Idea for Google! That and 50 cents...
September 9, 2012 7:04 PM   Subscribe

I have a serious project proposal for Google. I don't need to make money on it, but I'd like to get it looked at. I've been poking around their websites, and have found places to submit business and partnership ideas, but I'm really not sure that those are the right way to submit this concept. It's something on the order of Google Art Project, but different from that. What would you recommend or link me to? Thanks!
posted by Miko to Computers & Internet (7 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
You aren't going to get many people interested with just an idea. Build it and see if it works. If it does work, people will come to you, and if it doesn't, then they would have been wrong to come to you in the beginning.

The reward comes not from the idea. Ideas are cheap. Here's several:
  • Hard drives and an OS HD management system that backs up data between the drives in your computer. Never lose data again! Seamlessly integrate new drives at the click of a button!
  • A system with a good UI that allows inter-site trackbacks and comments and pictures and microblogging, all with good privacy controls enabled through maybe OAuth. Distributed Facebook/Twitter!
  • Micropatronage site for artists. Buy tiny original artworks at tiny prices!
  • An app which does not suck whose whole purpose is to look at an image through a cell phone's camera and then highlight for opening any URLs in the picture. Text recognition + a little image processing + a good UI = many many users, and we eliminate QR codes too!
  • An iPad/iPhone sniper game, but without the violence. A sort of moving Where's Waldo that supports panning and zooming and clicking.
I have these ideas all the time (this was ~3 minutes worth), and so do many, many others. Ideas are cheap. The execution is the hard part. (Any readers who want to use any of these ideas: please do so. They are free. If you do build one, citing me is nice but not required. These ideas are free as in libre, gratis, beer, and puppies.)
posted by pmb at 8:11 PM on September 9, 2012

Best answer: I guess my first inclination is to go through Steve Crossan, the Google Cultural Institute's director, who is based in Paris. As you probably know, the Art Project is a subsidiary of the Cultural Institute. Crossan is quoted fairly extensively here. You can send him an email via this page. If you want to get a sense of him, YouTube includes several presentations he's made within the past year or so.

You've piqued my curiosity!!
posted by carmicha at 8:21 PM on September 9, 2012 [2 favorites]

Response by poster: I was expecting a response like yours, pmb, but it isn't an answer to my question. Since I do public programs for a living, yes, I know that ideas are cheap and that people come up to you all the time thinking they have a great idea. Sometimes they do. This idea is a strong one that would shift the paradigm in my field, solve a major public problem, and I do have working models.

What I'm asking is how I can get in touch with the right department/people at Google to present this concept.
posted by Miko at 8:23 PM on September 9, 2012 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Thanks, carmicha, that's exactly the kid of specific direction I was hoping for!
posted by Miko at 8:24 PM on September 9, 2012

Don't be surprised if you never hear back from Google. Most big companies don't want to hear your idea for fear of being sued 3 years from now when they do something similar.
posted by COD at 4:59 AM on September 10, 2012

Don't forget that you can also use resources such as Kickstarter to fund and run this project by yourself. Also, have you considered just putting up a blog where you discuss your idea and garner interest? You would be surprised how fast an idea can gain traction if it's presented as an open lets-change-the-world-a-bit collaboration.
posted by Foci for Analysis at 6:18 AM on September 10, 2012

Response by poster: This is definitely a project for Google - not for me, Kickstarter, or open-sourcing. But thanks, for many other ideas those are good suggestions.

Some of what I've read indicates that they may already be hatching something along these lines or at least doing some thinking in the same realm. But I will send a precis to the Cultural Institute staff. Thank you.
posted by Miko at 6:35 AM on September 10, 2012

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