Last Updated on October 17, 2012 by New-Startups Team
There is an incredible force that comes from the simplest act of helping a stranger, in giving without expecting recognition. In your daily life, you may give a homeless person something extra they are in need of or you might do something as simple as opening the door for a fellow citizen – but when you perform these acts, rarely will you go around telling people what you have done. Rather you do it because it “just feels right.” There is something magical in the quality of giving anonymously that satisfies a basic need in all of us. This magic is what coWonder is all about.
As people we are a group who love challenges. Challenges are what make us who we are. coWonder is a new way to develop ideas, address challenges and collaborate to deal with the questions that we all face every day. Founded by Fermin Zelada, he says about coWonder:
“Using an innovative mind-mapping engine, the platform encourages its users to share ideas and challenges by asking for and giving help without divulging their identities. coWonder is different to other social platforms because it uses the power of disassociated and anonymous collaboration. It is a place where users can wonder together to find and share ideas, viewpoints and advice.”
coWonder users can find themselves searching for anything: inspiration for a children’s book, the right name for a new brand, a new perspective on a personal issue. No matter the challenge or question the platforms community will be a place to help answer the open ended questions that are difficult-to-solve and not readily available with answers on the forums, search engines and numerous other sites flooding the web. More than answers to questions, coWonder’s community will help foster and share ideas so that we can all move forward together.
How does it work?
The coWonder uses “Ideas Tree” to open up a world of new ideas, a multitude of possibilities where users don’t have to contribute to the original challenge but can make suggestions against some of the subsequent contributions. If you don’t know much about the subject matter of the original challenge but want to help, you can add something to a contribution made by somebody else so that a lack of knowledge about the challenge doesn’t prevent you from helping.
For example, if you had the challenge of figuring out how to add pick an environment for a children’s app you might share: “I am building a children’s app which takes place in New York. Can anybody help me with where the app should take place that is kid friendly and fun?”
If you don’t have children nor have ever lived in New York, you may not feel comfortable to offer a suggestion to directly solve the challenge, but you may still want to help. That’s where the beauty of the Ideas Tree comes into play. Instead of focusing on the original challenge itself, you can read some of the other contributions and find something that relates directly to your experiences that can in turn help the original challenge question.
You might find a contribution like this:
“New York is a city filled with things to do and is bursting with life. Just like children!”
That contribution from another stranger may just be the leap you need to offer a suggestion of yourself through a connection of New York, children and your own experiences. Perhaps you’ll remember you had a love of sports as a child. And can leave a contribution asking:
“Where do children play sports in New York?”
As a result a new contribution can probably be added to the tree and feed back to the original challenge with possibly a response such as:
“Children love playing sports in Central Park. The app might want to start in a basketball court in Central Park.”
You can see how this works. Your contributions might be just enough for somebody else to connect to the challenge and prompt them to add something alongside. So, quickly, one challenge can become a tree of ideas, points of view and suggestions. You really don’t have to be an expert on the subject to make a valuable contribution.
coWonder provides the base for its users to share exactly those kinds of challenges and develop ideas in an anonymous and friendly environment. A single challenge can rapidly grow into a “Tree of Ideas”, allowing for an entire community to explore different paths through challenges. As one branch grows out a group of people can add to a challenge in teams, allowing for multiple ideas and contributions to be developed at the same time. This Parallel Principle dramatically increases the effectiveness of coWonder allowing any number of people to contribute to a challenge at the same time and in parallel.
As coWonder grows, the site will become a place bursting with ideas that will allow anybody to tackle any kind of challenge no matter what their background or knowledge. The site currently is in beta, but the platform truly is an exciting place to develop together anonymously by making the process of sharing intuitive, simple and fun. So go ahead – be bold, be open-minded and don’t be afraid to be naïve. This is a place to wonder. There are no names here, no genders, no nationalities or races. It doesn’t matter what your social background is or where you come from. It simply is a collective of anonymous wonderer’s that love the process as much as the goal.