It took me all of, uh, 20 seconds to explain one of the ideas to them and the result, a mere matter of months later is http://timetric.com/. it is now in public beta and you might like to check it out.
The idea is simple but has significant consequences in my opinion
The basic thought is this: What if numbers were first class members of the Web ecosystem?...
- What if numeric quantities had their own "home" on the Web? I don't mean a great big slab of numbers, or a database, I mean the actual numeric quantities themselves : the time it takes you to drive to work, the spot price of gold, the average daily rainfall in Tanna Tuva...whatever.
- What if the changes to those quantities are recorded through time? You would end up with a time series for each numeric quantity.
- What if each time series was a blog, with its own feeds, its own simple web based update mechanism etc?
- What if all these numeric blogs lived out in the cloud so that it can scale to silly numbers and provide very high availabilty?
- What if the entire system provided simple webby APIs so that developers can upload as well as download stuff easily?
- And last but definitely not least...what if new time series could be created using spreadsheet like formulae - and automatically updated when any of the underlying numeric quantities are updated.
That would be pretty interesting. Not a database on the web, not a spreadsheet on the Web. Something new and much more interesting on the Web.
It will be fascinating to see what types of applications get built on top of the Timetric platform.