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Problem-solving as a freelance service

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Darko Savic
Darko Savic Oct 12, 2021
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Originality

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Feasibility

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Necessity

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Conciseness

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A service that allows people to invite selected problem solvers to paid participation in brainstorming sessions. It formalizes the exchange between freelance ideators and those that would pay to have their problems solved/advanced.

Why?
  • Enable anyone to mobilize help from demonstrably skilled problem solvers to advance whatever problem they are struggling with.
  • An opportunity for ideators to monetize their skills. To my knowledge, there is currently no such service for freelance problem solvers.

How it works

Prerequisites

For this to be feasible several things need to be in place:
  • a dedicated place where people can demonstrate their problem solving skills
  • a leaderboard/rating system where good ideators can surface and be discovered
  • a transparent brainstorming process with agreed-upon rules
  • a payment system that keeps the offered payment in escrow and ensure a fair exchange
  • an arbitrage procedure to solve any disputes
  • moderation that prevents spam/abuse and keeps everything clean
All of the above would ideally be built into an open brainstorming platform.

Configurable prices

Every ideator can configure their own participation price in the account settings. The system suggests a range (from minimum to maximum). Each user can configure their own within the constraints of the range. This prevents absurd prices.

The higher the ideator's rank on the platform the higher their maximum fee can be configured.

Invitations and notifications

The platform members can configure their availability to be invited. The options are:
  • allow free invitations and notify me about them via email (on by default)
  • allow free invitations and send me in-platform notifications only
  • allow paid invitations and notify me about them via email (on by default)
  • allow paid invitations and send me in-platform notifications only
  • no invitations at all

Invitation fees to prevent spam

Each invitation costs a small fee and is paid to the platform. The higher the ideator's participation fee, the higher the invitation fee as well. This reduces spam and makes people invite only ideators whose imput they really want to get.

Escrow and arbitrage

People pre-load their accounts to cover the invitation fees. Upon an ideator's acceptance of an invitation, the asker has to fund the escrow before the paid ideator contributes their solution.

After contributing and before getting paid, an ideator can opt to reduce their fee. This is useful if a honest ideator feels like they haven't helped much but still invested good effort into solving the asker's problem.


Building credibility and discoverability as an ideator

Why would someone want to pay for your input? New ideators can build up their credibility and discoverability by sharing superb solutions/ideas for free and thereby building their profile and presence on the platform. This is basically evidence of exceptional ability as a problem solver.

What do you think? Would you pay to have highly creative people work with you on your problem?
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General comments

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Shubhankar Kulkarni
Shubhankar Kulkarni2 months ago
Great initiative! This is very much necessary for ideators. The main problem that we will encounter is that of solving conflicts between the ideator and the asker. The problem needs to be well-defined so that the ideator can propose a solution that fits within the existing constraints of the asker and the asker can then judge the solution more appropriately. Even then, if we want to implement the idea of the ideator reducing their fees if the solution does not solve the problem within the given constraints completely, we need to have a continuous rating scale, from say zero to ten. Since we will be evaluating the solution using a scale and not just a binary score ("yes, this solution solves my problem" and "No, the solution does not solve my problem"), there might be more room for conflict. Apart from using more manpower (moderators or a panel of experts), how do we solve this?
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Michaela D
Michaela D2 months ago
I can see that working with start-ups and incubators.
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