Many Hats, Market-Breakers

This is an idea for an umbrella company over my various projects, as I enter Boston’s entrepreneurial community and attempt to find investors, clients, and partners.

Many Hats identifies, designs, deploys, and distributes market-breaking technologies and innovations.

Market-breaking involves not merely shifting a market by providing a new product that expands market size. Many Hats generates goods, services, tools, and models that submit industries to profound creative destruction, forcing entrenched firms from complacency while lifting new entrants to the fore of a newfound frontier. One example of a market-breaking technology: widespread file-sharing tools, which continue to rock the music industry even today, inspiring competitors to find new ways of connecting with consumers.

So how does Many Hats break markets? Let’s look at some of our current projects:

WikiStudies: Research publishing enjoys the comforts of a structural bottleneck. Credibility is dictated by editors and small groups of reviewers, who attempt to filter the signal from the noise in research. But if there’s anything we’ve learned from the evolution of journalism amid the rise of services like Twitter, it’s that you don’t need dedicated teams to filter material, item by item. The community is more than happy to provide feedback and organize material, so that a service need only provide the tools for the community to more effectively help itself generate, consume, rate, and share content. Many elements within the research community are desperate for a service like this: disenfranchised students whose research is ignored for lack of credentials, professors with ground-breaking finds whose research is denied publication time and time again for being too jarring and different, and laymen who want a better way to find and review first-hand research than purchasing costly journal subscriptions. By developing an open platform for research publication, organization, reviewal, collaboration, sharing, and consumption, we can blow the market wide open.

Open Teaching: [fill in later]

For the People (formerly Open Source Democracy): [fill in later]

Resumoid: [fill in later]

Broome Academy: [fill in later]

Presenting WikiStudies

I’m presenting on WikiStudies to the University of Oregon’s Entrepreneurship Club for their Bring Your Own Business competition. You can see the presentation here, and read my project outline here. There’s $50 if I win.

The short of WikiStudies is that it’s a wiki-like site where researchers can freely publish their studies, and provide and receive peer reviews to and from other researchers. This outright eliminates publisher bias, which has contributed to the suppression of a number of very important studies, and foments superior scientific rigor and transparency by submitting studies to not just five or ten peer reviewers, but hundreds of them. Additional services in the form of votes, citations, and tagging allow studies to be sorted, organized, and filtered for easy consumption, making the whole body of scientific knowledge, and the process by which it grows, more accessible. The science and grad folks I’ve talked to have said this sort of service is critical but lacking currently, and I’ve read more than a handful of papers by serious business scientists who want to leverage the power of crowdsourced content generation for the good of knowledge. I owe everyone I’ve talked to, and everyone I’ve read about, a huge thanks for helping me develop and improve the concept of WikiStudies — particularly the New Yorker’s article on The Decline Effect, which is what originally gave me the idea.

To get WikiStudies off the ground, I need programmers. I’m working with the Computer Information Technology department to try and get an internship program off the ground (CIT 404: Internship was authorized as a course earlier this term, but we still need to cut through the red tape to make it real), so I can hire students and pay them with course credit. The experience of making the internship program work will in turn feed me with information needed to refine InternFinder into a successful service. ¬†One hand washes the other.

And that’s it for now. Thanks for reading!

Ahoy!

My name is Max, owner of Sage Marmoset Productions (SaMarProd), a nonprofit firm that, uh, does very little. I’m a college student with too many jobs and too many things on my to-do list, so the firm isn’t exactly getting much done. But they’re moving, because I want them to move.

SaMarProd is working on three projects right now:

  1. Open Source Democracy: raise civic awareness and engagement by creating technology platforms for citizens to translate bills from legalese into plain talk, discuss the bill and its ramifications, and observe its journey through the political landscape.
  2. WikiStudies: eliminate publisher bias and improve peer review by providing a place for researchers to publish and edit their studies, and receive and provide peer reviews. Include systems to track and organize findings.
  3. InternFinder: connect businesses with academic internship programs by providing walkthroughs on each school’s internship process, guidelines for schools on how to set up effective internship programs, and methods for students to find internships at or near their school.

This blog is both my public blog, and the source for any news about the company and its projects, so expect explorations of business philosophy, some politics, and anecdotes from my daily life. For now, though, I need to get back to homework.