Sorry for being offline for some time.
As founders of Bay of Ideas, we had to spend some time working on our parenthood and full time hours with our main jobs. Because of this, the Bay of Ideas project had a bit of a “breather” from the initial successful trial period. But say those things that last, because now we are back with new energy, new functionality and last but not least, a new language!
As you probably know by now, Bay of Ideas started as an idea in Sweden back in 2020, by 3 Swedish guys. And as Swedish guys do, we spoke in Swedish, brainstormed in Swedish and wrote the content in Swedish. Pretty obvious, but stupid, as we later realized. Because we also hardcoded the first online version of Bay of Ideas in Swedish.
Even though we often discussed the smartness of building in a language module, none of us had actually done it before and the complexity we realized was a bit more time consuming than we expected. So we took the easy way out to begin with, and since there were so many other challenges to solve, it simply had to wait.
From our initial survey that we made, we knew however that if ideas from the Swedish population of 10 million people, accounted for approximately 40 million ideas, then the world's 1.35 billion english speaking people, would obviously account for more than 5 billion ideas. 5 billion ideas are a lot more than 40 million ideas and can’t really be ignored. So the path of adding English as a platform language, somehow felt like the right way forward.
Now here we are.
Bay of Ideas primary language has now been changed to English, but with the option to switch to Swedish and other future languages as we make them ready. To start off, if you tick the box “Include all public posts”, you’ll see all ideas in all languages, as we believe this will generate more interaction among ideas, but also between countries.
We don't want languages to be a barrier for interacting with each other's ideas!
Apart from English, the only other language to choose from is currently Swedish, but since the language module is now in place, this can now be easily expanded with more languages at any time going forward. So please let us know, what is the next language that you think we should expand to? German? Spanish? French?
But let’s not get ahead of ourselves too much :). First we are looking forward to reading about and interacting with all those English ideas. So let your imagination flow and share some glimpses of your ideas today!
When we started BayofIdeas.com, we based the project on a survey about ideas to see if there were more people who thought like us about ideas. The distribution of responses in the ages 18-79, was 49.4% women and 50.6% men - a fairly even gender and age distribution in our opinion and with a sufficient volume that felt confident to base any results on.
One of the questions we asked to the 95% of the respondees who had had ideas, was how many ideas each person had had that they did nothing about. The options were “1-5 ideas”, “6-10 ideas” and “10 or more” ideas. Overall, the result was quite similar between "1-5 ideas" (41.6%) and "10 or more" (40.3%), i.e. either you had had a lot of ideas, or just a few ideas. But when we divided the results between men and women, we got a rather different and exciting result.
In the above question, the majority of men, 55.3% answered that they had more than 10 ideas that they had never realized, while the majority of women, 59% answered that they had only had 1-5 ideas that they had never realized.
Both men and women had had ideas, and plenty of them, but the amount of ideas that men had thought of and never acted on was, overall, more than the number of ideas that women had. Several conclusions could possibly be drawn from this.
Men's general higher risk-taking may well be reflected in the number of ideas they think they have had and perhaps men are also less self-critical of their ideas, thus the number of ideas is more but perhaps not always better. Women, on the other hand, may have greater critical thinking, which is thus reflected in the number of ideas they do believe in.
Another reflection we gather in that men like to think they have more ideas than women, is that we also see signs of this already now that Bay of Ideas has been running for a little over 1 month.
Although we have done everything we could to be equal in our invitations to the platform, only about 34.5% of those connected to the platform have been women. Even worse is that only about 10% of the published ideas are published by women. In short, the amount of ideas from women have already been greatly outnumbered by the ideas of men.
It's hard not to raise more questions about the topic and why we see these results, but funnily enough, at the same time, the most positive feedback about Bay of Ideas has come to us specifically from women - and of course it makes you wonder:
If you're a woman with lots of ideas about things that could be improved, when do we get to read about your ideas?
We are obviously looking forward to hear about them!
/The team behind Bay of Ideas
Bay of Ideas' journey began with the vision that several people will always be stronger than a single individual. This fact in itself is no secret, but the frustration that there was a lack of a good platform for ideas that could connect different individuals, became the starting point for us as the founders of Bay of Ideas.
But the journey from first thought, to the idea and launch of the platform, has been filled with challenges.
As you may have read in the first blog post, Bay of Ideas was born out of another idea that didn't quite go as planned. As a consequence, an alpha version of Bay of Ideas was built as a first concept, but was far from a launchable platform.
The alpha version was built on top of a WYSIWYG solution (admittedly a pretty good one), but when we dug into it together, we realized pretty quickly that the alpha had so many limitations. After a quick evaluation, the decision was quickly made to start building the real Bay of Ideas platform from scratch, so that we could get it exactly the way we wanted it without having to compromise. A decision we have never regretted.
Although the alpha version didn't last long, it quickly became a form of a starting point for which functions would be available and which we wanted to improve in the newly built platform. A brand new requirements spec was written and a list of hundreds of features lined up during our brainstorming meetings.
We have learned that the most effective thing in a creative process is when you listen to each other's opinions, allow each other to make mistakes and openly admit when other people's ideas are better than what you might have thought from the beginning.
Dare to make mistakes, redo and get it right must be allowed to build something really good. Drawings and specifications in all their glory, but it is rare that you realize whether something is actually good or not, until you have tried it and seen the result. Therefore, we also rigorously tested the brand new platform with a crowd of beta testers to get as much feedback as possible before going a little wider.
The absolute strongest feature of our team is perhaps not our different skills, but that we are different individuals who often think and act quite differently. Our vision and our goals are common, but the road will continue to be a little bit bumpy while we fine-tune the details.
As I said, the list of upcoming and planned features is long and we won't reveal everything that is planned, but we can give you a hint about the next two important updates that are coming next:
For those of you who have seen the Swedish flag at the bottom of the index page, it is a pretty clear hint that we will be adding more languages shortly. There are of course plenty of ideas all over the world, not just in Sweden.
We will also launch our company solution in full, which will become the obvious digital idea box for your company or organization. We believe that all management teams want to hear their employees' ideas about how you can sell more, cut costs, or where to hold the staff party when the pandemic is over?
So now it's up to you - what ideas do you have that you're thinking about? Post them on the Bay of Ideas and help build the world's largest platform for ideas!
/The team behind Bay of Ideas
I am not ashamed to say that the title of this first blog post is taken directly from one of my favorite books, "The wisdom of crowds", by James Surowiecki. The first time I read the book was in 2004 when I lived in the UK for a few years. Although I have often thought of it as one of my favorite books, it wasn't until recently that I realized how truthful it really was.
James Surowiecki argues in the book that the collective wisdom of the many average people will always be smarter and come to a better conclusion than a few experts. This fact, he proves, is true in everything from stock market movements, to finding lost submarines, to guessing the weight of a cow, or in solving other challenging questions.
But let's pause that thought here and jump forward a little bit in time. Because this book wasn't really the start of the journey that we've embarked on, but rather part of the solution to a bigger problem I stumbled upon.
As so many other ideas arise, ours also began with a failed attempt to work on another idea. I had started a fun evening project with my wife when Covid-19 hit the world economy and forced us to pull the handbrake. During an evening walk in April, when the bleak world outlook and general uncertainty were all around us, we discussed the challenges we faced and all the alternative solutions that didn't work. We realized pretty soon that we were not only limited by time (both worked full-time jobs) but also by resources, knowledge and networks. Although we really believed in the idea, the risk factor of the investment in relation to any potential profit was suddenly too great for a perfectly ordinary family to handle under these special circumstances.
What annoyed me the most was that this wasn't the first time I'd had ideas, but where I lacked enough courage, time, knowledge or network to take it from just an idea to something more. I realized pretty quickly that the problem of being alone with one's ideas was by far the biggest obstacle to push the idea forward. If this was true for me, I became convinced that it must be true for many other people around the world. How frustrating isn't that?
This led me to ask some more of the important questions.
How many good ideas have been lost, just because we were afraid to talk about things we didn't fully understand, because we didn't have time to work on them alone, or because we simply couldn't solve all the questions ourselves? How many ideas do we think of every day and how many ideas can become something more than just an idea? What if all ideas were instead connected with more people, who together could solve the great challenge of pushing an idea over the threshold of being just an idea?!
If you've read this far, I think most people realize that they've all had many ideas that ended up being just a thought. Regardless of whether the ideas were small or big, we are talking about an extremely large number of ideas that never materialized. Lots of ideas that could have become something more than just ideas if the right circumstances had existed. Some of these ideas could have made this world very different and possibly even much better by creating businesses, jobs, innovative products, services and much, much more.
To tie it back to the beginning of this blog, it became clear to me that the outcome of any idea will always be better by collaborating with many ordinary people, rather than doing or thinking about everything myself. This is why feedback and engagement from multiple people is so extremely important and why the knowledge of many average people will always be better than the few experts that you might normally have asked for feedback, at least if James Surowiecki is to be believed.
In any case, I am convinced that "The wisdom of the crowds", will prove to be correct again and again - not to say the least now, when we've launch the new social network Bay of Ideas.
I am humbled and grateful to have Robert and Jonas with me as co-founders of Bay of Ideas and who have also had the knowledge to build the initial platform needed to start this. Our collective work and diverse skills are the start of a new journey that will ultimately lead to more ideas becoming reality and hopefully a better future for many more.
Bay of Ideas' mission is to let people publish all their ideas in the easiest way possible in multiple layers of visibility, and connect them with the collective knowledge of the crowd to develop each idea into something more than just an idea. All ideas, big or small, early or developed, are welcome at Bay of Ideas, whether it's starting a restaurant, improving a tool, developing a service or something really futuristic. But most importantly, this is the place where collaboration can be found and ideas grow big.
Make the world a little better and post your idea too!