Lessons on Crowdsourcing Problems

Note to future self…

After collecting interesting problems to work on for a while for Houston there are a few lessons that we’ve take away:

  1. An idea or problem on its own is not enough (not surprising!)
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  3. Developing the idea maze is probably our threshold for identifying a good problem to solve
  4. Running through an idea maze is an incredibly resource intensive process (needs context)
  5. The opportunity cost of building a library of these “idea mazes” makes it irrational for any founder to use this method to find a great problem to solve (oops!). It might be more attractive for investors or other folks looking to incubate multiple ideas and even then it’s not clear it’s an efficient way of doing things.

Our original vision for Houston was to collect the most interesting problems to work and eventually find one that we were so passionate about that it will motivate us to go solve it ourselves. In a way, it was a very selfish exercise. Nevertheless, by making it “open-source” and allowing everyone to see our process we think we’ve given back more than what we’ve taken. Hopefully, many people use Houston to find interesting problems to work on.

Now back to work…