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Old 12-01-2011, 11:06 PM   #126
RedManPlus
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Re: Your ideas are worthless, and I'm here to prove it

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our idea is not original. it's all about execution.
This is the whole ballgame...
Execution, execution, execution.

I've been milking a trading idea I got in 1992...
Year after year for nearly 20 years...
And could post a 20 pg guide to cloning my business...
But it would not matter.

There probably is not a single person reading BFI...
That could duplicate and execute my business...

Well, maybe one or two...
But it would take them 12-24 months to become viable.

People a way too paranoid about "stealing ideas"...
If you can work hard and execute a complex business...
And have actual professional skills in a field or two...
Most people are only a threat to themselves.
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Old 12-01-2011, 11:09 PM   #127
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Re: Your ideas are worthless, and I'm here to prove it

also i feel really confident in my ability to spot trends and realize how things / tastes will change before other people do. i've done it in poker as a player and with a few businesses. i see how things are going to play out in fantasy sports and the daily format is just a better / more fun way to play most games (particularly NON NFL games, which have tons of room for growth).

the goal was just to get to market with a better UX and then figure **** out from there. that's where we are now, it's only been ~9 weeks but we have some pretty incredible traction so far. if anyone has any questions i'm happy to answer them here.
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Old 12-02-2011, 12:15 AM   #128
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Re: Your ideas are worthless, and I'm here to prove it

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thing about the "eHar-nanny" on the application...if people lie, it would skrew up the matching and provide people searching with some false info? i dunno just a thought...
so it would work just like eHarmony, then...
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Old 12-02-2011, 12:21 AM   #129
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Re: Your ideas are worthless, and I'm here to prove it

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I've always wanted to bring the concept of the customizable poker HUD to other areas. If you're watching a baseball game on tv, you can overlay the stats that you want to keep track on top of the tv.

I'm sure there are other fields where it's beneficial to have customizable stats available to you in real time.
im not sure about on top of a tv , but this seems like it would make a good mobile / iphone / ipad / android app .
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Old 12-02-2011, 12:29 AM   #130
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Re: Your ideas are worthless, and I'm here to prove it

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also i feel really confident in my ability to spot trends and realize how things / tastes will change before other people do. i've done it in poker as a player and with a few businesses. i see how things are going to play out in fantasy sports and the daily format is just a better / more fun way to play most games (particularly NON NFL games, which have tons of room for growth).

the goal was just to get to market with a better UX and then figure **** out from there. that's where we are now, it's only been ~9 weeks but we have some pretty incredible traction so far. if anyone has any questions i'm happy to answer them here.
Have you had a failed startup yet?
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Old 12-02-2011, 02:05 AM   #131
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Re: Your ideas are worthless, and I'm here to prove it

When they came out with twitter a few years ago, I thought it was one of the worst ideas I've ever heard. It seemed really stupid to me on a few levels. First, it was (and still is) extremely similar to facebook statuses. Second, you were limited to 140 characters in your post, making it difficult to generate a lot of content.

I ended up being wrong about twitter. I think this is because of two reasons. First, facebook statuses are bogged down by the entire facebook social-network umbrella. You could look through your news feed to find updates, but many times they would be completely useless (people you are not that interested in being friends with), and other times you would miss out on important updates that just didn't make the cut on your feed. Second, twitter became cool. Once celebreties, politicians, and businessmen joined, it wasn't just a platform to find out what your friends were up to, it became a way to stay informed about what people were thinking about, what they were doing, what was trending.

There are other aspects of facebook that are mimicked on other websites. For example, there are plenty of album websites where you can upload photos and send it out to a bunch of people. The concept of playing games (think farmville) with your friends, has existed since the inception of the internet. Facebook is a platform that brings all of these things together, but in some cases to make it truly effecient, you need to have speciality websites that cater to a certain demand.

Which brings me to my idea: a new way to advertise events. Facebook and twitter focus on who you are and what you think, but they don't talk about what you do. Facebook has 'events', but it's an absolutely atrocious platform. A few of my problems with it are:

1. You have no way of searching for events that you could be interested in.

2. Once an event is over, it falls off your page, never to be seen again.

3. Facebook is very public, and while I know you can make a private event, sometimes you want something in between where people in a select group can view the event, but your parents/siblings never know about it.

Overall, I personally haven't used facebook events since college ended. When I'm sitting at home looking for something to do, I don't check facebook--I have to call my friends up individually or mass text. Even in college, it wasn't much more viable than evite (which itself has a lot of issues). I think most people used it at some point when they lost their phone and had to get a new number, which goes to show how people didn't really appreciate it for its full intent.

I really think there's a hole in the social-media market right now for event planning. I realize there are at least a hundred metromix.com type sites and foursquare.com is close to what I propose, but they have a few problems. First, they are focusing on the daunting task of integrating entire metrapolitan areas. Second, what keeps people coming back to facebook is their ability to interact with othes that are close to them. Metromix.com is just a listing of things to do. Foursquare.com a place where you can check into places and become frequent customers of certain establishments, but it is a solitary interaction. There is some fun in going to a coffee shop enough to be it's 'Mayor' (a feature on foursquare) and you can recommend places to friends or see what friends have done in locations near you, but you don't have as many opportunities to share these experiences with a lot of friends. Foursquare.com tells you to explore your city, but you are exploring the city alone, and what's the point of social media without the ability to make new friends and brag to your old ones?

I mentioned that starting a new site for a metropolitan area is too daunting of a task, but what about at a small suburban college? In the case of a school like Northwestern, their students know what bars exist, but they don't always know who's going to be at which one. Also, with downtown Chicago 45 minutes away, you don't actually know about every place a college student might be. A cool hang out like McGee's only spreads via word of mouth, and I'm sure there are other bars downtown that could become potential Nortwhestern hang outs if there were online listings for them.

So what I propose is a site that you can either view as a guest or log in using your .edu email. Guests can see what locations (bars, parties, speakers, restaurants) are available to Northwestern students. Members can make a profile and interact with other friends in an attempt to let the entire world know what their schedule will be like.

Now, this definitely sounds very facebook-ey (and it is), but the time to try and take a bite into facebook has never been better. Zuckerberg's popularity is at an all time low. He opened up facebook to the world. He sells our information to companies. He screwed over those handsome Winklevoss twins.

Facebook is not cool anymore. When I got friended by my 55 year old aunt in Belgium, facebook stopped being fun. People constantly talk about deleting their profiles, and quite a few members already have their pictures hidden (or very limited profiles). Yeah, I'm sure freshamn still facebook other people in their hall, but I don't think they interact on the site with the same excitement that we did when we started as freshman, and when the site existed back then it was pretty worthless. The features were very limited: you could have one profile picture, a bit of information about your interests/favorite movies/quotes, and a text wall that could be spammed or deleted by any user. Facebook was way worse than the top social-network site at the time (myspace), but it suceeded. Why's that?

It's because facebook was a right of passage for college students. For me and my peers, there was quite a bit of excitement upon getting your college email. Nothing like that exists anymore. The college seniors who graduated this year were on facebook as juniors in high school.

So in short, we are solving 2 problems of social media.

1. We don't have a good platform for saying what we do, who we do it with, why we like it, and what you should do.

2. There's nothing cool for college kids to join with their .edu email addresses.

How do we solve it?

By creating an exclusive website for college students. They get to upload which bars they go to. They get to create parties that they want their classmates to attend. They get to advertise speakers that will be visiting campus. People will be able to see what's going on at campus without a profile, but they won't be able to see what users are saying about it and which events their friends are going to.

What happens next?

If this site catches fire in one school, it will be easy to create for another (there's excellent scallability in online start-ups, and college students are constantly talking to one another about ideas like this). If it becomes a staple of how american college student's social lives are run, it will already be an extremely successful venture for myself and my partners. However, it has real-world applicability too, and the potential to become massively popular.

Eventually, we can start up sites not just for niche colleges, but for niche demographics. Instead of having sub-sites for each university, we can start one for gay/lesbian/bi/transgender in Chicago. A social group like that would be particularly interested in a site like this because if you're gay and you move into a new city, it's pretty difficult to make new friends in the gay community if all the people you work with are straight. However, there should be a place for people with similar interests of a similar niche to come together and talk about what they do, why they do it, and what you should do.
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Old 12-02-2011, 02:07 AM   #132
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Re: Your ideas are worthless, and I'm here to prove it

cliffs of logic:
- college kids need some fun social networking with .edu address
- pretty anti-zuckerberg movement going on right now
- no one (i know) uses facebook groups or events. most of it is photo/stalking based or apps that have been integrated into it.
- lots of small problems with facebook b/c its too large/uncool
cliffs of product:
- exclusive location based social networking
- social calendar
- meeting up for various niches
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Old 12-02-2011, 02:08 AM   #133
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Re: Your ideas are worthless, and I'm here to prove it

i have ideas for features/implementation if anyone with credentials wants to get in touch. i just dont have the experience/programming knowledge to make anything of this scale happen
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Old 12-02-2011, 02:23 AM   #134
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Re: Your ideas are worthless, and I'm here to prove it

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I actually was building a site for a while called CrossFeed which was like Crossfit for meal plans for athletes. You just joined up, it gave you shopping lists 2x weekly, it micromanaged the meals so that they used up all the food by the end of the shopping list cycle (eg if you bought celery as a snack, it would probably be that you would stirfry it or something in another dish that week), recipes would be on the site to cook things.

The idea was you would basically just blindly follow it and end up with no wasted food, easy to cook recipes with all the calories etc broken down for you, etc.

I started thinking about stuff like celebrity meal plans after this. That lead me to the thought of a site called "EatWhatIEat", a kind of 'feed' where you could log on and find peoples meal plans. It would be great for example if you could see the sort of plans that, day to day, Hugh Jackman was eating as he prepared to be wolverine, or what others were eating.

It could also be managed as a kind of site for amateur but serious athletes, like i mentioned, a food based Crossfit style site.

I've since moved past caring about these ideas but i feel like there was something there...
I really like this idea about customized meal plans. The only thing, is that I usually don't have time to cook all my meals. Hugh Jackman probably has a personal chef prepare everything for him. It'd be nice to figure out a way to outsource all of that without having to hire a personal chef.
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Old 12-02-2011, 02:51 AM   #135
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Re: Your ideas are worthless, and I'm here to prove it

http://ycombinator.com/ideas.html

http://www.paulgraham.com/ideas.html
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Old 12-02-2011, 05:36 AM   #136
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Re: Your ideas are worthless, and I'm here to prove it

Revamping Math Education with Cognitive Sciences

Cognitive sciences can revolutionize education the same way biological sciences revolutionized medicine.

JUMP Math is already making this happen in math education and, as far as I know, they are the only ones in the world which can honestly claim breakthrough results on a consistent basis, shattering previous paradigms about math and student potential, especially the ones that appear hopeless in math.

But JUMP focuses entirely on Grades 1-8.

I've had some big "JUMP-style" successes, such as helping a severely troubled 13-year-old go from 8 + 3 = 11 to acing a Pythagorean Theorem test in just 9 months. (This is not an isolated case; JUMP is doing this for zillions of kids and I've done it for a bunch myself.) Along the way, I've found that improving math education is why I was born. It's what I love to do and I'm making a living out of it now. Currently, though, I work almost exclusively 1-on-1 and am self-employed. My schedule is so full that I've told clients I can no longer accept referrals.

It's time to scale.

I'd like to start making JUMP-style lesson plans, workbooks, and other support materials, but for grades 9-12 and introductory calculus courses.

According to most sources (I, II, III, etc.) the next step is to find lead users, i.e. teachers who are already aching for better a way to teach high school math. Then I make a piece of crap to begin with ASAP (lead users tolerate initial crappiness) and iterate until I have something that they consider a breakthrough.

Questions:
  1. Can you think of other/better ways for me to scale my work?
  2. How do I find lead users? Is there a standard process for doing this? Or a standard way of doing it in the education industry?
  3. How should I find partners/employees/advisers/etc? (I already to know to only work with "A players" but that means tomorrow at 9am I [insert first step].)
  4. Aside from finding first customers and seeing what/when/if they buy, what else should I do?

Any other feedback would be greatly appreciated!


p.s. I envision my business as a benefit corporation, of which I will own 100%... if I'm so luck to have the money pour in, I'll probably convert it to a non-profit after I've made a few million.
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Old 12-02-2011, 06:11 AM   #137
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Re: Your ideas are worthless, and I'm here to prove it

This reminded me of this:

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In 1950, Trachtenberg founded the Mathematical Institute in Zurich, the only school of its kind. In the low, spreading building that houses the school, classes are held daily. Children ranging in age from seven to eighteen make up the daytime enrolment. But the evening classes are attended by hundreds of enthusiastic men and women who have experienced the drudgery of learning arithmetic in the traditional manner. With a lifetime of boners back of them, they delight in the simplicity of the new method. Proudly, they display their newfound mathematical brilliance. It is probably the only school in the world where students-both day and evening-arrive a good half-hour before class is called to order.
http://www.speed-math.com/story.htm
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Old 12-02-2011, 09:26 AM   #138
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Re: Your ideas are worthless, and I'm here to prove it

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Have you had a failed startup yet?
I've invested in some that failed and there's been some projects that my companies have done that have been big flops. Not really a failed startup, per se.
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Old 12-02-2011, 11:08 AM   #139
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Re: Your ideas are worthless, and I'm here to prove it

Interesting thread. I think one of the key ideas that basically determines is a startup is successful or not is how it's opportunity cost is managed. You can make money on really stupid things (Cow Clicker anyone?) the determining factor is yes the "execution" but really the process of how you decide an idea is worth continuing or not. One of the worst things I have encountered in any of my business ventures is someone who doesn't have the ability to quickly change their opinion based on real world feedback. It's very specific to the personbusiness/situation to because if you have a very strong product that is showing promise in testing a excellent idea might not make the opp cost cut because you simply have minimal resources to allocate so the threshold is EXTREMELY high. And on the opposite side people struggle to dump ideas that aren't panning out quickly enough.

Last edited by cwar; 12-02-2011 at 11:15 AM.
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Old 12-02-2011, 12:08 PM   #140
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Re: Your ideas are worthless, and I'm here to prove it

Actually #15 would not be that hard to do in theory. The only problem would be liability, but I guess that is what insurance is for.

Last edited by V0dkanockers; 12-02-2011 at 12:16 PM.
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Old 12-02-2011, 02:05 PM   #141
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Re: Your ideas are worthless, and I'm here to prove it

Quote:
Do not think dishonestly.
The Way is in training.
Become acquainted with every art.
Know the Ways of all professions.
Distinguish between gain and loss in worldly matters.

Develop intuitive judgement and understanding for everything.
Perceive those things which cannot be seen.
Pay attention even to trifles.
Do nothing which is of no use.
The Book of Five Rings - Miyamoto Musashi
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Old 12-02-2011, 02:17 PM   #142
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Re: Your ideas are worthless, and I'm here to prove it

Dear Businesses in "Stealth Mode"
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Old 12-02-2011, 04:53 PM   #143
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Re: Your ideas are worthless, and I'm here to prove it

The smart fridge idea has been around for a very long time. I've always assumed it was obvious (and assumed to be obvious by other smart people). It's pretty much a non-starter for a small business because of the amount of infrastructure involved, the patents that I'm sure have existed on it for a long time, and other reasons mentioned in the thread.

The one viable way would be a smartphone app that uses the phone's camera to scan food item barcodes. Even then, it's not great, because it's a pain to update the inventory as you eat the food. The whole "what can I make with the food and supplies I have" thing is something I've wanted for a long time, and the first company to get it right (as simple as possible for the user) will have decent business with it I'm sure. Maybe something that was able to somehow scan a whole receipt, or convince grocery chains to share the purchase history of customers that opt-in (not happening) would have a chance.

I work for a small iOS development company as a programmer. We're always trying to think of new ideas, because we would be able to implement them. But you'd be surprised how many already exist out there...or maybe you wouldn't considering there's over 500,000 apps in the app store. In this market, it's not only the killer idea, and good execution, but marketing is huge. You can safely assume that any good idea you have has already been done, and maybe done even done well. Without media coverage or some other type of big exposure, it's difficult to take off.

Last edited by anyhero; 12-02-2011 at 05:02 PM.
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Old 12-02-2011, 05:27 PM   #144
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Re: Your ideas are worthless, and I'm here to prove it

Some ideas:

A free, simple and NICELY DESIGNED public records search, marketed towards the casual user (people looking for gossip or dirt on their relations). Call it FriendSnoop or something similar. This business model already exists, but is always marketed towards employers and landlords, and the free searches suck and are hard to use. Also the websites are all unwieldy and ugly. Revenue could come from ads. Maybe there could be a subscription tier, in which any new results for a particular search would be emailed/texted/whatever as soon as they were found.

Automobile repair bidding business: It would be nice to have a system in which I took my automobile to the business, paid them for a diagnosis by the in-house mechanic, and then a network of local dealers/mechanics could bid on the repair cost. Reputation would be important, there would have to be a social rating and review system. Obviously the infrastructure would have to already exist, this would have to be a service provided by something like a Jiffy Lube or Pepboys. This business would get some sort of flat referral fee from the business that is chosen by the customer to do the repairs. A percentage would intentivize bad diagnoses. The biggest complaint about auto-repair is that people always feel like they're getting screwed and have no recourse. This should alleviate most of those feelings.

The idea is unrealistic if it turns out that the diagnosis step is too involved, or requires putting the car into a state in which it couldn't drive somewhere else for repair.

Last edited by anyhero; 12-02-2011 at 05:33 PM.
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Old 12-02-2011, 06:12 PM   #145
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Re: Your ideas are worthless, and I'm here to prove it

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I work for a small iOS development company as a programmer. We're always trying to think of new ideas, because we would be able to implement them. But you'd be surprised how many already exist out there...or maybe you wouldn't considering there's over 500,000 apps in the app store. In this market, it's not only the killer idea, and good execution, but marketing is huge. You can safely assume that any good idea you have has already been done, and maybe done even done well. Without media coverage or some other type of big exposure, it's difficult to take off.
Do you have any specific examples of killer ideas that you've come up with, found they existed and are being executed well, but don't seem to be marketed effectively?

Also, wouldn't marketing fall under execution?
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Old 12-02-2011, 06:19 PM   #146
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Re: Your ideas are worthless, and I'm here to prove it

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Some ideas:

A free, simple and NICELY DESIGNED public records search, marketed towards the casual user (people looking for gossip or dirt on their relations). Call it FriendSnoop or something similar. This business model already exists, but is always marketed towards employers and landlords, and the free searches suck and are hard to use. Also the websites are all unwieldy and ugly. Revenue could come from ads. Maybe there could be a subscription tier, in which any new results for a particular search would be emailed/texted/whatever as soon as they were found.

Automobile repair bidding business: It would be nice to have a system in which I took my automobile to the business, paid them for a diagnosis by the in-house mechanic, and then a network of local dealers/mechanics could bid on the repair cost. Reputation would be important, there would have to be a social rating and review system. Obviously the infrastructure would have to already exist, this would have to be a service provided by something like a Jiffy Lube or Pepboys. This business would get some sort of flat referral fee from the business that is chosen by the customer to do the repairs. A percentage would intentivize bad diagnoses. The biggest complaint about auto-repair is that people always feel like they're getting screwed and have no recourse. This should alleviate most of those feelings.

The idea is unrealistic if it turns out that the diagnosis step is too involved, or requires putting the car into a state in which it couldn't drive somewhere else for repair.
This could work...the more i think about my idea it sounds kinda silly but im im gonna say it anyway. what about using this idea in a reverse auction sort of way.(instead of bidding up the price, the mechanics bid down the price, and the winner of the bid wins the repair of the car. every week or so...an auction is held for people whose car is broken blahblah....a 10$ entry fee is paid to <auction company> for customers who place their "repairs for bid" then some independant auditing mechanics veiw and serves the cars, this is were they will come up with an estimate of what is wrong with the car and what needs to be fixed and how much this costs.

say jeffs car got some body damage, (his wife couldnt handle his foot odour so she hit his car with a bat) the independant mechanic auditor man serveys the car, says " ahh yes this this this needs to be fixed, this can go anywhere from 500-1000$. then the car is put up for auction where the mechanics "bid down" the price. the auctioneer starts this at 900$ mechanics get into a bidding war were they bid down the price "ill fix it for 850" ...800 for me, 750 here...going once twice sold... that mechanic would then win the repair of that car and the customer is obligated to pay the man to fix it.

havent though much beyond that, such as verifying that these mechanics know wht theyre doing or something...i dunno maybe we can build from that? id be intrested in working with you
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Old 12-02-2011, 06:45 PM   #147
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Re: Your ideas are worthless, and I'm here to prove it

my web idea was always a site called airyourgrievances.com where you could just rant about whatever and whomever you want. I think I heard somewhere that someone did this.
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Old 12-02-2011, 07:07 PM   #148
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my web idea was always a site called airyourgrievances.com where you could just rant about whatever and whomever you want. I think I heard somewhere that someone did this.
FML is catchier than airyourgrievances I'm afraid.

http://www.fmylife.com/
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Old 12-02-2011, 07:08 PM   #149
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Re: Your ideas are worthless, and I'm here to prove it

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I actually was building a site for a while called CrossFeed which was like Crossfit for meal plans for athletes. You just joined up, it gave you shopping lists 2x weekly, it micromanaged the meals so that they used up all the food by the end of the shopping list cycle (eg if you bought celery as a snack, it would probably be that you would stirfry it or something in another dish that week), recipes would be on the site to cook things.

The idea was you would basically just blindly follow it and end up with no wasted food, easy to cook recipes with all the calories etc broken down for you, etc.
This would make a great phone app. Have different levels for how much effort someone is willing to put into cooking. Integrate food delivery for the lazy. Give points for doing your shopping when you are supposed to so you stick to the diet. Give little badges and awards for staying with the plan. Make changes every week/month/time period and charge a subscription.
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Old 12-02-2011, 07:37 PM   #150
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Re: Your ideas are worthless, and I'm here to prove it

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my web idea was always a site called airyourgrievances.com where you could just rant about whatever and whomever you want. I think I heard somewhere that someone did this.
LOLrants.com
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