Laurens Rademakers


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People's Prizes - a new crowdsourcing idea

I had this idea a long time ago, and apparently there's a stealth start-up beginning to create it.

It is this:

-people who want something to be invented and produced (e.g. a low-cost solar-powered blimp, or artificial meat that's good for the planet) pool resources by asking other people to create a prize around the idea

-so you drop your idea on a prize-making website: "build a personal solar blimp that can stay aloft for days, and that costs less than $10,000";
if, say, 10,000 people are willing to give the intention to contribute $100 each, *after* a team has met the criteria, you have a $1 million prize

-participants would only pay their contribution *after* a team has actually met all the criteria to win the prize; and thus proves that the invention works and solves the problem or the challenge; - this way everybody's happy, and you can join in prizes for great projects without really losing money.

-As a prize maker, you simply give your conditional intention: "if" someone succeeds, I will contribute $100. So you're sure that your money will be well spent, as you only give it when someone has succeeded in realizing the great idea that was proposed by someone and to which you're willing to contribute.

So this is a crowd-sourced way of launching popular prizes. Instead of looking for prize money amongst corporate sponsors, you look for it among the crowd.

It's a bit like the opposite of Kickstarter and similar types of crowdfunding. In Kickstarter, an inventor comes to ask money. In "Peoples Prizes" the community pools cash around an idea and asks inventors to prove what they can come up with.

The stealth start-up that's being created around this idea is funded by Google. I've written to Google to say they've stolen my idea (which dates from 2008 - and I have sources to prove it). But unfortunately they didn't respond.

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    May 20 2012: I think Google stole the idea, because it was posted on a website where people drop innovative ideas. An idea-generating website. Such as the Halfbakery.

    It is well known that Google often searches this kind of sites for new ideas and potential business opportunities.

    What's more, one of my architectural reveries which I had posted on that website, was also stolen and actually built in the United Arab Emirates as a huge hotel. The exact same design. I also wrote to the developers (asking for a free night at their hotel!), but they refused...

    Anyways, I don't really care, because the ideas people post on that site are often stolen. They're not patented. They simply constitute some informal kind of prior art.

    And indeed, it's a compliment to see large organisations steal your idea and actually build or implement it.
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      May 20 2012: If only people always gave credit where credit is due....then the world would be a better place to live in.

      Don't you think so? =)
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      May 21 2012: Hey Laurens= did they steal it or did you give it awqay when you posted the idea?
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        May 22 2012: Well, I didn't protect the idea when I posted it. Protecting ideas is way too expensive.

        But at least Google, in recognition, could have given me a free T-shirt. :-)
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          May 30 2012: They would also discredit themselves or they would have to pay you residuals after that...=/

          Oh well, life is full of bumps, just learn to get over them and life will continue. That is kind of harsh, but it is the only way it is in my mind. Hope it was helpful.
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    May 20 2012: Well Laurens,

    I think that is a really cool idea you have. The part about google really sucks, but a quote by Coco Chanel claims that "Immitation is the highest form of flattery", but Brian Molko adds " but clones kind of get it wrong because we are promoting individuality and being proud of being yourself."

    I try to initiate ideas on the premises that someone will do something great with my idea, when, and only when, that idea isn't possible for me. When I have the ability to implement an idea, and someone else claims it as theirs, then I feel very much disappointed in their effort to claim that idea as their own. For example, at my college I came up with an idea to have a giant fundraiser event that involved a carnival style entertainment with theme park thrill rides with the vendor style games, they stole my idea which I turned into their application section to be part of the student body, but they proceeded to leave me out of their discussions, and before I could even blink, they threw a fundraising fun fair.....with all the stuff I mentioned above....coincidences working its magic....I don't believe it. Do you perceive that google stole your idea, or was this by coincidence?