The Brown Effect is when a person, usually someone with more authority than yourself, tells you they have a great idea for a new thing. The idea is based on a great idea, but this idea that it borrows from is really bad. Also see Milindo.
I have a new idea for a toaster, instead of it toasting the bread, it browns the toast. I call'em "Toastles" TM by RS. This is The Brown Effect.
This example happens to use an idea that does not necessarily have to do anything brown, but this is the example.