January 2, 2014
If you’re a developer, then you certainly know how great of a resource GitHub is – it’s a very supportive community of programmers — all of them collaborating on projects and helping each other work through development issues and problems that they have. Similarly, Dribbble serves as this kind of community for designers. How about the rest of us? What if I – a writer – had a potentially groundbreaking idea that could change the American education system? Where is the community of people that can provide me with feedback on whether my idea will actually go anywhere? Where can I find people to help me develop this idea?
Thinkerous provides people with a platform that allows them to create and develop ideas in a collaborative, online environment. Think of it as a kind of online hackathon (or hack community) for the everyman. Aimed at helping users push their ideas through the build process, the platform provides a community of supporters that try to clear or confirm whether certain ideas are good, what product or service ideas already exist, and whether an idea is even viable. Thinkerous provides a space where people can help solve each other’s problems (with regards to the ideas to reality issue – Thinkerous won’t solve your personal issues with your step-mom).
Modeled after the four stages of a hackathon (idea, team, build, and pitch), the Thinkerous platform brings together people with and without the necessary technical experience to work through the problems in the ideation process. “The hardest part about starting a new project is finding people that actually experience the problem that it solves or finding people to help with or work with you to solve any problems you have [developing your idea],” says co-founder Aaron Zhang. Thinkerous is a platform that allows people from both parties – the people who have problems or concerns with their idea and the people who have the skills and experience to provide input – to come together and collaborate.
For Zhang and his co-founders, Christopher Leaf and Cheeyoon Lee, the collaborative aspect of physical hackathons was something they found valuable. “After going to a couple [of hackathons] at school, we thought ‘why not take this collaboration and apply it to everything else? Not just for programmers and not confined to a physical space?'”
Thinkerous brings together people from varied backgrounds to provide helpful and knowledgeable feedback on ideas from members in the community with no previous experience in whatever field their ideas derive from. Got an idea for an education app but have no previous experience in education? Post your idea on Thinkerous, and wait for people with years of experience in the education field who can help you develop your idea. Once you feel comfortable with the feedback on your idea, you can find other people to add on to your project, assign roles, and (hopefully) eventually create a real product.
Thinkerous was most recently featured at Tech Cocktail’s Pittsburgh Mixer & Startup Showcase.
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