Technology, Innovation, Impact. Humor on the side.
When I was five, I got my first spiral-bound notebook. It was green and completely ordinary, but I was determined to fill its pages with what I then believed to be extraordinary ideas. I titled it The Big Book of Ideas and scribbled every entrepreneurial thought that occurred to me: designs for products and toys I wished existed, redesigned furniture to make it more comfortable, unusual flavor combinations to try out in kitchen experiments, etc. Somewhere down the line, I stopped recording these ideas, but the love of ideation stayed with me ever since.
When I officially entered “adulthood”, I cannot really say. But, suddenly I found myself in a very different world. Colored pencils, once used to convey my ideas pictorially, were now replaced with meticulously formatted slides; bright colored backpacks, now replaced with an overpriced laptop bag; ratty jeans, now cast aside for suits and nice dresses galore. Most changes I didn’t mind, but one in particular kept (and keeps) eating at me in particular.
Where did the imagination go?
Looking back I firmly believe that every single one of my childhood peers were imaginative to some degree. We came up with new games, fantastical tales to tell one another, and created our own worlds of make believe. Our ideas overflowed in every conversation with friends. This doesn’t generally happen anymore, and it saddens me greatly.
To keep our brains active as we age, we need more ideation in conversations – not endless isolated games of Sudoku or crossword puzzles.
To stir up ideation conversations, here’s a thought experiment:
Question – Can an extended barter system be reintroduced in parallel to current currency?
Make A Wish Foundation arranges experiences for children who are suffering from life-threatening medical issues. While most of the children’s wishes involve vacations or meeting celebrities, some of the wishes that are granted are just wild (e.g. – San Francisco transforming into Gotham City so a 5-year old leukemia patient could be Batman). I think what the foundation does is great, but I’m beginning to wonder whether we can do this not just with sick children, but with humanity.
Picture this: a “Karma Platform” with logs of wishes from people all over the world. Each wish is rated with certain amounts of “karma points”, which decided on via crowdsourcing. This way, an individual that is able to deliver on a more difficult wish (e.g. – I want a private jet in the middle of a snowstorm, or I need an Italian cream cake in my office in 10 minutes) gets more points than something simpler to deliver (e.g. – I need to borrow a size 4 evening gown next year because I can’t afford to buy my daughter a prom dress, or I need someone to print something for me because all the Kinkos/print-shops are closed).
Your wish can only be acted upon if the amount of “karma points” you’ve gained from your helping others equals or is higher than the karma points of your wish (with an introductory bonus karma points given to everyone who signs up and invites friends to sign up – just to get things started). This way just because one individual can help you doesn’t mean you can help them, but both of your wishes can be granted by the greater society. There are NO monetary transactions; instead, everyone is helping others out based on their own abilities.
Note: this is just a random idea I have. Please don’t criticize it in comments as it isn’t something that I’ve flushed out. On the other hand, if you like it and are interested in building such a platform – I freely give up rights to it. You have my blessings and full support, as long as I can be a beta-tester.