I don't want to work for free either.
March 4, 2009 7:24 AM   Subscribe

I think I figured out how to effectively monetize the Internet for old media (newspapers, magazines, television). I also have a few ideas how this would work for new media as well. Who do I tell? Who don't I tell? What format should my proposal take? How do I make a little scratch out of it for myself?

Well, here's the story: I've been unemployed for about two weeks now and when that happens my brain starts to do funny things. Like solve problems I really didn't have any interest in solving. I've been hearing a lot about how much trouble the newspaper industry is having acclimating to the “everything should be free” value set of the Internet. I believe I have stumbled upon a simple change they can make which will start some revenue earning for them even though their content would remain free and open. I feel this would also work for the other aforementioned media types.

So what do I do next? Write a blog post? Blindly contact someone in the industry?

These don't seem like very good ideas. Unfortunately, they are the best ideas I have for my next step.

I appreciate everyone's help in advance. And you guys can feel free to use the email address in my Metafilter profile if you feel like your answer needs more elaboration or you'd like to begin an independent dialogue.
posted by SinisterPurpose to Computers & Internet (4 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
It's been said here many times but it bears repeating: the value of ideas is overrated. The idea behind Google is pretty straightforward but it is the progressive investment of work and technology and infrastructure that makes it a giant, profitable business. You can either start your own business or think about trying to get a job in the field where you could put the idea into effect. Until you have invested something into the idea and made it into a commodity you can transact it really isn't worth anything and if you think you are the first to come up with it you're probably wrong.

If it's really hot but deep down you know you're not going to do anything about it, for sure make a blog post so that when the whole world is doing it you can be like "check it out, I was all over that way back in '09." I totally invented the modern iPod in 1998 and although it was fruitless because of my utter lack of electronics experience or any connection to the consumer products industry, it would be cool if I'd published my thoughts on the topic somewhere where my (I'm sure completely unoriginal and widely duplicated, but still) prescience could be credibly demonstrated.
posted by nanojath at 7:38 AM on March 4, 2009 [2 favorites]

I worked for a startup with the same goal. The way it was built was by:

-raising some seed money to get the product built

-finding a few small newspapers and TV stations to be guinea pigs while building the product out.

-Launch with your test newspapers/TV stations

-Sell to bigger papers

If it's a simple change as you say, is there a way to productize it so you could sell it to individual media outlets?
posted by deepscene at 7:54 AM on March 4, 2009

If it's a simple change as you say, is there a way to productize it so you could sell it to individual media outlets?

It's less a product and more a process or method. It would take some time and little more development on how to implement it. I appreciate you sharing your experience.
posted by SinisterPurpose at 8:02 AM on March 4, 2009

One possibility is to write up an amazing business plan and get some funding so that you can go into business as a consultancy. There are lots of books and blog posts out there that can tell you how to do this.

Talk to an IP lawyer about patenting or otherwise protecting your idea. (You can now file a provisional patent application that costs way less than a full application and allows you to back-date a full patent to date of filing. You get a year to decide whether it's worth it.) Then try putting together a team that can implement it and a rock-solid, step-by-step strategy for doing so.

Everyone above is correct that just trying to sell your idea to someone will, at most, result in you getting a smidgen of cash, and most likely get you nothing at all. Learning the actual logistics of how to implement it and getting together a team that can do so may show you why no one else has implemented it already. There may be hurdles you didn't anticipate, and where you may be able to make money is in helping businesses pass those hurdles.

You'd likely need to give it away to your first few clients so that you can test it and show the world how great your idea is. Then, if the idea is solid, your team is good, your work ethic is superhuman, and a thousand other factors fall into place, you may start making some money.
posted by hayvac at 8:26 AM on March 4, 2009

« Older Where to look for professional resources in...   |   Recommendations for Toronto home and garden... Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.