Ideas are the new black

Thursday 1 June 2017
Lisa Portolan's picture
Co Editor
The Shaker

Ideas are the new currency. Ideas are the new trade. Ideas are the new black.

Maybe they always were, we just didn’t see it. Or we did and preferred not to.

The fact is, ideas are dangerous. Oscar Wilde told us that. They have the power to make people dream, to make them believe, to unite them. So, for however long we’ve tried to suppress them – hold them back, bury them deep, where they can’t be revived, resurrected … where they can’t change the world.

But times have changed – with the explosion of silicon valley, tech start-ups and unicorns, we live in an unprecedented “ideas” landscape. If you haven’t heard the term “unicorns” it refers to private companies valued at $1 billion or more. The billion-dollar technology start-up was once the stuff of myth – hence the term “unicorn” - but now they’re everywhere. Behind them a bull market and new generation of disruptive technology.

That’s right, the stuff that ideas are made of.

Instead of suppressing ideas, we’ve moved to the time of not only investing in ideas but harnessing them to their utmost potential. Increasingly, companies compete around which of them can discover, develop and deliver on the most disruptive and innovative idea. It’s a jungle out there of ideas innovation. And employers, previously so reticent to keep those ideas buried deep, have cottoned onto this. To compete on a worldwide scale they need to be harnessing the creative energy of their employees to create products and services previously unimaginable.

Enter Idea Management System’s a new type of software which assists employers and employees manage those ideas, streamline them, find the “unicorns” in their midst. These web-based platforms allow companies to solicit targeted ideas (regardless of geographic location) gather them, assess and develop them.

Australia is no slouch in the ideas revolution. Perth based company, Nectir, an online “ideas” collaboration platform has attracted over $2 million in seed funding on the strength of the new software’s concept. Launched earlier on in the week, Nectir, has “out-idea-ed” the ideas market by adding a social gamification element to it’s platform.

Not only is it an ideas library, where employees and employers log their “lightbulbs”, but you can also align them to key business initiatives, have fellow staff “vote” on the best idea, develop teams, sprints and games.

Executive Director Brad Dessington is an ideas man. “As humans in fast-paced business, motivation and social performance ununderpins our desire to innovate. Nectir was built with these concepts in its DNA. From the outset, the platform aimed to provide a way for people to co-create and be rewarded for both their performance and collaboration.”

The marketplace of ideas is now open. Maybe Oscar Wilde was wrong, maybe all great ideas aren’t dangerous. 

Have you been keeping your thoughts to yourself for too long? 

Go ahead – idea away.