Social networks are nothing new. We know MySpace used to be the big kahuna and has since fallen behind. And we know that Facebook is currently the big cheese in the social networking factory. These seem to be on 3-5 year cycles as they come in and out of fashion. Facebook seems to have reached its sentimental peak with people slowly beginning to feel ready for something new. It will be interesting to see what’s in store next.
While hoards of new competitors are lining up for their share of the social network pie there are many other interesting and compelling projects that could be built. In fact there’s an entire world of ideas to be pursued. These are the inspirations that rattle around people’s heads waiting to be brought to fruition. So what if someone created a social network that helped cultivate such ideas? Where instead of following people you followed their ideas, and they in turn yours? As it turns out there is, with Startedby. Startedby is a social network that doesn’t take aim at the conventional social networks. Instead it focuses on putting people’s ideas in the spotlight. It’s a think tank of sorts that’s designed to cultivate an environment of innovative synergy.
(Their intro video has the coolest music of any we’ve come across. We welcome this trend and encourage all sites to no longer go the elevator music route. Deviating from prim and proper business acumen is A-OK in our book. Start-ups need to get out of their box already, as shown below.)
Working with Startedby is easy. First you register, then you can submit ideas or comment on others. As opposed to conventional social networks where you follow and friend people, it’s the ideas that can be followed by those that are interested. This subtle change alters the entire dynamic of the social network paradigm. Sure you can exchange private messages with other members but the focus of Startedby is the ideas.
Each idea is given a profile page. The first one that caught my eye was a dessert shop that specialized in spiked desserts. (Shown below.) I’ve personally never been carded before buying brownies before but I’d certainly be willing to give it a try. Too bad any such store would likely be subject to liquor law regulations including licensing and underage sales. I can just imagine cops confiscating a bag of muffins from the bad kids in town. As noted on this particular idea page they still hadn’t settled on a name yet. I submitted a suggestion to get them going and followed the idea. That way I can stay updated on its progress. Ideas consist of a name, location, keyword tags, profile image, URL, and a description. Anyone can contribute to the discussion through the feedback form.
Startedby takes a new slant on building a social network. It’s intentionally designed to steer the focus at the ideas, not the creators of them. In so doing they give people a chance to gather feedback from the broader internet community and identify strengths and weaknesses of it. It’s a place for people to soundboard their ideas if not show off their recently launched initiatives. It can be used to start ideas, find cofounders, or get early feedback prior to launching a full endeavor. With it entrepreneurs can further involve themselves in the start-up community and participate in the discussion about the next big thing.
Startedby got tired of the usual start-up discussions. In a impassioned blaze of fury and misfortune they turned to the dark side. When they smoke cleared they had morphed into Endedby. We stand humbled and in awe at their demise. From such great heights could such a one as them fall? Yes. Why yes they could. And they did. We leave this here in solemn remembrance of the great website they once were.