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Business Ideas Brain Dump

by Jonas Huckestein on April 9th, 2010

I’ll change the format somewhat b/c I’m in a hurry; I’ll just dump some stuff out of my system so I can think about actual work I have to do.

Property Heatmaps For Places

I want to have heatmaps that I can lay over places to reflect certain properties such as how nice the place is, how expensive it is or how many girls there are around. I want to be able to animate this data like weather-forecasts and to detect patterns and to predict how it’s going to change.

I don’t have much on this yet, but check out this mockup:

Coming up after the jump:

  • Credit Card Meets Online Game
  • Mass-Customization of Physical Products + Gaming: Facilitating Shopping Addiction
  • Lab Notebook for the iPad

Credit Card Meets Online Game

This is my favorite. It’s sort-of a spin-off of the next idea and is best used in conjunction with it.

Imagine you have a credit card that will reward you not only with air-miles or bonus points but also with other virtual points/achievements/levels/community props. Basically, you’re combining the addiction of shopping with the addiction of online games!

You can even have challenges like hitting a certain series of stores in one day or spending more than 100$ at least once every day. I want the system to say “Spend 100$ today to reach level 34 and get the super rare achievement XYZ”.

You could do this together with a bank and collect wicked interest rates or sell it to existing credit cards as a value added service that will make them more money :)

Mass-Customization of Physical Products + Gaming: Facilitating Shopping Addiction

People are talking about how mass-customization of products is an incredibly lucrative market.

So let’s make a website where you can buy customized things. Now let’s also make it into a game where you can earn points and achievements etc. that allow you to customize your product in more interesting ways. People should be able to tell by the size of your shades that you’re on level 27 or killed some super monster or whatever.

This general concept doesn’t translate 1-to-1 in every market. Here’s two suggestions of how to implement the idea.

  • Luxury, rich people’s markets: This is jewelery, accessories, maybe fashion etc. According to my benchmark movie “Up In The Air”, rich people pride themselves in having many air miles. Fine, let them spend air miles in product customization! Or even better, give them a credit card, that is connected to your store and allows them to gain “levels” and what not based on their shopping habits (see previous idea). Their wives can then buy expensive products that will let everybody know that her husband has bough three items worth more than 10k with a credit card in the last 4 weeks ;)
  • Livestyle markets: Create an iPhone or Facebook or other “modern” game (most likely some roleplaying-thing) and allow them to pimp out their boring real-life selves with in-game achievements

I don’t have time to write my story around these links, so I’ll just add a list of links here that are sort of related:

  • Web 3.D presentation by Joseph Flaherty
  • Webkinz lets kids buy stuffed animals from their online game
  • Shapeways sells personalized products made by 3d printers and such
  • IIRC Chris Anderson’s latest book is about the paradigm shift from bits to atoms or something

Lab Notebook for the iPad

This is hilarious. So I search for iPad laboratory notebook and find this software called iPad ELN (Electronic Lab Notebook). I nearly discarded the whole idea b/c of that but then I look at the screenshots. Turns out, iPad ELN is a desktop application and  its name actually is “iPad”. BOOOM! Lawsuit!

Anyhow, apparently when scientists do lab work they have to maintain a lab notebook that is subject to strict rules. That way you can’t alter your experiment results after the fact or rip out experiments that are not in line with a later conclusion. I guess the exact rules depend on the lab and industry. This seems to be a big pain point.

So let’s just put all that in an iPad app. Here’s a list of advantages:

  • Connect to lab equipment automatically, no more manual recording
  • Upload results to servers and working groups automatically
  • Full-text searchable notes/data etc
  • Audio/Video/Photo notes
  • Integrated utility functions such as timers, audio/video triggers etc.
  • Maybe integrated with some sort of controlling software depending on your industry
  • In general, you can try to automate as much of the book-keeping process as possible.

I have no actual market data (a manual LN costs 9 bucks, though), but knowing the medical market and how the iPhone has been adapted in there, I guess this could be highly interesting. For reference, the self-proclaimed market leader in the ELN space, EKM,  has a product that is called EKM LABTrack that is so expensive that you have to email them for a quote. Also, there seems to be an actual ELN device called LabTrack and there seems to have been some sort of lawsuit.

All of this I gathered from two minutes of Googling and a discussion with Neuroscientists a year ago in Munich, so take it for what it’s worth. They wanted me to make an iPhone app but I found the iPhone to be insufficient for the task. Well, the iPad’s better. Go for it.

Business Idea of the Week Disclaimer: I just write these ideas down because it’s good training, I like them, don’t want to forget them and will most likely never have the time to actually implement them. If you know of a similar venture or are interested in the idea, I’d love to hear about that!

Related posts:

  1. Business Idea Of The Week: Make Work More Like Games
  2. Business Idea of the Week: Artificial Luxury Fashion Labels
  3. First Business Idea of the Week: The Social Media Alarm Clock
  4. Business Idea: Picture-Taking-Machines for Sights and Landmarks

From → Entrepreneurship

One Comment
  1. I love them :) especially no. 1 and 2. I would use this credit card thing and guess I would become poor^^ but amused ;)
    Thumbs up!

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