I could do all sorts of silly things to patent it, protect it, bring in heavyweight partners, negotiate in tandem with Yahoo (viable 2nd choice) or MSN (kind of like having a Heisman Trophy and having to play for the Raiders) to put the squeeze on them etc. but, frankly, I'm very busy and that would take a lot of time and effort.
Also, having started several businesses from scratch, I would rather just give them an idea and collect a fair percentage of the revenues for doing nothing, and Google certainly has the wherewithal to do that for me.
So I decided to take a leap of faith and reach out directly to Google figuring, at one point, all Sergey and Larry had was an idea and a dream and they could probably relate.
Google has, on their web site, a place to submit ideas. I suppose they hope you will call it a suggestion you want to "share," but I clicked the button marked "patent."
Luckily I have another idea that is also very cool but probably isn't worth too much money so I filled in the little boxes and I told them I'd meet with them re. the first and we'll see how it goes before I tell them the second.
This is what I got back:
Thank you for your note. While we are not able to personally respond to all proposals, please be assured that we review every email we receive. If your proposal matches our current business and technology development needs, a Google representative will be in touch with you shortly. If your email is not related to business development, we encourage you to submit your message through the online contact form at http://www.google.com/support/
We appreciate your interest in Google, and thank you for taking the time to write.
The Google Team
When I ran a company we got all of our best ideas from listening to our clients -- they are your most valuable resource!
Still, I'm waiting until after the holidays as I'm too busy until then, but I thought it would be interesting to keep you in the loop as I am fairly positive that, one way or the other, I will be commercializing this idea by next year.
I'll take you through the process -- it'll be fun!