04/22/2007 04:25 pm ET Updated May 25, 2011

Release 0.9 : Open ToDo Lists

[the final Simonyi tour post is coming very soon now; it's in fact-check currently.]

Dina Kaplan of, Astro Teller of BodyMedia, John Hagel formerly of McKinsey, Matt Cohler of Facebook, Steve Starr from Revver and I were sitting around at Dialog yesterday and Dina came up with the notion of open to-do lists. It's so hard to set priorities.... why not let the people who want things from you have a voice, too? Instead of moaning and sighing and telling people "Oh I'm so busy" - which often comes off as "Oh I'm so important" - why not post your to-do list and let people see for themselves...

The idea is not exactly to make a market or auction for your time - because money is not (or shouldn't be) the point. And what else could people bid for your time with? Perhaps a closed social network in which everyone is allocated timepoints to bid for others' time? What exchange rate would operate between, say, Sergey Brin and some young entrepreneur eager for his attention? Or between Tom Friedman and his many fans? [Shades of the attention economy here.]

Instead, the notion is to provide transparency so that people can (ideally) calibrate for themselves whether you will be interested/have time for their request. Of course, it wouldn't really work: People at either end of the spectrum are likely to miscalculate. The clueless will think their request is important no matter what else you have to do, and the people you really want to go out of the way for, may be too humble in their demands.

But it's an interesting thought experiment.... Thanks, Dina!