Browse By

Startup Idea #129: What are you working on?

The other day I met with a buddy that runs a photobooth rental company. After the meeting, I sent some introduction emails to him and others I know that he should know. It got me thinking, helping others is great — it’s human for us to want to help others. I know we have Twitter and Facebook, but what about another social network of needs? OK, Jig is doing that. But what about a focus on how can friends help you and how can you help friends?

I imagine a feed view similar to Twitter. Simple premise is “What are you working on?”, but maybe that’s not it. You could “retweet” things your friends say, want, or need.¬†Contacts, ideas, cheaper vendors and options, jobs, restaurant suggestions, tips, etc.

Ways to comment on them, thank, introduce people (Hashable?), etc.

I don’t use LinkedIn, so maybe something like this exists on there?

Has anyone seen anything like what I’m describing? Basically Twitter for work. Not Yammer¬†(that is basically for within your own company).

  • Mat Ranauro

    Check out, a great resource for designers, illustrators, UI/UX folks, etc. It’s essentially small screen shots of what you’re working on.

  • Alex Genadinik

    Steve I keep thinking we should try doing a pilot page for this sort of thing on problemio dot com – I’ll try it today and tomorrow and send you a link

  • Lisa

    Help or work and what particular kind of?
    Should it provide advice, be a kind of shared whishlist or call to action to meet offline and do something? For me these are quite different patterns.

  • Brian Scordato

    Hi Steve,

    I’m building a product called 3Degrees ( It’s a way to search, then meet/introduce, your Facebook friends’ friends. It’s a different way of looking at the problem above – for example, if you needed a babysitter, you probably have a friend who can recommend a good one, but as you say it’s difficult to keep everyone in your network apprised of what you need, even if they did have the ability and desire to help. 3Degrees will allow you to search your friends’ friends facebook profiles for “babysitting,” show all the people who babysit in your area, then show who you know who can connect you to them.

    Originally this was a dating site – search your friends’ friends for single people, then get an intro – but the way you describe above can be more helpful (and in my opinion, interesting).

    As of now, it’s best used for people moving to a new city (find people with similar interests in that area, then get introductions from mutual friends), and single people (search by relationship status), as hobbies and relationship status is usually on a facebook profile. We are building in the job aspect now (I want to work at Google, who do I know who works there or who can introduce me to someone), and the “services” search – vendors, babysitters, etc.

    It works best if you have a handful of facebook friends using the site, as each friend you have who is on 3Degrees gives you searchable access to that person’s entire network (public profile info only).

    Would be interested to hear your thoughts! We are very early stage, still trying to figure out how to be most useful.

  • Steve Poland

    Kevin Rose’s got really big and took off. There’s a user mechanic there that worked at the time, and likely still works in other instances. Like people adding themselves to a directory with “people” or “things” they know. For example maybe, I know a #babysitter in Buffalo NY. I know a #PCwhiz. etc. I suppose that’s what Kevin is doing now with Oink, maybe, although not on a person focus. I don’t know what the catch is, but what if people tagged others with tags? What if maybe it wasn’t necessarily public, but then you could access your network and see that Steve Poland knows a babysitter. It may not say who it is, but Steve Poland is the gatekeeper of that info in your network — and then Steve can choose to share with you that info, or make that introduction to his other pal.

    I don’t know, might be nothing there.

    The focus on new people to a new city, I think means your service may get stale as users that used it, won’t *always* use it and keep coming back.

  • Brian Scordato

    Thanks for responding. I like the gatekeeper idea, but want the site to essentially become an activity engine and didn’t want to hold up activities waiting for a formal introduction. For example, I live in Chapel Hill and felt like playing tennis last week. None of my tennis playing friends were available, so I was out of luck. On 3Degrees, users will be able to search “tennis” and see people in their area who like to play tennis and are a connection away. They’ll also be able to post an activity that anyone in their extended network can view and join, like “tennis today at 3.” Connecting with these people for an afternoon game of tennis probably wouldn’t require an intro from a gatekeeper. This is similar to How About We, but without the dating perspective and with the crucial element of trust (every person users see on 3Degrees is at most an introduction away).

    I agree, focusing on people in new cities isn’t the best route for longevity purposes. I’m struggling with a targeted initial customer base. The dating world is an obvious one, but the stigma (unfairly) associated with a dating site may pigeon hole us and potentially remove any platonic functionality. Dating site stigma becomes less pronounced each year, but still exists.

    Our goal is to make current social networks actionable. I think you’re right- a platform where people can help other people be happier through targeted introductions is the ultimate goal and holds a ton of value. The challenge is matching the “connector’s” network with the “connectee’s” problem, and making both parties aware of the potential solution. These relationships are in place, we just need to piece them together. Thanks again.