Friday, January 18, 2008

Share and share... not alike?

Still smarting a bit from being told that I wasn't going to get any NGO-assistance to move to a revenue-generating model because... I didn't yet have enough revenues.

That's up there with the one a few years ago that rejected my application because it was 'too left filed and nothing like it had be doen before'. It's name? The Creative Innovation Fund.

I was pondering this as I watched today's BBC Breakfast local/Midlands section, with a report on a Birmingham Council carshare initiative (no link I can find, thanks to the woeful BBC online search - subject to confirmation, it might be referring to this).

Any road up, seems that this initiative has been in place a while now (and I'm betting with a few more folk and a few more involved than any that has come my solo, mostly self-funded way), and has netted... 60 sign-ups. This puts me in mind of a press release for a national green online effort recently that was trumpeting 50,000 monthly hits . That's... not great, bearing in mind I'm gunning for 500,000 unique visitors, which is a lot different (and tougher) measure.

The platitude offered was that such things are 'slow-burners'. Well yes, that's what I have been saying about us, but this slow burner seems to be doing a lot better than many, yet can't get arrested, yet bazillions get poured down green holes to a very questionable enviROI+ degree at the drop of an inter-departmental hat... er.. memo.

The even more annoying thing is that I have in the wings tripsplitters, which is a whole new take on car sharing that I really think could work and make some serious money, and acts in complement to the local postcode facility.

To get this off the ground I would need help, mainly in time (but that is, at the end of the day, still money). But considering the effort to reward ratio of applying for help from these bodies, and where their heads are at as to what you get and how they connect you with the right folk to help the ideas person turn it into a business, I am not so keen any more.

If ever there was a system designed to drain the creative soul out of an innovator, these seem to be perfectly crafted for the task.

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