I was trying to sleep last night and one of my nagging website ideas popped in my head. I tossed and turned as I thought about the details of how it would work, half awake, half asleep more information flowed into my brain. Finally, I got up and started writing in my idea notebook.
I had to do a brain dump of this idea so I could sleep without worrying about forgetting the details this morning. I started writing and scoping out the project. This could be big I thought as I scribbled out six pages of notes and diagrams. Then, just like after waking up to take a much needed pee, I went back to bed and slept like a baby.
I seem to come up with these late night ideas about once every month or two. Often, the next day I look at them and go what was I thinking? Or even worse, it’s a great idea but would take massive resources, single-mindedness, and total dedication to the idea to get to a finished product. But today, I reviewed this late night idea and this one is different. It falls squarely in a social media space that no one has thought about (yet). With one broad stroke, it fills a niche that Twitter, Digg, and Stumbledupon are all missing out on.
I’ve wanted to come up with a social media network that is unique and simple enough to excite in the masses and take off with a small kick start. Well, I believe this is the one: The idea is so simple it is almost stupid (kind of like Twitter). The best part is, except an unknown variable of the server power needed to run the site, it is doable and will not cost a fortune to build. Now, little by little I need to fill in the details of what this social site will do and then start writing a real requirements document – ugh, I hate writing official requirements.
Unlike Twitter, Ruby on Rails is out. I’ll need to find a python coding expert to build a streamlined scalable framework that does not come crashing down like Twitter did in its early days. To save cash, it will need to be built in a way that minimizes server resources and puts some of the load on the users. The last piece of the puzzle, and perhaps the most important, is to come up with a way for this social network to go viral. I have a few ideas, but I need to investigate whether they are realistic. If I can create this, 2009 could turn out to be a very good year.