A problem and some solutions on Aiju
There are lots of startups out there focused on making money. Aiju is not one of them. Instead, it’s an online problem-solving platform that aims to make the world a better place.
Unfortunately, before we talk any more about that, we have to talk about it’s name. Aiju is the Chinese name, but tragically the English name (and the startup’s domain name) is iGeey. That is terrible. Awful. It is such a horrible name, in fact, that I refuse to call it that, so for the remainder of this post I’ll be calling it Aiju and trying to pretend that “iGeey” is just a bad dream.
In practice, Aiju is pretty simple. It’s a bit like Quora or other “answers” services, except that the site focuses on real-life problems rather than questions, and the answers are all suggested solutions which users can then vote up or down. Users can also upload “real-life case” data like photographs to further explain (or prove the existence of) the problem in question, and can “follow” problems they’re interested in. It is also possible to comment on problems if you don’t have an actual solution in mind; there is a separate system in place for commenting and submitting a potential solution.
The problems posted to the site do appear to be curated by the Aiju team, which means there aren’t many of them and it’s not full of irrelevant spam. While I hope they expand the offerings as the site grows, moderating and limiting the posted problems is a good idea as it helps keep people focused on solving a few real problems at a time.
Of course, there’s no way for the site itself to enforce the implementation of a cool solution after users have voted on it, but it does provide an interesting collection of possible solutions to any given problem. For example, one problem listed on the site is that pets in the user’s residential community urinate and defecate more or less anywhere, which makes a mess. Users submitted solutions including creating a toilet area for pets and better training for dogs, but the winning solution was to have owners carry stuff to clean up after their pets.
That said, it won with only a single vote. At present, it is clear that the site’s user numbers are very, very small. That’s something I hope changes, because it’s a cool concept, and crowd-sourcing solutions to social problems both big (recycling) and small (dog poop) could help turn up some truly life-changing ideas. But for that to happen, people need to be aware of it, and participating. I hope that they do.
And I really hope the Aiju team changes that English name.
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