My Idea is Your Solution
Of all the apps I'd like to build (for instance, my Amazon Allowance Allocator), none seems more urgent to me than one I've tentatively entitled Your Solution.
It's a simple app. Your Solution is a social network of the top issues of the day.
1 - Users submit problems/issues they feel deserve to be on the list. The app filters between local (municipal), state, and national problem lists.
2- People vote, and the most popular problems/issues (top 9) stay on each list.
3- Users submit solutions/ideas. Ideas come from registered users (no hidden identities).
4 - Ideas get voted to the top via a simple anonymous "like" vote, open to anyone. Comments are not an option.
That's it. It's a social networking app where widely different opinions/ideas fight it out like collegiate coaches polls or American Idol popularity votes.
While Your Solutions is a opportunity for ordinary people to offer solutions, it'd also allow representatives (local and national) to cut through big-money advertising and lobbyist-penned talking points. Citizens could see solutions doing battle, as opposed to personalities, Super-PACs, or parties.
Your Solution is a way to make fixing infrastructure or fighting climate change work in a popularity-contest setting and feel brave. Is it scientifically sound? Probably not. But if it worked right, I think it could make offering real solutions cool again: Post your ideas. Put up or shut up. Show us what you've got.
Even if it was only moderately popular, Your Solutions is a viable and more accurate read of what people really want than traditional polling (polling questions are a ridiculous methodology for collecting data). If it's wildly popular, Hilary's and Trump's ideas are battling it out on the app in 2016.
For this to work, the app would likely need to be clear of advertising and potential bias. It has the attractive draw of active users, but it certainly doesn't (and shouldn't) have an obvious monetization plan.
A quick slice:
Once you've downloaded Your Solutions, you are asked to either register or participate as an anonymous voter.
Registering, I realize, is a substantial request. It's proven fatal on apps I've created in the past. But Your Solutions needs this level of participation. The brave and ingenious will register. If it's a success, those looking to become famous or win elections will also not hesitate to register either. In this sense, it's more like obtaining a Twitter account than registering for some nebulous reason. It's your way of being heard and counter.
Once registered, you are free to propose problems that deserve society's attention. They cannot be created anonymously. The top nine issues or problems will be determined by voting. Whenever a problem achieves top-nine status, it's open for solutions.
(I originally wanted to call this app 9 Problems - a nod to the Ice-T song, later made famous by Jay-Z - but people don't want to download problems, they want solutions. Ideas.)
Offer a solution, you know you have one. Like the problems, solutions are open to be voted on by both the registered and anonymous users. Now there's a contest for the best solution. Can your idea rise to the top? Is it better than Hillary Clinton's? She just registered and offered up some solutions. Trump, too.
Now we've got a battle of ideas. Real people are seriously mulling real problems, free from parties and partisan labels. Famous politicians may be submitting ideas, but theirs may not be any better than LeBron James or yours.
Suggested Listening: Armstrong singing "I Get Ideas"