Tuesday, 24 May 2016

Ideas, Ideas, Ideas

I have an Evernote category called "Business Ideas" and often I will throw a few things in there or file things in there (although I really am not the best filer in the world.  Even my email now there is only 3 folders.  Inbox, "Archived" - thanks Gmail for that tip! and Trash/Spam.)

But in the recent few days (this last week really), I've been deluged with ideas.  Good ideas.  Ideas that may be worth pursuing.  I wonder if it's because I've been to a few startup type events in the last week?  Probably.

So what are the ideas? There are 3 of them.  One which will still be stealth mode as I'm not sure if I'll be eligible to do anything with it. The others... well let's just get on with it.

1. Stealth
There is an innovation challenge at work (Transport for NSW) which is going to be open for submissions soon for the Learners Log book.  Something I was pooh poohing as lacking innovation but it occurred to me (as I often hear the ideas that have been pitched for other events) that I could do better.  But it would really mean I take a back seat on this one if I want to put my hat in the ring.  Anyway I won't give away my idea just quite yet.  But it's about the Learner's Log Book.

2. Food Marketplace.
This was definitely something that came off from a Founder Institute pitch or two pitches I heard at the Progress Update for the Sydney cohort (Autumn 2016). The ideas are different to what I was thinking but it sparked an idea.

What if there was a marketplace for home cooked meals?  My mother currently will give me some boxes of food to take home with me.  And I know she use to cook some extra lunches for my brother's work collegues and get paid for it.

So it's similar to Airbnb.  Not leftovers but just food you would cook extra for sale.  So it's people setting up their own mini catering business on a platform.  I could definitely see a market for this as you can imagine vegans or paleo or gluten free or dairy free or high fat or whatever specialty setting up and selling their food.  And what about the desserts?  But it'd have to be local and incorporate some rating to ensure food quality.  Yes people worry about food poisoning and health issues but that's just logistics.  This happens now on a small scale.  Having a marketplace just helps people do it better and have greater reach.

The platform could help deal with the logistics of containers (glass/ceramic please!), delivery and if it's local that makes it a lot easier.

Other thought bubbles that weave into this include:

  • the whole Indian lunch phenomenon I heard about - Dabbawala.  Where their own meals get delivered to them using some magical system.
  • Facebook groups that are dedicated for certain cuisines.  I heard about a brazillian one in Sydney.  
  • A Wechat group my sister in law is part of that has a takeaway business whose only channel is Wechat (unbelievable!)  And that's only in Sydney!  And only caters to Chinese readers. So talk about market niche!  (Screenshot below of the 'menu')

Thank goodness I found a group already doing this.  FoodieShares.com  who are based in LA, USA.  But at least I don't keep dwelling on it then.  

I still think it has legs!  Even with one competitor out there.  

3. Lunch Near Me
I was listening to the TWIT podcast today on the way home.  And they were talking about curating of feeds and search results for relevance and how at lunchtime the word 'lunch' is the most popular word.  Got me thinking that's what people want.  A recommendation for lunch at lunch time or near lunch time.  So what about a mini gamified way of lunch reviews.  That way restaurants and other organisations could promote their place and gain extra reviews.

The idea would be somehow (this is the bit that hasn't been thought through yet!) get every person to register 10 lunch places around them.  Or a number of lunch places around them.  That earns them 1/2 the number in 'tokens' they can use to vote for lunch places they know of.  So if they entered in 20 lunch places they get 10 tokens.  But they are tokens.  And they can only vote one per place.  So they can choose their own or others.  In that way they are recommending the 'best' of the known places.  But then at scale they can see what other places are good around them (as of course this would be on a map).  And the base map could be populated with Google for Business or Yelp or Foursquare.

Gamification could then help with new entries or notification of a user going to a lunch place again or a new lunch place based on Location data.

This one hasn't been fleshed out too much but there is a need for a good recommendation and good data around places.

Maybe if I blog about it I can get the ideas out of my system...

As an aside I was talking to a new contact today who mentioned Medium as their blog they recommend newbies.  But to be honest I don't blog for reach (not this blog anyway), it's more for the sheer need to put stuff down in writing.  For the two people who read my blog (yes I know who you are... Oh Hai! *waves*)

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