Where Ideas Live
Emerald is the fastest way to start collaborating on an idea and the best way to grow ideas with others. There are many places to put ideas, but no space that’s built specifically for incubating, nurturing, and collaborating on ideas. Before Emerald, ideas and their component parts were scattered everywhere. They lived across notes apps, chats, text messages, Google docs, Notion pages, and in people's heads. Now, there’s a single place for them.
With Emerald, you can work on multiple ideas simultaneously, find people to work on ideas with you, and celebrate good ideas. There are simple features that allow you to manage updates to an Emerald, set individual roles and responsibilities within an Emerald, celebrate meaningful contributions to an Emerald, keep your Emeralds private or public, and discover Emeralds to support or collaborate on.
This makes it easy to develop ideas over time, with people, and to get new collaborators up to speed quickly. Ideas are collaborative and with Emerald there is a social process of bringing people along with you as the idea gets built. Some ideas happen quickly, others require time and multiple false starts to get going. But all ideas happen because of the contributions of a community.
Ideas are one of the most powerful tools we have. Our mission is to make it easier and faster to generate momentum around them. Emerald is the place where ideas find their people. We hope you think so too!
Major and Minor Releases
Major releases (1.0, 2.0, 3.0, etc...) are meant to be a complete re-statement of the entire idea. Readers should be able to fully understand the state of the idea by reading from the most recent Major Release to the current Minor Release. Readers should assume that previous elements of an idea that are not stated in the latest Major Release are deprecated and no longer considered. By default, Releases from earlier than the most recent Major Release are collapsed by default. They can be expanded and re-read for historical context, but should not be necessary to understand the current state of the idea.
Minor Releases (1.1, 1.2, 3.5, 4.19, etc) denote a decision about a new or updated element of the idea, but do not need to restate the entire Emerald. Minor Releases are sometimes abandoned during the next Major Release simply by not being included in the text of the Release.
Mark As Read
Users can mark any Release as read. This serves both as a way for users to remember which Release they saw last, and to let people know when their collaborators have caught up to the latest Releases so they can move on without worrying about their collaborators missing needed context.
Minor Releases automatically collapse once makred as read to help readers keep track of where they left off without being overwhelmed by lots of scrolling. They can always be re-expanded if a reader needs to dive into an idea. Major Releases stay expanded by default so that readers always have the basic context needed to understand the current state of the idea.
Comments and Rock Ons 🤘
People can comment on both Major and Minor releases to add questions, thoughts, ideas, and potential next steps to the release. In general, comments are meant to provide a place for discussion, brainstorming, and questioning, rather than a decision. When a comment thread leads to new ideas that should be added to the Emerald, a Collaborator should create a new Minor Release documenting the progress.
People can choose to acknowledge a great comment that adds something meaningful to the Emerald by giving it a Rock On (🤘). In this way, people can acknowledge a good addition without needing to write a one-word comment. This also serves to give people credit for contributing to ideas without creating new releases. In future versions of Emerald, people who contribute ideas that receive "Rock Ons" will be credited for their contribution in the Emerald's future Major Releases.
Collaborators and Releaser
Collaborators are people who are actively participating in the development of the idea. They have the ability to create new Minor Releases, add comments and Rock Ons, edit an Emerald's settings, and add new Collaborators.
The Releaser is effectively the Emerald's steward. While a Collaborator is the Releaser, they are expected to keep the momentum going by deciding when to create new Major Releases that combine active Minor Releases and comments into a new, re-stated idea. Any Collaborator can set themselves as the next Releaser if needed, but only one Collaborator can be the Releaser, and thus create a new Major Release, at any given time.
Supporters are people who like and want to support an Emerald, but aren't yet ready or don't want to actively maintain it. They can mark Releases as read, comment on them, and give comments "Rock Ons," but cannot add Minor or Major Releases. On Private Emeralds, Collaborators can invite Supporters. On Public Emeralds, anyone can join as a Supporter. Collaborators can remove Supporters from an Emerald at any time.