I met with Aaron Stanton yesterday, who is visiting the San Francisco Bay Area with the goal of getting Google to build his idea (his home is in Idaho, and this is the first time he’s been to SF/Silicon Valley since he was younger and visited with his parents). I see Mathew Ingram is asking “now what?”
Trouble is Aaron signed an agreement not to talk further about the process on his Web site, or with anyone in the media (including me). So, now we won’t hear much more. I guess if he says he’s a Google employee we’ll know how the story turned out, but I doubt he’ll know such a thing this week.
I found Aaron to be interesting and smart, but I wasn’t able to learn what his idea was because of the agreement. He told me he wanted to stick to his goal: getting Google to use the idea (which, he admitted, was actually a combination of three ideas that he’d written a prototype for, and prepared a presentation about). Not to make his Web site popular (he was quite surprised at how popular it had gotten, in such a short period of time. That didn’t surprise me, though. The word-of-mouth network is quite efficient now and ideas spread fast). Funny enough he said most of his early traffic came from within Google and after that it got on Digg and TechMeme and other popular blogs, which brought waves of traffic.
That’s typical too. If one guy in a big company finds something interesting they email it around and you can get thousands of visits in an hour. I remember one time when I emailed something around one of the bigger lists at Microsoft and the blog owner asked me what the heck was going on, cause he had gotten 2,000 visits in a few minutes. Turns out big company employees are email happy and click on links in email at a ferocious rate.
Anyway, Aaron said his trip had already succeeded and that he was going to stick around a few more days and see Silicon Valley’s sights (I told him to visit the Computer History Museum before he goes home, especially since that’s only a couple of miles from Google’s campus). Oh, and he also told me he’s been working on the idea for several years, and that Google is best positioned to make his idea happen (he’s considered going the venture capital route, but that Google with its massive new data centers is able to take advantage of the idea right now, vs. a few years from now).
Actually, that’s the best reason to go to work for a big company. IF you can get them to implement your idea (not easy at all, as I covered yesterday) your idea will get resources that a smaller company can only dream about (and most VC’s won’t be willing to fund).
More links on this over on TechMeme.