can agree to buy, before having your memory of what happened in the room wiped.

Great feedback! We'll likely be setting up some kind of platform to show realtime data in the next few weeks.

The value I hope we provide is in summarizing and simplifying major trends in these often overlooked, and sometimes sketchy places. So you don't have to wade through a massive amount of content, that is sometimes offensive, in order to understand what people are talking about.

Same, I am curious too so I just decided to (shameful plug) create an email and reply to any requests for now at get_an_idea@protonmail.com for ideas with some details regarding your background, field of interest, and motive.

topstonks is hilarious, well done

it's sad that this version of oppsdaily didn't work out, but I think this is a valuable concept. there is a very small market of people who are looking for startup ideas and side projects, but a larger group of customers who would pay to be set up with the services that are peripheral to starting a company.

if you try to approach this concept again, I would subscribe

I'm curious: who, if anybody, was your first customer for the opps* projects?

I'm a person with a big idea surplus, so I'm sure you had the supply end nailed. But who's on the demand end? This may be more related to my personality, but I just don't know anybody who ever is in the state of, "Gosh, I want to do something but have no idea what".

The folks on hacker news are always looking for ideas to turn into a project. I had a few folks actually build the ideas that came through on the newsletter. That was really rewarding to see.

I contributed an idea to one of these and was contacted by someone who wanted to contract with me to build a tool. That's not what I wanted. I didn't want to spend $15k to get someone to make something for me. I wanted to say "this is annoying to me. If that gives you a hint as to something that you could build, that's awesome: I'll pay you $7 / month".

What I definitely did not desire is a bespoke solution. I can go get that from a contracting website.

What I also definitely didn't desire is wanting to research things so I can create a nice opportunity for you. That's a waste of my time. I can just pay someone on Upwork to research for me.

Good on you for attempting to solve this problem.

This part of your comment is absolutely key and worth repeating: "My readers told me time and time again that they wanted to be connected to someone who would pay for the idea. That is the real challenge"

>I will say that ideas are generally far less valuable than a first customer. My readers told me time and time again that they wanted to be connected to someone who would pay for the idea.

DemandRush[1] had this model. You'd post ideas along with how much you were willing to pay for it. It looks like the website[2] was shut down sometime in 2019.

[1] https://www.producthunt.com/posts/demandrush [1] https://www.demandrush.com/

Yep! That was the one. I even had a phone call with the developer. Really great guy!

Thanks for opps daily, i was a subscriber and enjoyed thinking through the problems posted but as with others here was too busy to commit pen to paper on any of them. good luck with topstonks.com

Thank you :)

I subscribed to oppsdaily for roughly two years. Thank you for running it! While my stars never aligned to work on any of them, it was great to see real problems that were out there.

Thanks for reading! Glad you enjoyed it :)


I really enjoyed reading your "Opps Daily" emails. Even though I, like many others, never acted on any of them.

Thanks for your effort here!

Thanks Sam, that means a lot :) Onwards!

I was opps daily subscriber too, but all the ideas were from people that do not know how to Google.

Thanks for reading! :) Yep, a fair amount of these folks should have done a bit of research!


-"We found you some investing ideas. We just didnt tell you what kind of ideas they were"

" "I haven't read it, but I bet it's great."

Jonathan R., CFA and Investor "

Hahaha, you're great.

Hahaha I was wondering if anybody would read that!

Btw, the TOS/privacy policy are both just links to support(?) email.

Great catch! We're still very early. The landing page is not completely dialed in yet.

Going to get SSL, privacy etc set up in the coming days, and then do a proper launch.

FWIW, I really loved oppslist.com. It was fun to visit it almost every other day (I am obsessed with ideas lol). If you ever want to bring it up, would love to help in any way possible.

> We track the most mentioned stocks on 4chan and WallStreetBets

Just make sure you choose a Personal Risk Tolerance That Works For You.

love the name. good luck

Thanks :) My cofounder wanted to name the project "wall street dungeons" or WSD, which I also thought was pretty funny. We'll see how it goes!

I'm reminded of the Halfbakery [0]

"The Halfbakery is a communal database of original, fictitious inventions, edited by its users. It was created by people who like to speculate, both as a form of satire and as a form of creative expression." [1]

[0] https://www.halfbakery.com/

[1] https://www.halfbakery.com/editorial/about.html

Fictitious? I put my very best ideas on there.

:) I am just quoting their about page verbatim. Personally, I think the statement undersells its value considerably.

First idea I opened actually got implemented: https://www.halfbakery.com/idea/anti_20enron_20policy#108023...

Thanks for sharing it. It is similar to what I was describing although on a much broader scale. I'll look into it in more details later because it has some funny/interesting suggestions.

I've been trying to remember this site for a long time. This is it! Thanks for posting, couldn't remember what the name was for ages!

Whoa, that site is still around! Brings back some web 1.0 memories. I used to hit that one regularly in my search results.

For a while I ran an event called Pitchosaurus. We'd get together in the evening with beers. The general structure was:

Someone pitches the core of an idea. The idea can be either serious or ridiculous, but they should always pitch it as if it were serious.

Then everybody else, one at a time, proposed amendments or amplifications. These too may be serious or ridiculous, but they must be done in a "yes and" [1] style. No criticism is allowed (although add-ons may of course address a perceived flaw.

Eventually, when the amendments stop coming, a brief discussion of the idea and related topics is allowed. When that runs down, start again.

It was a lot of fun. I stopped doing it for life-happens reasons, but I'd encourage anybody to pick it up and run with it. It might be possible to capture the spirit in a website as well. Feel free to email or tweet at me if I can be of service.

[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yes,_and...

There's a card game that was recently on KickStarter called Pitch Deck: https://pitchdeck.business, sort of in the vein of Schmoovie.

There are a lot of us with the technical chops (and/or can get a team together) to make a good software solution/product/service that are stuck on step 1: Identifying a real problem that companies will pay money to have solved for them.

I wish there was a place/service that would connect businesses with real problems (that they either can't or would rather not solve in-house) with aspiring (tech) entrepreneurs. I'm sure there's a large number of such opportunities out there, probably in industries/domains most software devs don't have much experience in and wouldn't think to explore.

Looks like you've just identified a real problem that entrepreneurs will pay money to have solved for them.

You identified a sales problem. There is a giant gulf between problems that companies say they have, even say they want to pay for, and actually cutting a purchase order when the rubber meets the road.

What we are lacking is a blockchain-verifiable reputation audit trail into an escrow-like system tied to an ideas factory on one side, implementers on another side, and funders on a third side, down to the individual natural person level. The problem with an escrow is no one wants to park unused capital, but implementers are screwed if they put up the effort and when it comes time to collect all the "funders" evaporate.

Milestone-based backing also encounters problems with funders getting screwed when implementers reel off an endless stream of milestones with no real end in sight, like with Star Citizen.

If you can trace escrow and delivery promises (perhaps with time bounds) not just to an organization but to a natural person sponsor within that organization, then over time the actual probability of funders and implementers actually delivering can be tracked and algorithmically computed for present and future promises to fund or deliver. This tends to flush out sociopathic individuals who hide their track record behind their hops from organization to organization (especially those who implement dark patterns that only show up in the long-run).

This is just recognizing a general scaling problem with monetary systems in general: they preserve pricing information but lossy encode all other aspects of the transaction, and that doesn't work efficiently in a global economy.

oh please don't bring blockchain into this and put a simple task/bounty website on a giant replicated public db.

Sure, how else can I ensure that the records are distributed, replicated and simultaneously not tampered with? And timestamps with verifiable attestations? I thought of trying to use signed keys, but the key management quickly became a non-starter, so how else could I structure this without it turning into a nightmare human factors challenge?

Upvoted, because I honestly was hoping someone would challenge the blockchain part and show me a better solution. I'm not keen on that piece myself, but don't know how to design around it without raising other concerns I'd rather not deal with.

I just maintain such a list on my website:


I haven't tried to publicize it at all (well, until this post).

Start the list on a website somewhere, and if you want people to look at it, submit it to HN, Reddit, et al.

That should give you everything you need.

Not everything needs to be a platform.

> Not everything needs to be a platform

I couldn't agree more. I was thinking about a github repo so people can contribute via pull requests. I should have put more emphasis on the fun part and how I don't want it to be a Business Ideas™ because that goes against the spirit of my original goal.

I also like your list. Maybe I should put my list on my website as well. Thanks for sharing.

You're welcome. Glad you enjoyed it.

The whole site is just a static thing whose code and content lives on GitHub: https://github.com/NateEag/nateeag.com

Good luck putting yours together!

I really like your Marauders Map idea.

I'd been playing around with location sharing, and making a map to see where everyone in my family is, as wall art.

But I completely forgot about how neat the Harry Potter Design was. I'd love to put a skin on it to make it more like the Marauders Map.

Have at it! The whole reason I publish these ideas is in hopes they may come into being.

If you do get something working I'd love to see it.

Such a refreshing opinion on ideas!

Its hard for a lot of people to look past their selfish motivations of being the creator.

But at the end of the day, if you don't have time but want it to be made... Why not share it!

Nice list!

There are at least four Android GPS trackers in F-Droid: OpenTracks, RunnerUp, OSMTracker and TinyTravelTracker, maybe there's one less app you need to build!





Thanks for the links!

Some of these I'd seen before and I actually used OSMTracker to generate GPS traces of my walks for a while.

OpenTracks looks like it might be closest to what I'd like.

What I really want, though, is something that aggregates the data from a collection of GPS tracks to give me the big picture - basically a static site generator that takes a directory of GPS tracks as input.

I've got a few tiny steps towards that implemented in a private repo, actually. It's private because my GPS traces are right there in the repo - maybe I should split them apart and get it out in the open.

A bonus feature / stretch goal would be to use ANT+ (or something else) to log heart rate and any other markers from a fitness device and provide deeper analysis based on those (also helpful for things like strength training where GPS is inapplicable).

BangleJS might just get me off my butt to work on this if it ships and gets good reviews: https://banglejs.com/

OpenTracks has support for Bluetooth LE (but not ANT+).

OpenTracks also supports visualizing several tracks on one map (requires either OSMAnd~ or Maps.ME as no map feature is build into OpenTracks). Just select the recordings in the list and press the map button in the action bar.

For visualizing exported GPS tracks, you could use TheKarte: https://github.com/dennisguse/thekarte It is a standalone JS-application and can be scripted via the URL parameters.

Thank you. For heart rate I got just one hit, ZephyrLogger, which seems abandoned and tied to a particular device or brand, but that may be of some interest too:


Good luck!

Not that I'm going to build this, but in regards to your time-tracking software[0]:

Is this something you'd want to integrate with Org-Mode or similar note-taking formats for logging? Or do you keep your time-tracking separate from your notes and TODO lists?

[0]: https://github.com/NateEag/track-time

I'm an Emacser but not an Orger, oddly enough.

For some reason I kinda want this to be distinct from note-taking, and it could be integrated with other tools more easily if it's a CLI tool (think things like automatically changing tasks when you change git branches).

> A Better (D)VCS

Well there are a couple git based reimplementations. I look forward to GOT (http://gameoftrees.org/) functional but still work in progress

Got sounds interesting. Thanks for the link!

I took a look at your page and found Watson. Thank you so much for linking to it. I’ve been looking for such a tool for a very long time. Will probably try it out soon. Thank you again!

For your audio engine, I'm unclear on which of this isn't covered by JUCE (besides open source)?

If it targets desktop OSes or mainstream mobile devices, it's not real-time. Those appear to be JUCE's targets.

I guess in the modern era of Web devs redefining established terminology, I should say I want a hard real-time system.

I want guarantees audio will not glitch, not reasonably good odds everything will be okay if I turn off networking, only use plugins from developers who know how to write safeish code on desktop OSes, kill all nonessential programs, and pray.

Similarly, I want the engine to be able to tell me what it can do on the hardware hosting it.

If you're familiar with the Nord Modular or the Nord Modular G2 (https://www.nordkeyboards.com/products/nord-modular-g2), their audio engines met all my requirements except open source and hardware-agnostic (really, they were the source of most of the requirements).

Learning audio programming on my beloved G2X, falling in love with it, and watching the platform slowly die is why OSS and hardware agnostic are requirements now. It's been unsupported for years and Motorola hasn't made the DSP chips it uses in years.

One day, my patches will no longer be playable, in a way that just isn't true for acoustic instruments.

I don't want that to happen with the platform I move to once the G2 dies completely.

Hope that clarifies it some?

Products that people wish existed are usually (not always) terrible ideas. There's no barrier to just blurting out something you wish existed - you know, something you want to exist, but you definitely won't be building and can't promise you'll use and definitely won't pay for. There's literally nothing holding you back from stating something that you wish existed even if it's just a tiny thing that you personally want in this specific moment for this specific use case.

I've just started an opensource project (platform) that closely matches your idea. We gathered over 60 people interested in contributing on Slack in just two days.

A quote from my post on dev.to where it all started -

"A platform where people can express their app wishes (e.g. "I wish I had an app for X and Y") and vote up other people's great ideas.

Developers can use Appwish to keep track of the most wanted apps and features. They can assign themselves to projects, create dev teams and collaborate to fulfil people's needs.

In the future, the platform could also introduce elements of fund-raising or voluntary donations for the most appreciated developers and teams."

At the moment we are on stage of planning features/architecture and the development will start soon - we got frontend developers, backend devs, devops, a few designers and even mobile devs. + We were offered free hosting on one of startups offering managed Kubernetes clusters.

If anyone is interested, I can share our Slack channel/Github URL - we put everything in public anyways :)

Yes, post the Slack invite link... This sounds really interesting!


Producthunt link instead of a direct one so you can check “related” as well.

I've got my list of ideas here; https://github.com/samsquire/ideas

Wow, that's fantastic! Bookmarked as it would take a while to read through :)

Have you considered adding table of contents by the way?

P.S. from a quick glance we seem to share some:

- personal infrastructure: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=21844105

- personal data api, separating frontend and backend: https://beepb00p.xyz/mypkg.html#examples (draft)

- life engine: I've got a personal dashboard for health, exercise and sleep; also timeline for life events


Nice - a really long, detailed list of ideas. My dashboard project [1] is related to your item #5 (Life Engine), but it's a way to early state to be included on your list. Thanks for some new ideas.

[1] https://dashboard.darekkay.com/docs/

I thought that Kickstarter/Indiegogo had effectively become this. A common complaint is, "hey, I launched a Kickstarter, got funded, and some Chinese factory stole the idea!"

My response is always, "so? Aren't those sites more for 'I wish this existed so I could be a customer' than 'I want to personally profit from this idea'?"

So, yeah, if you don't care about someone stealing it, you might be able to repurpose Kickstarter that way:

1) Start a KS for the idea.

2) Wait for someone to steal it.

3) Cancel and refund everyone's money.

I assume there's still some friction from credit card charges and whatnot, but I do like that plan as a cheap way to get something made.

I wasn't sure, so I checked their help page, and apparently, failed projects aren't charged anything:

>If a project does not reach its funding goal, no fees are collected.


I don't know how they handle -- or if it would be an issue if you went the route of -- "Funding goal met but canceled anyway".

Or if they have rules against, "I have no idea how to make this thing but that stereotypical overseas factory says they can do it so I'm contracting it out to them."

IIRC they don't actually run anyone's cards until the project meets the goal, so refunding isn't an issue. Perhaps someone who's funded a Kickstarter more recently than me could confirm.

I keep mine on my personal blog https://beepb00p.xyz/ideas.html

In fact one of main drives to write for me is to spread ideas on other people so someone else works on them!

Wow pretty interesting, I too wonder why avocados are the only fatty fruit!

Does that page use a framework? Or is it designed from scratch? Very cool design.

Thanks! I don't have much imagination so compensate for it by at least having clean design, glad when people like it :)

These are all just static pages, exported from org-mode (as most of my blog pages) + org-css theme [0] + some minor HTML/CSS tweaks and posprocessing I'm describing in github readme [1]

I'll upload all org-mode sources at some point as well, just need to think of a good way of cleaning them up from even more chaotic personal notes (which aren't exported).

[0] https://github.com/gongzhitaao/orgcss

[1] https://github.com/karlicoss/beepb00p#org-mode

Zulip does threaded chat.

We have a podcast that covers these kinds of ideas! Basically every week we give out million dollar business ideas and encourage people to steal them!


I've built https://willpayfor.com scratching my own itch. You're all welcome to share ideas there, please also mention how valuable a product or service idea might be or specify how you think it should be monitized

Here's a twitter-sourced list of product ideas:


I appreciate the sentiment, but at the same time, most ideas are worthless. Even if you had knowledge of some successful system of today, went to an alternate universe that lacked it, and described it to them in detail, the team would still screw it up. It's not their baby. They need a leader who gets it, not just an idea dump.

Recall the story of Bezos and his challenge to let customers order from Amazon "with a single click". His team's first prototype required twelve clicks. He sent them back to work, and the second prototype required two clicks. It's not a question of complexity, because ideas don't get any simpler than that.

Dig through the HN archives... I'm pretty sure that some variation of the basic idea of "a platform for sharing ideas that people want to give away" has been developed about 100 times over the past 10 years or so. OK, maybe not quite 100, but this seems to come up fairly often, and I'm pretty sure I remember more than a few people saying "I'm building a site to X" where X is pretty close to the above notion.

The podcast, Steal This Idea, does exactly what you are looking for. The hosts and their guests come up with most of the ideas, but listeners can submit ideas as well: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/steal-this-idea/id1472...

A more honest way to say "ideas are worthless" would be to claim that there's no such thing as a first mover advantage.

Here's a take that looks into that question fairly: https://hbr.org/2005/04/the-half-truth-of-first-mover-advant...

I totally agree with you and thanks for sharing the article. I'll read it later.

Follow up question - Does anyone have advice for changing your mindset so you actually notice a potential idea when you have some pain point? I feel like I ignore my own ideas that seem insignificant. It just isn't a reflex to think "hey I should write a program to solve this".

You could take a route similar to how you train your brain to notice that you are dreaming.

Basically, start making it a priority in your mind to notice these ideas by creating a habit to think about them intentionally. Take some time everyday to write down any and every idea you have for a software that would help solve something, anything. It's not the ideas the matter, it's about training your brain to make them important. If possible, do it multiple times a day.

Fast forward a couple weeks and you'll be writing down that "insignificant" idea you just had!

This is good advice, thanks!

I am not aware of such platform but you can just create a GitHub repository and dump your ideas there.

Alot of people especially new developers are looking for project ideas; you can just put your ideas there and share the repository in /r/learnprogramming or similar subreddits.

Live your idea ;)

I built https://egghead.space exeggdly for this - absolutely some pun intended ;)

Just look at this awesome idea: https://egghead.space/sketch/iKGw9vQ9Qmub39Djz1ZR/Fallout+4+...

I never managed to bring it beyond alpha stage though and no one ever used it.

Main problem for me was that I always got the feeling it looked just ugly. I'm not a designer, so that was really demotivating...

The Idea Machine

A live crowd-sourced collection of ideas for new apps & business ideas that have been requested by the internet. Sorted by Hot, Top and New. With upvotes and downvotes. To post your own idea use the hashtag #ideaMachine or click the "submit a new idea" button below.


(I'm not the owner, just share it here)

Well I am in the camp of "ideas and even execution are worthless" now, what really matters is strong focus, I have executed 3 ideas from November of last year but after building them to what I feel like is a finished mvp, I always feel strong irresistible desire to build something else that I think is the coolest thing only to throw it after finishing, this is really my problem now.

My humble suggestion: write a web page with all your ideas, publish the page on HN and let people comments. It has already been done in the past.


Could run into same issues as others, but right now looks to be focused on the light-hearted, fun aspect of idea generation and potential for sparking creativity. Unsure about the intent to start a sub community that is paid, don’t think this will be the long term winning approach.

I've been trying to give away ideas via a simple Twitter thread that I hope to keep updating over time:


Incidentally, "a platform for sharing well-researched ideas" is #11 on this list :)

Ironically this is on my to-do list. A site where devs can put out ideas, users can lock money on them and the person that develops it and brings it live can claim the bounty. I have so many ideas but I'm tired of putting out things that only a few people use as are lots of others on here.

When I'm bored, I occasionally find myself here: https://unawaz.github.io/stochastic-hill-climbing/tasks/

Unfortunately there isn't a way to submit anything.

What if HN built out a post type for idea sharing? Maybe a monthly post your coding project ideas thread?

I found a similar platform to what to are describing once in the past, the main issue was that 100% of the ideas I found were wildly outside the scope of apps I was interested in making. Maybe if I could categorically exclude IOT, iPhone ideas, blockchain, full video games, etc..

used to be one called the global ideas bank but went away presumably due to lack of funding. Founded by Nicholas Albery https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nicholas_Albery

I'm in the camp of "Ideas are worthless, execution is everything", in a literal sense. I'd rather have an executed bad idea than a good idea.

An obvious conclusion of this is that even though I think your "platform for sharing ideas" idea is bad, just execute it. :)

Intend to think of ideas as an exponent to execution.

You can take 5 years working your ass off to build a local pizza shop or Uber. And from working with both small and large business people the hours and stress is about the same.

A great idea will reward execution much more than a bad idea.

Slight variation:


Kickstarter look at products which have good response and see if you can execute faster and better.

Same for upwork requests. See if you can find common tasks that can be automated or generalized into a product.

You said that you are of the camp that ‘ideas of worthless’. That strikes me as predatory.

People who are technical and don’t have creativity to come up with new ideas should be employees, not creators. People who can come up with ideas but cannot manage need managers. All those who cannot come up with any of the above should be investors.

It is a cunning trick that I observed in the past decade in the start up scene. Instinctively I don’t trust anyone who says that ‘ideas are worthless’.

Perhaps this is the reason why many start ups fail. There is no creator or domain expert. I see that in Agtech. The best Agtech companies are those who have some connection to farming. A handful of them are technical.

Even those who are technical do not work in the field. It is the uneducated non technical Joses and Marias who are immigrant labour that do all the work that needs to be automated.

They are not technical. They barely know English. But by not including those who Agtech is seeking to replace with tech and robots at the table, they set themselves up for failure.

I have a small farm and a little technical, but Ag robotics is multiple platforms. As a small farm owner who also has to keep the farm financially solvent and someone who also does manual work that needs to be replaced, I can spot right away how many of the Agtech companies will fail. And most of them will fail. The ones that will make it are those who have someone in the team with in-field experience.

It’s this non technical team that will come up with the best ideas because they know where they need help desperately. This is also why Europe will likely succeed first in Agtech than America. Because they have technical expertise as well as the idea team.

I hope those who dismiss ideas will reconsider. An idea is like a possibility. There are many ways it can fail and a narrower path to succeed. Only the person who came up with the idea will know the limitations and by excluding them, the chances of failures are multiplied.

As an aside: YC is also guilty of this dismissive attitude. This is also why most start ups will fail. Failure is not necessarily a bad thing but failed start ups are graveyard of what may have succeeded. It’s an enormous waste of space and resources. The only upside is redistribution of capital and creation of jobs. Hence even failed start ups and bad ideas that get funding is not necessary a bad thing. If we don’t have jobs, I guess there won’t be a way to employ the hordes of STEM educated young people pouring out into the world as they come of age.

I love thinking of video game ideas, so much so that I made a website to publish the ideas in a rather fleshed out manner: http://creativeowlet.com/

This mailing list share ideas with an execution plan too. Fun to read in the inbox every now and then.


I keep an idea list on my personal website. I like the thought of my ideas being valuable enough to hide in plain sight, but interesting enough to be worth saving and sharing with my fellow nerd friends on occasion.

Ideas are not just cheap, the huge majority of them are actually bad. Most ideas are actually not worth the time to consider them.

If you want a repository for good ideas, I think first you need to find a way to filter the bad ones.

You are spot on. After checking some recommended sites here (e.g. /r/appideas) it's clear that a lot of people just shitting out (for lack of a better word) ideas without half of a thought on execution. I think there are a particular kind of people who do this. The kind who wants to patent everything and always looking for the Next Big Thing™.

I have no solution for this other then focusing on the following things:

    - How detailed the idea is. The mere fact that someone took the time to think about it and write it down (1-2 page at least) is a good first filter that throws out things such as "It's like tinder but for job search".

    - Limiting it to "technical" people who has experience with actual execution of ideas and instinctively point out problems

And if you could do that reliably, you should already be a billionaire from your many successful startups.

Success is 1% inspiration 99% perspiration.

Being successful at business is a different skillset than having good technical ideas. The best idea in the world won't build you a sales force magically nor will it put into place a manufacturing chain for you.

Yes, agreed.

But if you can consistently predict whether an idea is "good", by definition you should be either hitting it out of the park consistently or getting massive returns on investments.

I'm building https://makeithappen.dev just for that, it's in the MVP stage and pretty slow, but it will get there eventually!

(btw, looking for other people that would want to build something like that, feel free to reach if interested!)

Not a platform but relevant:

Products I'd Pay For, 2020 Edition https://dmonn.ch/smb-2020/

I'm not the author.

Y Combinator Requests for Startups: https://www.ycombinator.com/rfs/

I believe most of us techies have our own personal list saved somewhere. Your best bet is probably Reddit if you do not have a large following on social media.

I've built willpayfor.com not long ago. You're all welcome to share ideas and mention how valuable in terms of money a product or service might be.

The journal of brief ideas, https://beta.briefideas.org/about

a few from product hunt product i occasionally look at that are fun:



Quality varies wildly but if you're not adverse to reddit, check out /r/AppIdeas

Thanks for suggesting it, I didn't know about that place. It seems like a flood of unrefined ideas coming from non technical people. I also see a lot of "that would be a good business" type of ideas which is definitely not what I'm after.

The good thing about that place is that it points out some obvious flaws with my initial idea. Maybe doing it on Github instead of reddit and focusing on developers and requiring a bit more details before submitting a suggestion would solve these? I don't know.

Yes, it's called "grandparents" and can also be found on "in-laws."

You can do that on Twitter.

> I'm in the camp of ”Ideas are worthless”

Then why ask people here for ideas for a platform?

You are here because you couldn’t think of all possibilities yourself.

Ideas are the first step, without which everything that comes after, wouldn’t.

It seems you misread the comment, no? There's little gain in being this standoffish, especially when your interpretation is off.

They're obvioulsy not saying that ideas are worthless, period - They're saying that ideas alone don't go anywhere unless you execute them. Furthermore, it seems they're here to share ideas, not to execute others.

I didn't used the expression in a literal sense (which I tried to state but maybe I didn't do it well enough). For me "ideas are worthless" represents the opposite of the mindset where people get secretive about their ideas or not wanting to give them away because they are afraid that someone will make good money with it.

I clearly care about ideas if I want everybody to share theirs. I just want to do it openly and freely without people thinking that others will steal them and make advantage of them.

Grandparent is right, though; everybody starts out as an ideas-first person. That's because having ideas is really easy and anybody can do it.

It sounds like you want the validation and esteem of your peers on the basis of your ideas. The cold reality is that having an idea does not at all entitle you to a reward; other people will also have your idea, and you'll feel like they have "stolen" or "made advantage of" your dream.

Many ideas are counterproductive; if they were carried out to fruition, they would either need to be retrofitted to the point of being a different idea entirely, or consume too many resources in proportion to the resources being saved. It is completely reasonable, therefore, to insist that ideas are not enough and that prototypes are required before designs can be considered for production.

Finally, consider a Kantian perspective. We can't all be ideas-first people. Therefore it'd be a lot more moral of you if you developed some programming skills.




Start a web-ring?

Good idea!


24K Members: https://www.reddit.com/r/Startup_Ideas/

569K Members: https://www.reddit.com/r/CrazyIdeas/

The 1st one is pretty active in that you get feedback also from the community.

"Ideas are worthless, execution is everything" means that with high probability everyone who can execute already knows your ideas.

If your idea isn't good enough for you to work on it, why would it inspire anyone else?

I don't think there's a direct correlation between a good idea and or interest in pursuing it. The idea may simply not cross the threshold of what you want to send time on.

This also may be one of those things that's not a billion dollar idea, or a million dollar idea, but just a 'couple of thousand dollars' idea. Some people aren't willing to spend time on things that don't cross that money threshold, but others most be willing to do it.

That's a good point. On the other hand one may have ideas that are not pursued because of: lack of domain expertise, lack of capital, family commitments, etc.

Exactly this. If I woke up with a million-$ idea tomorrow, chances are good I could not just get up and just pursue it. Why not let someone else take the chance?

Add to this that, as time progresses, more and more ideas that are doable by a person (or a small group) are already done. So your idea needs to solve its problem better (by whatever metric, e.g. price/usability/...).

This is somewhat countered by improved tooling (e.g. stripe, node.js, $stack_of_the_week) and cheaper tech (e.g. raw compute power), as well as by growing and better interconnected global markets (the global equivalent to opening a specialty shop in a tiny village or a booming mega city).

I get your quote, but some people like myself get stuck when we try to think of fun side project ideas or app ideas to build something. This helps people like that who just need a little push in the right direction.

Maybe "idea" is a too vague term here. I'm not thinking about business and large scale things. Only small little things that are in the "sideproject" category. And it's not that it's not good enough for me but having a full time job and other responsibilities seriously limits my abilities for execution.

Here the "refinement" of the ideas could be shared like it is in a company environment or in the open source development space (but that is more the execution part).

Other than that I see your point and that's why I was (and still is) unsure about this. Maybe it can never work in practice...

Applications are open for YC Winter 2024

Guidelines | FAQ | Lists | API | Security | Legal | Apply to YC | Contact