This article was published on March 28, 2011

AHHHA launches today to corner the “social ideation” market

AHHHA launches today to corner the “social ideation” market
Courtney Boyd Myers
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Courtney Boyd Myers

Courtney Boyd Myers is the founder of, a transatlantic company designed to help New York and London based technology startups gr Courtney Boyd Myers is the founder of, a transatlantic company designed to help New York and London based technology startups grow internationally. Previously, she was the Features Editor and East Coast Editor of TNW covering New York City startups and digital innovation. She loves magnets + reading on a Kindle. You can follow her on Facebook, Twitter @CBM and .

Matt Crowe, founder and CEO of AHHHA is trying to own the “social ideation” market, comparing his company to the Facebook of social networking. His company, which has been in stealth mode for two months, launches today to the public.

To define Crowe’s take on social ideation is to mix in one part individual idea creation, two parts crowdsourced curation and every once in a while shake well with corporation-fostered innovation. Based on those “Ah-Ha!” moments in life, Crowe truly believes that his platform will enable individuals to stake their claim on a unique idea, tap into the wisdom of the crowd to combine concepts and feedback, and share in its potentially future success monetarily. “AHHHA is organizing knowledge in the form of ingenuity,” says Crowe.

Here’s how it works: First enter your idea on the home page. Then sign in, connect with Facebook or create a new account. Users can then upload images, descriptions, a YouTube, then hit submit. Users can choose a privacy level, allowing the idea to syndicate out to different levels of social networks or keep it private in an idea vault.

As the community becomes involved, bringing together designers, engineers and funders, the web app tracks each products’ progress. “There are hundreds of thousands of steps, that our algorithm boils down to a simple, easy to manage platform that allows users to interact with others innovators,” explains Crowe, somewhat vaguely.

Crowe says that if an idea is truly novel and liked by the crowd, based on AHHHA’s algorithms, it will be monetizable. Crowe believes that 20% of products submitted will be successful. Users can make money in two ways, either by submitting an idea or by adding value to an idea. The platform includes a weighted scoring system so that different users receive different currency based on their activities, and eventually users could make millions of dollars. The more users interact with the site, the more likely it is that ideas will come to life. Profits from the product are split; idea originator gets 1% and AHHHA and its contributors split the remaining 99% on a sliding scale. Eventually, AHHHA will have its own microfund to invest in great ideas. And in the future, Crowe says he will partner with major brands and consumer research agencies to bring products to market.

One very desirable sounding feature, which AHHHA has yet to release, is a promised “patent automation process”, which could turn the gruesome patent process on its head, lowering the barrier to entry for idea creators.

Crowe believes social ideation is a ground breaking concept. So, how is it different from Toyota’s Ideas For GoodQuirky and Spigit?

“Yes, peer-to-peer crowdsourcing has been around. There’s Kickstarter, IndieGoGo, Spigit, Quirky, etc. But I’ve positioned this brand differently. The reason none of them have been able to scale to a relative, Etsy like size is because they are super niche,” says Crowe. “For one, Quirky hosts one idea a day, solely focused on products only. If you have an idea for an iPhone case, you pay a fee and undergo a community driven voting process. Spigit is limited in the same way. AHHHA is free and we accept an innumerable amount of ideas like time machines, world peace to innovative solar technology and everything in between. We are creating the market of ideas.

While Quirky has its own designers, we externalize every step of the process to its community. Quirky’s point system is complicated. I’ve tried to steer away from crowdsourcing because it’s ambiguous. Social ideation is different in my opinion. The evolution of the Internet grew from social networking to social media to social gaming. Social ideation is where you get something real and tangible in return on a pay level. Literally, I believe people will start to make hundreds of thousands and millions of dollars on our platform.”

-Matt Crowe

For previous information on crowdsourcing product design, read here.