If an item is only worth what someone is willing to pay, how can you quantify the worth of an idea? While goods and certain service operate in a generally agreed upon marketplace, nebulous intangibles, or intellectual property, has not been included in that space - until now.
Thought Market, which is now in beta, is a platform that enables a free marketplace for the selling, buying and trading of intellectual property. The marketplace makes it easy for users looking to sell or acquire intangible services and goods like songwriting, application making, ideas for novels and just about any other type of invention. The free market structure allows users to determine the value of goods and services in an unregulated atmosphere based on supply and demand instead of what an agent or company decides they are worth.
Thought Market's founder, Benjamin Burger, 22, of Snellville, GA is a college drop-out trying a start-up for the first time. Instead of leaving college to become an artist, students are cutting their time short to create the next Pinterest or Tinder or Snapchat. It's the get-rich-quick scheme of the millennium. Burger doesn't have a Wharton M.B.A. or ties to Palo Alto, just a nebulous idea and a $30,000 investment.
BB: Yeah, in ancient Greece, the agora, or market, was the center for communication, ideas and politics. I'm referring to the concept that made the agora important. They understood the value of organizing everything into one place. It was important for a lot of things, but by bringing everything to one place, it removed the information asymmetry that existed before. This opened up the possibility for entrepreneurs to do, well, anything. And I think Thought Market will do that, too.
Why are students so attracted to startups?
BB: It's kind of like our modern version of, you know, the suburban ideal lifestyle of our parents. I don't want to sit behind a desk forever helping someone else fulfill their dreams. I want to skip ahead 20 years and work for myself instead. Every step of making something happen is being innovated, too. With things like Squarespace, a website for creating websites, you can cut out the coder or graphic designer and do it yourself. There's so many specialization's available that you just need an idea and the drive to do it. The rest of it will figure itself out. And maybe a little money.
Speaking of money, where is yours coming from?
BB: We [myself and family investors] budgeted a need for more than $50,000 for everything. To build the platform, get the legal aspects handled, marketing, hosting, etc. There has been more than $30,000 put into it already and the platform is working but w'ere out of money and can't host, advertise or anything else at this point, and that's where Kickstarter comes in.
What are hoping crowdsourcing will do besides raise additional money?
BB: I think creative people will see the potential benefit of having something like this available to them and will really be excited for their own interests. If I were to come across this Kickstarter, I would be interested in just being a part of something like this that has never been done before. I'm interested to see it play out, if for no other reason than to see if it is as world-changing as I think it could be. Because if we're right, then I think it opens up possibilities much greater than people see on the surface.
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