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Old 11-30-2011, 12:50 PM   #1
mmbt0ne
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Your ideas are worthless, and I'm here to prove it

Every day we see threads here where people want advice but are afraid to talk about what they're doing. It's completely understandable for you think that your idea is special and no one else has ever had it before, and that if you ever expose it to the light of day you will remain poor forever while getting Zuckerberg'ed by someone else on this forum.

But it's wrong. I guarantee you that someone else has had your idea before you. Lots of someones probably. It's not about the idea, it's about the execution.

More importantly though, if you really want to give a new ventuer the best chance to succeed you need feedback. And if you're asking for feedback and/or advice you need to put the idea out there for people to see.

It understandably takes a while for people to believe this, and it's damn near impossible to beat it in to their heads with just words. Either you believe A or you believe B, and in my experience only watching what happens when people are open versus when people are closed can change someone's viewpoint.

So for the next month or so I'm going to post all kinds of ideas in this thread. Some of them are things I've though about for a while (I have an ideas book on me at almost all times, and I recommend you do it too) and some of them are new ideas that I'll come up with over the course of this exercise. Truthfully, while I hope and expect a lot of posters to get something out of this, it is as much for me to keep thinking of new things as it is for you to see that no one is going to steal them and keep you from success.

I'm not going to say that my ideas are as good or better than anything you guys are working on, that would be ridiculous and pretty conceited. In fact my ideas will almost certainly be worse on average. But I bet there are one or two good ones in here, at least good enough to illustrate my point.

And I bet at the end of this we'll have tons of discussion about these, have a better understanding of a bunch of different markets, and NOT A SINGLE IDEA will have been implemented by a 2p2er here in a way that would preclude me from making money on it (if we decide a market exists).

So that's what I hope is going to happen here. I'll post business ideas, hopefully we can get lots of feedback and discussion on them, and no one will be able to corner the market on me
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Old 11-30-2011, 01:08 PM   #2
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Re: Your ideas are worthless, and I'm here to prove it

great idea and looking forward to reading. i always keep an ideas file on my iphone as well.
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Old 11-30-2011, 01:13 PM   #3
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Re: Your ideas are worthless, and I'm here to prove it

interesting idea ...subscribed .
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Old 11-30-2011, 01:37 PM   #4
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Re: Your ideas are worthless, and I'm here to prove it

Your thread idea is good.
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Old 11-30-2011, 01:43 PM   #5
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Re: Your ideas are worthless, and I'm here to prove it

sounds cool, i'll follow

Quote:
Originally Posted by mmbt0ne View Post

And I bet at the end of this we'll have tons of discussion about these, have a better understanding of a bunch of different markets, and NOT A SINGLE IDEA will have been implemented by a 2p2er here in a way that would preclude me from making money on it (if we decide a market exists).
i think this is right. i've heard alot that ideas are worth nothing, but implementation is the big step between success and failure
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Old 11-30-2011, 01:44 PM   #6
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Re: Your ideas are worthless, and I'm here to prove it

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Your thread idea is good.
Careful, it might get stolen.
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Old 11-30-2011, 01:49 PM   #7
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Re: Your ideas are worthless, and I'm here to prove it

Awesome thread, can we post our ideas here too and you shoot them down as well?
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Old 11-30-2011, 02:07 PM   #8
Larry Legend
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Re: Your ideas are worthless, and I'm here to prove it

Had an idea a couple months ago that kinda came from an NVG thread about creating a website for poker scammers. Specifically players who have taken money as a means of direct theft. Not a site for Multi-accounting/Colluding/Chip dumping, but a site for people who essentially stole stakes. I actually got started on it, but have not done anything in a while.

Create a website with 2 parts.

Part 1 is famous/ named players. These don't have to be actually "famous", but more people who would be potentially asking to borrow money based on their reputation and what their real life name is. This part would include a brief description with hopefully a picture and outstanding debts that they have, or previously outstanding debts that have been resolved.

Part 2 is a database of online screen names that are guilty of scamming. This part would be way more difficult to organize and to police than the first part, imo. It would be a list of online names/ known/ thought aliases and the amounts of money in question. Since 99% of these scammers will have had the money sent from someone on the same site or across a different site, I was thinking these scams would need to be verified with a username who transferred the money.


The key to the site would be the ability to "Dispute/ Resolve a Scam." Obviously it could be re-named to something that sounds more positive,etc. It would allow the individual from part 1, or the account owner of part 2 to come forward and dispute the claims against them, or put the website in a position to help broker a deal. The website would not directly get involved with any negotiations, just provide a method of contact between the 2 parties, which would be required to report the scam. In the case of a real-life scammer from part 1, it would probably be assumed that the individuals could contact each other.

Basically the way to make $$ is to make it into a point of gossip to be used in discussions not on the website, and have a twitter feed that hopefully eventually semi to high profile poker news resources will follow and learn about people who may be going busto. Advertising would be 100% source of income and the website would not charge anything if $$ was returned.
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Old 11-30-2011, 02:12 PM   #9
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Re: Your ideas are worthless, and I'm here to prove it

subscribed. Thread has great potential.
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Old 11-30-2011, 02:16 PM   #10
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Re: Your ideas are worthless, and I'm here to prove it

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Awesome thread, can we post our ideas here too and you shoot them down as well?
Yes, definitely! Let the ideas flow

But no secretive "I want to start an X, but I can't tell you what makes it special" ideas. If you aren't willing to open up about something, I'll ask a mod to remove the discussion on it.
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Old 11-30-2011, 02:17 PM   #11
Larry Legend
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Re: Your ideas are worthless, and I'm here to prove it

x-posted.

Let the ideas roll!
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Old 11-30-2011, 02:23 PM   #12
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Re: Your ideas are worthless, and I'm here to prove it

subscribed
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Old 11-30-2011, 02:25 PM   #13
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Re: Your ideas are worthless, and I'm here to prove it

agreeg
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Old 11-30-2011, 02:28 PM   #14
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Re: Your ideas are worthless, and I'm here to prove it

This is something I've always sort of agreed with but never really understood and struggled with.

1. If I have a great idea I 100% agree to tell relevant people about it without any barriers to get feedback on the idea. Happy to talk to anyone that seems interested in it who could give crucial feedback. 99% of the time this is an important step
2. If I have a great idea I'm likely to act on, I'm not going to announce it to the world before I've done anything. You're inviting competition if it's really a good idea. Why start the race at the same time when you can get a good head start.

Even though people say ideas have no value, I think they do to some extent, the problem is people grossly over value their ideas.
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Old 11-30-2011, 03:01 PM   #15
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Re: Your ideas are worthless, and I'm here to prove it

I think the point is that people underestimate the value of feedback and overestimate their idea/the uniqueness of it, not that ideas are in every way worthless and that there is no advantage to a head start, just much less than people think, esp relative to the worth of feedback.

Anyways, awesome thread, hopefully I can contribute something to it.
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Old 11-30-2011, 03:03 PM   #16
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Re: Your ideas are worthless, and I'm here to prove it

I will start it off with one...

When I was applying to top universities during my senior year of high school, I sought out any resources I could find on the internet to improve my chances of success. I was quickly surprised at the amount of quality free material available to college applicants. In particular, www.collegeconfidential.com had an excellent highly-trafficked forum where applicants could ask each other for advice, compare their credentials, and rejoice or commiserate when colleges made their final decisions. CollegeConfidential's forums contain a whopping 11,844,361 posts over 991,086 topics.

One noteworthy aspect of this forum was that participation frequently continued beyond the application process. There was a strong “community feel,” and freshmen and sophomores at elite universities frequently came back to help high school seniors with their applications and expectations.

Unfortunately, the free college application consulting available in online forums like CollegeConfidential can be widely variable, and the anonymity provided by the internet makes it difficult to separate signal from noise. There is a growing trend toward high-dollar college admissions consultants that can cost upward of hundreds of dollars per hour, or several thousands of dollars for an "admissions package."

There is a market for aspiring college students that lies between these two extremes: admissions advice and consulting directly from students who were recently accepted to top universities. Increasingly, consumers are preferring to rely on their peers rather than a central authority for recommendations and advice. The internet has only magnified this. TripAdvisor is a great example of this phenomenon; most consumers would rather read a review from Frommer's opposed to a single review from a stranger. However, when you collect fifteen reviews from users who have visibly built credibility and are likely to be unbiased, the scales turn and users strongly prefer the aggregate advice to the (likely outdated and fluffy) Frommer's review.

I would start with a premium forum with 10 subforums each dedicated to one of the top 10 universities. Facebook makes it incredibly easy to find internet-savvy recent attendees of these schools; mass contact them and offer a salary per-quality-post. These freshman and sophomores' won't require high salaries (many are doing it for free on CollegeConfidential + they are college students) yet they have a successful recent admissions experience, which is very valuable to parents and students in the admissions process. Incentive fast, solid responses with a pay-scale that rewards the first X responses to customers' questions on a diminishing scale. Customers can post as many questions as they would like, non-customers could view a teaser like the top 3 posts in any forum.

From there, the idea is very scalable. Expand beyond the top 10 universities, offer services besides a forum; essay or application review, 1-on-1 Skype-style consulting, webinars, marketing to colleges, whatever. Students frequently blog concurrently about their admissions experience. Turn it into a social network for college applications and their parents.

Harvard alone received 35,000 applications at $75/each during the 2011 admissions cycle. The average student applying to top universities applies to several schools and has a significant time and monetary investment in the application process. Aspiring poker players were quick to pay for a service like CardRunners because it provided a path to increased future earnings. I see a mid-market college consulting business as providing a similar service. For a small investment, students and parents will receive advice that could alter their entire life's earning potential.

cliffs; College admissions consulting is a massive industry with a large gap in quality between free and paid services that can be filled with highly skilled yet cheap labor.
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Old 11-30-2011, 03:16 PM   #17
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Re: Your ideas are worthless, and I'm here to prove it

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gullanian View Post
This is something I've always sort of agreed with but never really understood and struggled with.

1. If I have a great idea I 100% agree to tell relevant people about it without any barriers to get feedback on the idea. Happy to talk to anyone that seems interested in it who could give crucial feedback. 99% of the time this is an important step
2. If I have a great idea I'm likely to act on, I'm not going to announce it to the world before I've done anything. You're inviting competition if it's really a good idea. Why start the race at the same time when you can get a good head start.

Even though people say ideas have no value, I think they do to some extent, the problem is people grossly over value their ideas.
That's fine. If you don't think you can get good feedback from 2p2 for whatever reason then I understand your hesitance.

However what I would say to you is once you've done some research, verified a market, and start to put together plans in your head, you are already doing something and I think that feedback is worth a lot. Especially if it keeps you from wasting a few hundred hours on an idea that someone could've demonstrated wasn't 100% on point.

That said, plenty of the stuff I'll post about here I've done almost no work on so I don't 100% agree with you

cts's post is an awesome example of what I'm hoping for though. A fully fleshed out idea, some market understanding, and a general plan for how to make money from it.
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Old 11-30-2011, 03:31 PM   #18
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Re: Your ideas are worthless, and I'm here to prove it

cts,

I think one of the major factors with adoption of a service like this is how high school guidance counselors fit in. In my experience, coming from a private hs, the guidance counselors literally handed out packets of information with places on the web to go and to use for information about the application process.

As well, one of the problems that I forsee in this concept is again with the guidance counselors. The counselors at my school would all have log-ins for online resources (some were paid) and upon request, would print any documents that students requested using their own account. What would stop a guidance counselor from registering an account and printing information for students/ parents that ask?
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Old 11-30-2011, 03:34 PM   #19
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Re: Your ideas are worthless, and I'm here to prove it

Hey Larry; I imagine you would have to make it clear that it is one account per student/family and enforce that rule. I went to a strong public high school and didn't have the same experience or ever even really talk to my guidance counselor.

Alternatively you could try to form partnerships with specific private schools where the school paid you and got to advertise they offer your service as a perk to prospective students.
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Old 11-30-2011, 03:38 PM   #20
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Re: Your ideas are worthless, and I'm here to prove it

NannyMatch

Market
The numbers I've seen are that there are around 300,000 nannies/au pairs in the United States and the average pay is somewhere around $12-$15/hr. Assuming the average one only works 500 hours per year (this obviously isn't only looking at full-time live in nannies) that's around $2b spent annually on nanny-ing.

Idea
Cliffs: Like an eHarmony or OkCupid for nanny services

Note that I didn't say match.com as these are pretty different services. eHarmony has that long-ass test you take that they use to match you up with other people. OkCupid has something similar but also allows you to pick some mandatory questions that the other person has to answer and that factor in more to the matching algorithm.

There are a lot of sites that do background checks for nannies(http://www.nannybackgroundcheck.com/), or let you search for some (http://www.enannysource.com/) but none in the short research I've done that actually tries to match you up with a nanny based on some kind of a values survey. Obviously some of these are other things you would want to tie in: All nannies have been background checked (revenue source?), relevant licenses in the various states, etc.

Revenue Sources
A few different revenue sources I see as possible here:
1) Access - For parents searching, taking the test is free but you charge them to see who matches with them (exactly like the dating sites do)
2) Cost per Lead - For the nannies (and, really this is nannying agencies that you would want to partner with), they pay a referral fee for every interview that's set up (too difficult to verify if they start to employ to someone, so charge a smaller amount but charge it to more people)
3) Advertising - meh, I don't really like something like this where you rely on ad dollars, but parents love to spend money on stuff so it may be worth exploring if it's done correctly.
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Old 11-30-2011, 04:05 PM   #21
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Re: Your ideas are worthless, and I'm here to prove it

how difficult do you think it would be to develop matching algorithms that are similar in quality to eharmony?
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Old 11-30-2011, 04:08 PM   #22
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Re: Your ideas are worthless, and I'm here to prove it

cts,

these are the comments i have off the top of my head. i agree that it is a huge market, but unlike your comparison to poker players, it is almost definitely not the students paying for the services and instead the parents. you either need the parents to hear about it and subscribe on their own for their child, or the child to go their parents and ask for it.

getting the parents to do it would require a lot of marketing, and getting the kids to do it would likely require that you create a more open community that profits from premium features/forums. i dont know how you would go about keeping some aspects open and some premium, but think thats the best way to get a large group of users and once you have that you should be able to get a good amount of publicity for free

if you kept the entire forum premium, what would be your marketing strategy? youve definitely thought about this a lot and im just writing what comes to mind, so im interested to hear a bit more about how you would plan to gain traction
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Old 11-30-2011, 04:10 PM   #23
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Re: Your ideas are worthless, and I'm here to prove it

It's not that idea are worthless but more how people will make it live. Execution is the key.
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Old 11-30-2011, 04:17 PM   #24
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Re: Your ideas are worthless, and I'm here to prove it

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how difficult do you think it would be to develop matching algorithms that are similar in quality to eharmony?
eHarmony is very good at what they do, so I don't think it would be even any time soon.

The better question is how hard would it be to make one that's good enough. There's a lot of information available out there about matching algorithms and how to build one so I don't think it would be impossible by any means to do a good job. This blog post covers a lot of what OkCupid does.

That's the whole point of execution over idea though.
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Old 11-30-2011, 04:19 PM   #25
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Re: Your ideas are worthless, and I'm here to prove it

I think it's hard to compare the nanny relationship the same as a dating relationship.


I'm assuming most of us all want the same qualities in a nanny.

I don't think an algorithm would be necessary.
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