[Your Company] Says…

Idea management has gotten quite boring lately. Everyone, it seems has a tool. And they all do the same old thing.

Put your idea in. Vote a few times..

Be irritated when no one cares.

Repeat until you shut down idea management in disgust.

I’ve been dark for the last month or so on this blog, because I’ve been involved in imagining and building a fresh look at the problem.

Our realization was social interactions online are all very good, but they’re only useful for individual communications and one to many broadcasts.

If you’re trying to find the golden nugget, that gem of an idea that changes everything, you need a different unit of aggregation than individuals. You need to get quick, accurate consensus across groups.

So we built Icon, our new platform for collective intelligence. It’s a game with serious intentions.

Firstly, it’s a social network, but one with a difference. The basic unit of work is your expressed preference for one of you’re colleagues ideas over another. Instead of voting, you say “I’d rather have this, than that”.

Secondly, it is a game. Internally at Spigit, we’ve been using it for a month, and people get addicted quite quickly. Anyone can ask a question on anything, and expect to get quick results. Today, for example, someone started a whole thing on the best Super Power to have, and why?

At Spigit, the crowd is presently saying:

  1. The power to turn socially awkward situations into song and dance routines from Chicago
  2. The power to steal the super powers of others
  3. The ability to f**t glitter (this was suggested by one of our brilliant designers).

This from a field of lots of suggestions, most more serious than No. 3

Now, you’d think this was all spammy and time wasting, but actually, it is really good fun. Sometimes you need fun when you’re dealing with other questions which are presently running, such as

“What are the top product enhancements or bug fixes to enhance the customer experience” – Spigit Says “Enhance Idea Merge and Combine”


“Delocalizing Spigit- How best to work across timezones”, for which Spigit Says “Support a Shift System”.

What we’re doing with Icon is implementing “[Your Company] Says” for any question that anyone inside asks.

That’s an important new capability, and one that I think lots of people would like to have.

I invite you all to try Icon, and I’d love to hear your feedback. Its free.

7 Responses to“[Your Company] Says…”

  1. Stephen
    May 2, 2012 at 1:12 pm #

    Why a ‘work email address’, the response appears authoritarian. Does one need to be assigned to a group, or categorised in some way, before they can contribute? Perhaps explain the constraint?

    Sidestep & Twist, states that high-take up of a product is directly related to simplicity. Leaving a potential customer or influencer confused with ‘why’ and with some form of rejection is perhaps something to reflect on and could have a negative impact on take up? e.g. is this something for ‘corporate drones’ only?

    What about free thinkers or other third-parties (e.g. customers) who do not assign themselves to a group?

  2. jawgardner
    May 2, 2012 at 1:18 pm #

    Dear Stephen,

    The reason for the work address requirement is that we’re trying to create a workspace for colleaugues in work environments. In that respect, we’re working in exactly the same way as Yammer does.

    Actually, I have to admit we have duplicated the Yammer model almost entirely.

    Our model is most definitely one that supports closed-groups unified by a common email domain. So, if you have a personal domain of some kind, you can sign up.

    There is certainly discussion about relaxing this requirement in a future version, just as Yammer does for its paid subscribers.

    Thanks so much for your comments and interest.

  3. Stephen
    May 2, 2012 at 1:33 pm #

    There could be an opportunity to offer the option of a ‘demo’ or video, to those who might not or cannot conform to the login requirement. Key influencers can sometimes be hidden and may not directly fit the model. Just a thought.

  4. May 2, 2012 at 4:20 pm #

    what is companies don’t really want their employees spending time figuring out what the best super power is? Seems like a lot of wasted time.

    • jawgardner
      May 2, 2012 at 4:52 pm #

      Thanks for the comment John, but I think the point I was making was ICON is providing a place for feedback that’s both fun AND for business. Most of the challenges our employees have put out have been very business related.

      Whether they are or not is probably not the point though. Since we’ve signed up about 150 companies since we launched yesterday, it is clear that employees *do* want this kind of capability.

      I accept the fact that management might not necessarily like it at first, though.

  5. May 2, 2012 at 6:11 pm #

    Thanks James.. this kind of just reminds me of a survey tool – like surveymonkey, which have been around for years. Again, not sure companies went their employees just sending 100’s of surveys to eachother, but guess we will see.


  1. Top 10 Internet Links of the Week. | - May 4, 2012

    […] [Your company] says…. – Whenever an employee driven innovation programme is implemented, the first issue you have is with managing expectations. Many employee expect their idea to be implemented as it is the best thing since sliced bread. This article by James Gardner (@bankervision) takes a look at how using software can expand the traditional suggestion scheme. […]

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