Just a bunch of ideas.

For the longest time I have had a bunch of business ideas running through my head, Some good, even feasible and others a load of bull. So I have decided to put them out there. In a way I am putting myself out there too.

Some of these ideas are random; some are well thought out. I have not conducted in-depth market research. They may even already exist; I usually do a quick internet search to see if I can find it. I am putting them on this blog, with the thought that people might find them interesting, might be inspired to start something, might want to debate the idea for the sake of a debate or (this is me being naive) might want to go into business with me!  Again no prior study has been made before I post. I get that some of the ideas may not be feasible, or may be stupid so I don’t need any haters telling me so. If you’re going to come on here with a know-it-all attitude to tell me that ‘I should have thought this through’ I’m not interested.

You can tell me that it is not feasible in a reasonable way or you can debate the merits. If you decide to take up the idea by all means go ahead, I won’t sue :) . Mind you it would be nice if you shared some of the love.

PinkishHue.Com

Date: March 31st, 2014

What is PinkishHue.Com? It is a blind date website/app. Pinkish hue is from Seinfeld. If you were a fan you may remember the episode when Elaine hooked up George on a blind date with one of her friends. She enlists Jerry to help her. During Jerry’s description George asks him if she a pinkish hue.

Hence the name of the website. The idea is to have a site/app that is truly blind with no images and the kind of information your friend would give if they were trying to hook you up.

How would it work? The site/app would ask you a series of questions and your image. Based on this the site/app would then write up your description and then recommend you to others in the network. You can tell the site/app your preferences in terms of person or you can go absolutely blind. Not knowing and waiting for the surprise.

How would it be monetized? We’d charge the user that way you know it is only serious people who would be using it. Anyhoo it’s just an idea!

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Bio Bag!

Date: January 20th, 2014

Composting of leftover veggies, peels, fruits and so on is becoming more popular. But what about meat, poultry and fish leftovers? Usually these are thrown out with the trash and ends up at the landfill.

So what do you do about all the meat, poultry, and fish leftovers? In many countries now, people recycle plastic and paper. I believe you can also separate the meat, poultry and fish leftovers also, what you do is to put them in paper bags. The bags and the meat are biodegradable. They will end up at the landfill, but it will rot faster and will hopefully help reduce our footprint.

Now this can be funded by allowing companies to advertise on the bags, e.g. X Company is proud to bring you this biodegradable bag. Check out our website for our environmental initiatives. www.xcompany.com/CSR.

You could give these bags for free; have them available at your supermarket. Carry your shopping, and then store your trash!

Anyhoo it’s just an idea.

 

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Use your pen again, again and again.

Date: November 11th, 2013

This is something I’ve been thinking about since I was a kid and I don’t understand why it hasn’t been done yet. Why don’t they give refills for pens? You buy your standard plastic pen and on most you can unscrew part of it and remove the plastic part that carries the ink (is there a technical name for this?). What’s the point if I cannot find the refill? I have looked in bookstores and so on and never found the refills. Okay so maybe it is too expensive or not profitable to produce and sell the refills, you want people buying the whole pen. But what if you were to sell them in packs? So I buy one pen with 5 refills, the pen manufacturer charges me for the refills. It would mean less waste. You use the pens and then you throw them. At least with the refills you would use the pen holder for a while until you run out.

I also think it would make a great corporate gift. If you are thinking of giving away a pen with your company’s name on it, why not give a little pack with the pen and a couple of refills. See if you can have your logo on the refills and of course on the packet. I think that would make you stand out. It also shows that you care about the environment.

Anyhoo it’s just an idea.

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Local Investment Fund

Date: October 16th, 2013

Local Investment Fund is an idea about investing locally somewhat similar to angel investing or venture capitalists or a mutual fund. The idea is to provide people with an opportunity to make a greater return than they would from a long term deposit and give local businesses an opportunity to access capital and ideas. The investment could be managed by the local commercial bank or a financial institution set up for that purpose. In a way it would be like an investment club. Returns can either be through a capital plus interest system, capital plus profits or by issuing shares. Given the state of the world economy and the fact that small and medium businesses sometimes struggle to attract investment. I think this type of investing could really help.

I’ll give an example, let’s say a locally owned and operated restaurant has a great marinade that the owner would like to market and distribute. However, the owner does not have enough funds or the necessary cash flow to do so. The owner could turn to the bank for a loan or it can be funded by Local Investment Fund. The investors can not only provide the restaurant with capital but also ideas, the relationship between the investor and the person receiving the investment can be based on mutual agreement. The whole thing can be hands on or hands off, different packages can be put together. Again the point is to promote local businesses as well as creating jobs.

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ChangingRoom an app to help you shop…

Date: September 20th, 2013

ChangingRoom I think has to be the money idea. A while back my wife went on a business trip to Jo’burg, she planned on doing some shopping whilst out there, especially for our little boy. If she had time and money left she’d get something for me :)   I told her if she saw any cool t-shirts, of African football teams (Ghana, Zambia, Senegal and South Africa), then that’s what I want. As for size she figured I should go for large, but what if the large is too large?

So what size should I get? She asks. I prefer medium to large. Not sure. I have to be careful I got a bit of a tire belly going on!

It’s always tough when you have to decide what size you have to get for someone or if it will look good right? So what if there was an app that could take care of that for you? Which brings me to my app idea: ChangingRoom you take a picture of the person, and then when you are in the store you take a picture of the item of clothing and see if it matches.

Now easier said than done…Well I am sure there are tools apps and otherwise that help people measure length and width of objects, tools that help engineers and urban planners. I saw an android app called Smart Measure which can measure height, distance and so on.

So ChangingRoom would essentially give you, the shopper an idea of what the item of clothing would look like and if it would fit. It would be somewhat similar to websites selling glasses. But I think an augmented reality type of application might work best. It would really make it easier to shop for someone.

I think you should have the subject wear a white t-shirt or if they don’t mind they can be in their birthday suit! :) Anyhoo it’s just an idea.

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Rotate an airport revenue generator…

Date: September 4th, 2013

Rotate is an idea to help airport passengers pass the time whilst enjoying the wonders that the airport has to offer. The crux of the idea is a cinematic experience of the hustle and bustle of the airport live beamed onto an HD screen in a designated space in the airport lounge. It makes money either through advertising or by asking the passengers to contribute to its maintenance.

As for the security concern, a 5 second delay can be put in place. To match the awesome images, viewers can listen to the take off and landings on a dedicated radio channel or app or online. Most people have radio on their mobile phones so they can tune in to the dedicated radio channel, download the app or go onto the website which will have the sounds live. Air traffic control (ATC) audio can also be offered with the 5 second delay, but I am guessing that could be costly.

The image could be of the runway only or images beamed from the control tower which has a view on the whole airport. The camera(s) could also be located off the airport premises as long as it delivers a great view. There could also be several cameras which give different views of the airport these could then be available online or on an app.

But the screen would act as a viewing deck especially in those airports that do not have a great view of the tarmac.

How would it make money? There are two options.

The first is to ask people to contribute to help run it, they give what they feel is right. I believe that if they are really blown away by what they see and hear they will give. In a big airport millions of passengers pass through and they will be more than willing to contribute if they have been awed by the experience. I also think you are showing respect to them by asking for their help.

Second advertising it is an opportunity for airport retail and F&B outlets, as well as other businesses, to advertise their goods and services. They will have a captive audience of mostly men aged from 20 onwards and not to be neglected the kids who simply love planes and need to be entertained whilst they wait for their flight.

Another thing is that such venture will create employment: maintenance, sales and management staff.

There is the obvious issue of security, but then again, you can track flights in real time and there are plenty of videos that show plenty of runways on plenty of airports.

Why the name Rotate? This is when a plane takes off.

Anyhoo it’s just an idea.

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Universal access to TV shows…

Date: August 14th, 2013

One thing that I miss is access to all the latest TV shows. I could get satellite, but even then I my choices would be limited. The other obvious choice is to download the shows I want to watch. But that would be stealing right?

I have looked online but some of the sites that stream the TV shows do not stream to my region for whichever reason. One show I am a fan of is Breaking Bad, I tried buying the show on Amazon with no luck. There are geographical restrictions. They should lift those restrictions because there a lot of people within the ‘geographically restricted area’ who would be willing to pay to watch their favourite TV show. It is also another way to sell advertising to a worldwide market. Let’s take the example of Breaking Bad, you have people around the world who like the show, but can’t access it unless they use illegal means. Again people who would be willing to pay, but let’s say you don’t want to have your worldwide fans pay. Then AMC, the producer of the show, should offer their show for free online, supported by ads. For example, one of the most popular cars on the planet is the Toyota Corolla and you will find Toyota dealerships around the world from Port Louis to Nairobi to Bogota. AMC could get a deal with Toyota to run their ads on the online show. Having to suffer through a minute or two of commercials so I can watch my favourite TV show? Why not? Youtube and Dailymotion are great sites to run the show on. It gives the viewer the option of watching in HD or low res. I can understand that there may be copyright issues or issues pertaining to AMC’s agreement with the actors and so on regarding compensation if the show is shown outside the United States or ‘designated geographical areas’ maybe they can use the same agreements that are used for the distribution of DVDs of the show. Regardless I think there would be millions of people who would be thankful. Millions of people who are a great ad market.

An alternative is to charge people, maybe 1-2 USD an episode. You may ask yourself if people have the means or willingness to pay? I think they do, a simple survey of select markets like Kenya, India, Brazil, Nigeria would give a basic idea.

Anyhoo it’s just an idea.

 

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Where are all the boy’s clothes?

Date: July 24th, 2013

I have a two year old son and I have noticed that it is easier to find clothes for girls than boys. So how about a line of clothes for boys from 0-3 years old made from pure cotton. My wife and I thought about calling it ‘Lil Big Boss Man Productions.’ Big Boss Man is a term that is used  in Sub Saharan Africa, it refers mostly to politicians.The guys (granted not all of them) with the fat gut hanging over their belt, an entourage, the Merc or Beamer, the bodyguards and they get what they want or they start crying like a two year old! Here in Mauritius we say ‘Gran Boss’ in Creole which is Big Boss in English. We even thought of a little logo of a baby boy standing with is arms crossed saying ‘You want the water works? Then get it done!’

So the clothing line will be for 0 months to 3 year old boys. There would be everything that a child that age could need. T-shirts, long sleeve t-shirts, shorts, 3/4 pants, socks, shirts, dressy and non-dressy, jeans, pants that can be worn both at functions and on non-function days. One piece outfits that are easy to open. All of these clothes are easy to access to change the diapers. Access, access and more access. The clothes have to be practical. Although it’s cute you don’t need extra pockets and what have you. Anyhoo it’s just an idea.

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Whatever you can do and dream you can do, begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic. - Johann von Goethe