A list of half-baked ideas I’m considering, usually somewhere on the scale between impractical and very impractical. I take no credit for most of these. Nothing new under the sun, right? If you are:

  • working on something which sounds like it’s listed here

  • or have an idea about my idea

  • or want to save me time by pointing me to an existing solution

  • or want to tell me why it won’t work and I’m an idiot

… then you should get in touch. I’d love to be a sounding board or just chat about interesting things! Inspired by this page.


Collaboration & learning

  • Concept: habit-tracking app.
  • A regular series where a bunch of friends and I log onto Zoom and watch a lecture, followed by a discussion about it
    • Phrased differently: how can I chat with 5 other people obsessed with the same thing as I am this week? Be it a concept, company, question, or idea?
  • Online video discussion platform with automatic transcription, Reddit-style upvoting for questions, auto-merging of similar questions, deep-links to referenced books, talks, podcasts and an auto archive version.
    • Balaji S. Srinivasan: Someone should build Zoom for full remote conferences, and do it right now. (Twitter thread)
  • A private Twitter account only I follow, sourcing tweets from Readwise + Anki
    • Retweet / Like can be used to signal how soon I want to see it again.
    • Make my social media use more productive
    • Inspiration
  • Livestream a group of programmers (remote, in-person?) collaboratively building something over the course of a week … open source on Twitch.

Information organization, discovery, visualization

  • Everything described in my Digital Tools I Wish Existed post
  • A service to auto-convert any uploaded PDF to HTML, host it, allow markup, discussions
    • Multiple uploads of same file redirect to same URL
    • Git-like versioning system
    • Could be hosted on IPFS?
    • Aggregate discussions from the internet (Reddit, HN)
  • Google results but mapped in 3D with results sortable by longevity, backlink count, search terms. Ability to cross-reference multiple searches. Needs AR + high fidelity hand gestures to be useful.
  • Timeline of one’s life overlaid over much longer timeframes and significant events (company foundings, wars, country foundings, inventions, etc) to remind me how short life is.
  • Voice interfaces (Alexa, Google Voice, etc) should pause the audio/video stream at the timecode the first cyclable was uttered, not at that point it finished transcribing your speech.
    • I suspect this would make them feel much snappier.

Browser improvements, extensions

  • An extension to color text on Wikipedia according to how long it’s been part of the page.

Tech support tools

  • A service to let family members collaboratively manage an email for older/non-tech savvy relatives to prevent phishing, and to maintain easy access for tech support.

Productivity & Health

  • Try associating left hand phone use with productive things like reading and flashcard review, and right hand with social media
    • Not sure if this would actually help anything
  • Disconnect Day: no internet whatsoever, save for 2 email checks. Ideally weekly.
    • John Carmack: “I was doing a remote study/think time this week, and I tried a “no screen time day” as an experiment … It was inconclusive” (Twitter thread)

This page

  • Upvote and downvote buttons
  • Tags