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10 Comments

Am I stealing the idea? I need your help!

I need your help on this one!

I love note-taking apps and the whole second brain spiel. But a problem with that is the overwhelming number of notes you end up with...

But Roam Research (which took off immediately) came up with a better solution: linking notes in a smart way, making it effortless to structure a huge amount of notes.

My Idea:
A blogging platform alternative where:

  • writers can share their forest of evergreen notes & edit/link their posts like in Roam Research (probably way simpler 😅),
  • readers can browse notes in a new fancy way making it more pleasant to fall into rabbit holes (example 👇).

Problem:
Andy Matuschak has a great section where he has implemented this fancy browsing feature:
https://notes.andymatuschak.org/About_these_notes

After some research, I believe he's the only one doing that and he explains that he doesn't want to make it public yet:
" I haven’t made this system available for others to use. It’s still an early research environment, and Premature scaling can stunt system iteration"

Question:
Is it fair to still pursue this idea and build a v1?

  1. 6

    It is absolutely fair to pursue this idea.

    All these tools are remixes of a nifty idea that Vannevar Bush had in 1945 :)

    The real joy and pain will come from solving the general problem for your specific audience (writers and their readers).

    1. 2

      Awesome thank you so much!
      (never heard of this guy 😅)

  2. 3

    I don't think this is stealing per-se, as you're not copying Roam and even if you did you would still bring your own implementation.

    That being said, be careful trying to identify the problem to solve.

    But a problem with that is the overwhelming number of notes you end up with...

    Is this the problem really? Or the lack of connection between notes?

    Also, who has this problem?

    linking notes in a smart way, making it effortless to structure a huge amount of notes.

    Roam goes beyond of simply linking notes, they're aiming to create a way to structure thought and derive new knowledge (or at least that's how I understood from their white paper ) although to be perfectly honest it seems to me very similar to how wikipedia works (not the editing part but the link to anything) and for that matter how internet works, at least in structure. The "derive new knowledge" that's the novelty.

    Here are some other tools that address similar problem

    https://www.semilattice.xyz/ This is where I first learn about all this second brain thing.

    They mention pivotal inspiration:

    Muse by Ink and Switch
    Roam Research
    Andy Matuschak's Personal Notes (you linked it)
    WebMemex

    Also have a document explaining what they try to solve.

    So I don't think your idea is stealing, if anything getting inspired. But be careful, you may create a solution for something that's not a problem.

    Feel free to DM me on twitter. I myself am interested to create a tool like this (different domain) and it would be interesting to have someone to discuss this further.

    1. 2

      Thank you so much you taught me a lot on this one!

      You're absolutely right, Roam Research goes beyond just linking notes. I just didn't want to make my post too long.

      I don't want to create yet another knowledge management per se, but rather a blogging platform, using the solution offered by Roam Research as a tool for the writers but not as the final product.

      So the problem here is for the reader trying to delve into a dense, interconnected collection of ideas.

  3. 2

    Honestly, go do it. It’s the marketing that counts. Facebook didn’t come up with the idea of a social network.

    1. 1

      Yeah you're right! the execution is what matters
      (I won't compare myself to facebook though 😅)

  4. 2

    This is not stealing the idea.

    1. 1

      Nice! thank you, I should have looked for similar questions before posting 🤭

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