General Question

lloydbird's avatar

If someone has,what they believe to be, a great idea for a social networking website,but no technical knowledge or material funds to bring the idea to fruition,what would be the best course of action to take,who would be best to contact and what is the best way to safeguard the idea?

Asked by lloydbird (8735points) June 14th, 2009

Just a question of uneven distribution?

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16 Answers

jeffgoldblumsprivatefacilities's avatar

I have no idea, but you get bonus pints for using the word fruition.

lloydbird's avatar

@jeffgoldblumsprivatefacilities Thanks for the chuckle and the points.

DarkScribe's avatar

There is no one to contact, social networks are pretty well established, and most start-ups competing with a well established organisation run a multi million dollar loss at first, it would need a huge capital investment to even consider.

phoenyx's avatar

Is your idea unique? There are a lot of social networking websites out there.

lloydbird's avatar

@DarkScribe The idea is pretty niche but very broad spectrum at the same time, perhaps the term ‘Social Network’ does not best describe it. Social networking would happen as natural consequence of its use but is not the main focus. It would also not be in direct competition with the established sites but augment them.

lloydbird's avatar

@phoenyx Yes I would say it is.

DarkScribe's avatar

@lloydbird It would also not be in direct competition with the established sites but augment them.

If it is yet another “combining/auto updating/internet central” site, you are probably a bit late, there have been three releases this past week initially for smartphones.

lloydbird's avatar

@DarkScribe Its not and I have no idea about what a “combining/auto updating” site is.

phoenyx's avatar


Let me give you a web developer’s perspective. I’ve had many people approach me with “a great idea” that they themselves can’t execute on, but they will “split the earnings with me when it takes off.” Invariably:

1. the idea turns out to not be that great
2. it has been done before, more than once
3. there is not a good way to monetize it

No decent developer would touch a project as you’ve described it so far.

lloydbird's avatar

@phoenyx How would you suggest I better describe it? Your points 1,2 and 3 might be the case,I can only say that I don’t think that they are. How should I approach a decent developer?

phoenyx's avatar

Who is your target market?
If you answer “everybody” then I’m not interested. You have to clearly define who you are going after and why you are going after them.

How are you going to monetize this idea?
If you don’t have at least two different ways (and you have to have a lot of users for selling adspace to make sense) then I’m not interested.

Who is the competition?
If you tell me that it is an untapped niche that no one has explored, I’m going to be very skeptical. Most of the time I can do a ten-minute google search around any idea and find competitors. You need to show me how it’s been done before and why your approach is better. Or, do an exhaustive search to show that the idea is unique.

lloydbird's avatar

@phoenyx Target Market = Any of very many people engaged in number of ongoing and retrospective activities, but not “everybody”.
Monetization = I’m not sure to be honest,but sites with very many visitors on a predictable and ongoing basis seem to do ok. There are natural links to specific products that companies want to sell to the site users.How this would work is not my area of expertise.
The Competition = To the best of my knowledge, there are no specific , co-ordinated competitors. There might be individual or fragmentary entities that touch on the field of these activities, but no consolidated,identifiable outlet.
I trust you will forgive my vagueness. How can I contact you if you are still interested?
I have to turn in now, its late on this side of the pond and I’ve got work in the morning.
Many thanks for your time and trouble.

cwilbur's avatar

Your best bet is to find a good developer that you trust, share the idea with him or her, and get his or her feedback.

Ideas are easy. Execution is hard. In particular, you need to figure out how the site is going to pay for itself, let alone how you are going to make money from it.

f4a's avatar

continue doing it, don’t let downers stop your idea!

dynamicduo's avatar

Ideas cannot be protected. They are also very much common. I suggest you build a very strong business case for your proposed website, including things like looking at revenue sources and cost for hosting for the first year, as well as a good analysis into other social networks and how yours will be distinguished and prosper, before investing any additional time and money into your idea.

I don’t mean to discourage you here, but ideas are pretty much worthless, everyone and their mom has an idea and I can guarantee you someone has had your idea before. What matters more is whether it’s a viable business opportunity, and to prove that you need to do a lot of research.

As a professional web designer, I have zero interest in your idea as presented here. What I care more about is whether it’s a viable business, whether my investment of time and energy and money will have a result that directly benefits me. I need to see your drawings, your ideas, feedback you’ve gotten when talking to others about this idea, etc.

For instance, here’s a first question – why would anyone use your site instead of Facebook?

lloydbird's avatar

@dynamicduo Thanks for the advice.I agree with you that ideas and people who believe that they have a good one are commonplace, but that is not the claim here. The claim here is for having a “Great” idea and such ideas (providing they are not delusions) have a basic ability to generate the means for their manifestation by virtue of the quality of their very nature. Facebook,Twitter,Digg,Fluther etc began as ideas that were then built upon. I think that its a bit of a leap for you to claim to be able to “guarantee” that someone has had my idea before, if they have, they don’t seem to have acted on it. But there again, neither have I yet, apart from these tentative forays here.
As I explained to DarkScribe (see above), my would be site is perhaps not best described as a ‘Social Network’ site and I apologise for the misleading nature of my original question. It does somewhat betray my limited knowledge of web terminology. However, that should not detract from the potential of my idea. After all, one does not need to know how to put together a car engine and what each part is called, to know a great place to drive to. No, thinking about it further, thanks to inputs received at this site, my site idea would perhaps be better described as a ‘Shared Interest/Experience’ site that generates a social network as a secondary consequence of the primary draw i.e.(Shared Interest/Experience Network?).
. I don’t know that this alone would differentiate it sufficiently from Facebook but there is a factor,which I am very reluctant to divulge here, that I know sets it clearly apart. As for wealth generation, that would be integral to any exceptional business proposal.

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