This should be a website where anyone can put down a ‘great idea’. Doesn’t matter what it is, what it’s about, just that someone thinks it’s a great idea. Then people vote on these ideas. Each person visiting the site can vote yes (+) or no (-) on any particular idea. (No more than one vote on any single item per site visit.)
Of course, with enough people voting, it should be really apparent what the really good ideas are. Ideas should be listed by number of votes (with the – subtracted from the +). Manufacturers, venture capitalists, and others may use this list to establish trends within our culture, maybe even find new products, or tweak existing products. It will be equally apparent what the really bad ideas are (thousands of – votes). Ideas should be numbered with #1 getting the largest, #2 the next largest etc. Therefore, this list will change over time, with new hot ideas moving up rapidly. Any idea that has moved more than ten spaces in a week is shown with a rocket.
Each topic should have a link to a chat area for that subject so people could hammer out the details of just how something should work. I think this site could morph into a meeting place for people interested in a particular idea. How many interested people do you need to get an idea going, to turn it into a real business? A thousand? Ten-thousand? Easily done with this site. Imagine than ten-thousand people voted (+) on an idea. If just a thousand of them were willing to put up $1,000 each, there’s a million for a start-up!
While the idea itself is in the public domain, so no two people or entities could sue each other just for working on the same idea, there could naturally be some patentable parts of processes along the way to protect each venture.
Anyone can inform the site that they intend to take a specific idea to market. (This does NOT give them exclusive rights, especially because the idea is already in the public forum.) That item is then made BOLD on the original list (or some other indication that there is work afoot to turn it into something real).
The site could be self-supporting in a number of ways. First, by advertising. This site would be especially attractive to law firms, banks, and others interested in start-up businesses. Second, the site administrator would have access to the database that could be used for research and this data could be sold.