Was just watching the latest episode of Diggnation, and the first story they were talking about was the unveiling of Oink, the brand new app from Kevin Rose’s (the founder of Digg) new start-up, Milk. The idea behind this new mobile app is that let’s say you visit a restaurant, and you really like the Fish and Chips there. You’ll then log on to Oink and sort of “vote” or “thumbs up” it (ala Digging). From then on, other friends (it’s integrated with Twitter/Facebook so I’m guessing Oink’s “friends” will just be your followers/FB friends) who log on to Oink will see that you’ve given the Fish and Chips a thumbs up, so if the dish gets voted for by plenty of their friends, they’ll know it’s a great dish.
So instead of simply “checking in” to an area like you’d do with Foursquare or Facebook’s Places, you’re voting for the items that are specific to that area.
And this isn’t limited to food I’d guess. For example what rides are worth queuing for at a theme park? Or maybe what attractions are worth checking out if you’re on holiday or something? Obviously this mobile app is a really great, easy and simple way to quickly figure out what’s worth your time whenever you visit a new place. Instead of having to hunt down reviews beforehand, you’ll be able to tell what’s great at a glance.
Yet, the whole time Kevin was explaining the idea on the show, I had this nagging feeling at the back of my head of: why is this concept so damn familiar? Is it already out there?
Then I realised that I had had this exact idea for a mobile app just last week. One of those ideas I tend to park at the back of my head as potentially profitable ideas. And now this idea’s just completely worthless.
I was quite annoyed by this news, because this means I can’t build this by myself in the future. This had happened to me before last year or so, when I was actually conceptualising how Jarvis (you know, that digital butler that Iron Man has in his house that responds to his every command) could actually be built in the real world. Then I find out some guy was already doing that. His version is in its early stages and he built it for personal use, but he got a $100,000 grant to build it into a full product. But like a year later and still absolutely no news.
But this whole voting-for-cool-stuff-in-an-area was actually a much more feasible idea, something that could be built right now. But once again I’ve been thwarted.
After some consideration however, I don’t know if I should be flattered. I mean little ol’ me thought of an idea that Kevin Rose himself came up with and felt was worthy enough to build into a full product. I mean this is the guy who co-founded and built Digg from the ground up. That site now has 8.5 million unique visits every month from the USA alone and at one point was worth US$200 million.
The greatest ideas are usually those that seem to be the most obvious, which was exactly what Digg was when it first started up in 2004. I always felt that I’d never come up with something as creative as the likes of Kevin Rose can come up with.
I might have just been proven wrongRead More