IT|Redux

Idea Exchange Rocks

Thursday, April 12th 2007 | Ismael Ghalimi

A couple of weeks ago, I explained how Intalio is outsourcing its product management function to customers using a process we call Demand Driven Development. Following the release of this article, I have been exposed to the Idea Exchange, and must say that I am very impressed by the quality of the implementation that Salesforce.com developed for an idea quite similar to ours.

Beyond the polish of its user interface, what I like about Idea Exchange is the way it ranks popular ideas based not only on the number of promotions, but also on the recentness of those and the comments that usually come with them. I was also very impressed to see the list of features originally submitted to the Idea Exchange and added to the last Spring release when I received an email notification announcing its availability. This gave me a sense of immediate feedback loop that is highly satisfying.

I like to put my money (and time) where my mouth is, so I started submitting ideas to the Exchange yesterday. I posted seven so far, and I invite you to promote them if you have a Salesforce.com account. Moving forward, all ideas presented on this blog and related to Salesforce.com will also be recorded onto the Idea Exchange. I strongly encourage other vendors to build exchanges of their own. Dell did just that, using technology developed by… Salesforce.com.

Entry filed under: Office 2.0, SaaS, Social Networking

6 Comments - Add a comment

1. Karsten Bjørk Rasmussen  |  April 14th, 2007 at 9:58 am

Great article. It was really interesting to learn that Dell was applying technology from Salesforce.com for their very renowned Dell IdeaStorm. Unfortunately, as I write this I’m not able to access the Salesforce.com IdeaExchange. But reading your post, I can understand that they rate the ideas by some intricate formula, taking into account number of comments, how recently they have been posted, etc.

I would like to direct your attention to prediction markets as an alternative. Not only is there massive documentation on how Prediction Markets outperform other techniques for picking the right idea in a selection process, but the concept also brings the contributors closer into the loop, and opens the opportunity for Intalio/Salesforce.com/Dell to reward contributors, who help the companies with the idea generation and predicting the best ideas.

This is achieved by setting up a “stock market” for ideas, where the participants can trade (buy and sell) shares in the listed ideas, over a predefined period of time. One of the premier vendors for Prediction Markets is Nosko. By combing this technique with the IdeaStorm concept, you are able to fully maximize the wisdom of your crowd (customers, partners, vendors, etc.).

2. Ismael Ghalimi  |  April 14th, 2007 at 1:02 pm

Karsten,

Thank you so much for this insight, I really like the idea, and will have to play with it as soon as possible. We might adopt your approach for the next version of our Demand Driven Development process.

Best regards
 -Ismael

3. Kingsley  |  April 24th, 2007 at 11:14 am

You noticed! Fantastic!

Actually, I should have caught up on your comments a while back, but the Expo was all consuming. Those are some really cool ideas you’ve posted on the IdeaExchange by the way. Plus, you’re in the top 10 users list for the month.

4. Ismael Ghalimi  |  April 24th, 2007 at 1:03 pm

Kingsley,

Thanks for the kind words. Much appreciated.

Best regards
 -Ismael

5. Tom Greenberg  |  October 5th, 2007 at 8:05 am

Other vendors have had the same feature for ages! I remember that NetSuite and Salesboom.com have what they call feature requests. Although the idea exchange is good for users, competitors of Salesforce.com can easily incorporate these ideas into their offerings before Salesforce.com!

6. Josh Whiting  |  October 9th, 2007 at 9:04 am

The feature “idea exchange” or “feature requests” of NetSuite and Salesboom.com really is the best way to ensure customers are receiving exactly the services they require. I was pleased to learn about this feature and look forward to watching how much it will improve the CRM software market.

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