I watched a recent demonstration of how one might capture search engine data through an API and track that data over time. It occurred to those bright people that built this application, that a specific search, in a specific moment in time, is lost the moment you change url’s or complete another search. How does the number of hits 10 minutes ago, compared to say in the next hour compare? Now, ask yourself why?
This is transient data. Data lost unless someone tracks it and its variances.
Reading TechCrunch, Meme-orandum and other start-up Silicon Valley type sites has become a bit of a compulsion for me lately. As innovation is my passion, it seems reasonable. With the Kauffman Center for Entrepreneurship in my own back yard I wonder if anyone is tracking the angel and VC investment in new companies over time.
So, here is the freebie of the day (likely worth what you pay for it)… start a database site that lists new company startups, tracks investments and profitability. Put a wiki front end on it and it becomes a self-promotion tool for startups and VC’s alike. Tracking the data over time would have value to anyone studying entrepreneurship.
If you fund the project with grant moneys, you could likely fulfill the grant with the transient data. If you run banner ads or search type ads to support the front end, you likely have something flip-able over time. Let me know how much my 15% ideation fee comes to in a few years will you?