Ideas so Bad, They’re Good

In Appsurd: In Silicon Valley, It’s Hard to Make a Joke, bad ideas become successes.

When Mr. Cornell crafted Jotly as a joke, he says, he tried well-known start-up tricks to make it convincing, like using the color blue and giving it a name ending in “ly.” Other important elements, he says, included assuming everybody wants to share everything they do with everyone, and having “no clear purpose.” He was surprised at the positive response to the idea. “One of our programmers said it would be fun to make, so we decided to crush it out,” he says.

While the creative (and other) excesses of Silicon Valley culture are wonderful media fodder, this article goes quite nicely with my recent Core77 piece The power of Bad Ideas. What we initially frame as bad can – especially as we understand more deeply the measures we should be using – emerge as good.


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