Ideas Drawer, and Garage-48 style projects in general

I’ve had some hobby-fun of trying out how small you can squeeze the time that is needed to complete a reasonable web site from an idea to first visitors (and their positive feedback). Ideas Drawer — in 12 hours by myself. — idea by me, but design and code by Mooncascade in 8 hours. Garage48 — weekend event in April, I’m planning to participate.

The concept of doing something in least possible effort that is necessary to go live with reasonable stuff is pretty engaging – it allows you to validate everything you do almost literally since day 1 you start doing something. The concept is preached (in less extreme terms, though) in one or the other way by different popular people. Examples being: Signal37, Paul Graham to mention some.

While having my full-time startup fun on DailyPerfect and targetAPI projects where the main goal is to solve a technically extremely challenging problem that requires really heavy work effort, something one can’t do in a weekend, I have spent also couple of hobby-hours to demonstrate… or test at least for myself, that one can come up with web-based product ideas that are not technically demanding, doable in hours and get acceptance by the users.


Ideas Drawer

Ideas Drawer is basically a repository of inspiring simple business ideas written by different people, but in order to see those, one has to contribute his/her own idea first. The idea of the prerequisite contribution has couple of reasons:

  • Elicit more interesting content with different views/opinions to that drawer by visitors
  • Avoid random spamming and joking
  • Keep the collection ideas artificially a bit closed, available only to those really putting some effort to see them, so that these ideas wouldn’t be that shop-worn as they would be in the completely open and public internet.

I spent around 12 hours in total on hacking together some graphical design and code for a simplest possible solution. There are no heavy registration forms nor other bloat-features. Just a box to enter the idea, another for email address to where to send the drawer key, and the idea list itself for those having the key. Later I also added Facebook connect for idea authors to expose their identity to the readers. That’s it so far.

I just wanted to see, if such kind of site where subscription wouldn’t cost money, but content contribution, could work. It seems to some extent (as I haven’t put major effort in promoting the site) it could – since the end of January when it went live, there are all together 17 ideas written into that drawer by different people.

My earlier post on the Ideas Drawer can be read here: I Created the Magic Drawer with the List of Business Ideas, Dwarfs in it and Everything. is the simplest possible free tool to gather anonymous and honest feedback about yourself from your friends, colleagues etc. You just create a personal feedback URL for yourself, spread it and ask others to write honest and anonymous feedback to you on that URL.

I got the idea on Friday evening, one and half weeks ago. Called right to a friend at Mooncascade who does both design and coding. He created the first graphical mock on that same Friday night and did the code on the weekend. In total he spent around 8 hours. By mid previous week, the site went live.

What is interesting on this example is the viral nature of the main feature. I just got to see how fast one can set up a simplest possible product that is supposed to be viral. As it went live rather recently, it is yet to be seen how viral it really is, but again, without major effort put into promoting the application, there are so far 30 registered users who have collected around 100 feedbacks. Some of those first users have demonstrated rather strong interest in using the service.

My personal feedback URL:


Garage48 is an event organized by Estonian Startup Leaders Club, that is going to happen in April 16-18th. Idea is – people will gather on Friday night, team up, get an idea, and lauch the product by Sunday night. I guess no more needs to be said about that :). I am planning to participate.


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