Steal these Startup Ideas: Collection Two
As I’ve said before in collection one of this series, ideas are everywhere. Furthermore, I certainly don’t have time to make all of my ideas a reality. I want them to be real, and truly would use each and every one of these.
If you like one of the ideas and want to take it and make it a real thing, let me know! I’m not going to try to take a piece of your company (unless you offer and the deal is a good one), and I’m not going to sue you. I just want to hear from the people these ideas are influencing. It fuels me! Tell me on Twitter (@jcutrell) or email me at email@example.com.
Enough of the introduction - let’s talk about things that would make the world a better place, shall we?
1. Service Butler
How many services do you subscribe to? Sometimes I even forget how many I’m subscribed to. However irresponsible that may be, I certainly get a lot of benefits out of services. But I’d like to be sure that I’m spending my money wisely, which means two things:
- The services I’m buying are the best for the buck
- I save money if and when possible
Imagine a service that allowed me to lean on my personal service butler - who could do the research to find me savings and refine my list of services, consolidating and managing all customer service issues as my representative. On top of managing my services for me, they could also take cuts of my savings for themselves (I’d rather save 2 dollars and give one away than save none at all). What’s even more exciting in this? The opportunity for affiliate sales.
Pro tip/warning: Do NOT do this idea and take any and every affiliate deal that comes your way. Then the core competitive advantage and selling point - that you are my butler, and you’re on my side, is lost. Only take affiliate deals that you believe in. This is really true for all affiliate sales, too.
2. Facetime Health Checkups
I’m a relatively healthy individual, but I’d like to be sure I’m doing everything I can to remain healthy.
I’d definitely pay for a convenient way to get professional medical advice without having to sit in a waiting room. Sometimes, I have a simple question about fitness, food, or behavioral patterns that I’d like answered, and I can’t really get that answer right away unless I ask Dr. Google. I’d much rather have a nutritionist that I can Facetime or Skype with, so that I can show them my pantry and ask them random health questions. Furthermore, they would know my medical makeup and family history, so they would be able to give me more personalized advice than something like Google.
Disclaimer - there may be a TON of HIPAA stuff standing in the way of this actually happening, or it could be as easy as just doing it - I don’t know. That’s your job to find out. However, this is the wave of the future - if you are an early builder in the field of remote medical, you’d be quite smart in my opinion.
3. Box-a-Month Closet Builder for Men
Sure, there are plenty of subscription box companies, and some of them are awesome. But what I need to focus on is building my professional wardrobe in a consistent way. I also want it to match my personality.
(Note: I’m focusing on men because it seems like it’s the most obvious market for reasons I outline below, but perhaps there is an adjacent market focusing on women’s fashion. Have at it.)
Combine learning algorithms with sizes and fashion personality traits, and you have yourself a nice pipeline to serve men the fashion they need on a monthly basis.
If there are other men like me (I’d imagine I’m not THAT unique), then fashion isn’t always at the top of their priority list. Like many things, I and they are willing to pay to not have to make fashion decisions. I’d rather it be dependable and automatic. Build my wardrobe for me over the next few seasons, and do so with the proper flair, and I will definitely pay a monthly subscription fee. Maybe even a variable fee. Think about opportunities for upsell and product placement!
Go make this one happen, please.
4. Mentor-Mentee Matchmaker
I’m in search of a mentor. I’m also in search of mentees. The benefits of teaching and learning from other people are numerous, and we won’t detail them here. Instead, let’s focus on one simple fact: there is no platform dedicated to creating, building, and supporting mentor-specific relationships.
Imagine you create your personal profile. Talk about your income, your goals, and your skillset. Maybe even explain some of your personality traits.
Do the research to find out what mentor-mentee relationship dynamics work the best, and build your algorithms around those concepts.
Then, make matches. Find people who have financial goals and match them with those who have found success in their finances. Or, maybe more complex relational dynamics could play into the relationship, such as an extrovert teaching an introvert about self inclusiveness or confidence.
The opportunities here are in the data, of course, but also in the relationships that are built. Creating a company that births learning in whatever format is going to pay for itself a hundred times over.
5. Educational Pathmaker: Using Data to Drive the Classroom
Education is clearly a field that requires more energy and resources from all possible angles.
The need for a data-driven approach to personalized curriculum and educational planning could change the way schools work across the world.
Imagine, for instance, that the patterns in 90% of children who may have autism are present in a student. At what age is it detected that that child may be autistic? Perhaps young, but perhaps not. If there was a computer-aided analysis that helped determine the cognitive abilities of a child dynamically as they progress through their education, better decisions could be made for that child’s education.
This opens up not only the reactive scenarios, but also proactive scenarios such as cognitive research. If children demonstrably respond better to a particular curriculum, this becomes like A/B testing for education programs. Imagine the ability to start determining career paths earlier in life based on natural tendencies, or even based on seemingly unrelated personality or behavioral attributes a given student presents.
Furthermore, this would help provide a selection process for classroom placement, and could possibly even help reduce violence in schools by identifying children who need more specific psychological attention.
The ethics of this particular system are obviously the big question mark. The outlying statistics. What happens when the algorithm is wrong? Obviously, the answer to this question is to never trust the computer more than you trust reality. This is the future of education as well - highly personalized educational paths that are responsive to your cognitive abilities and behavioral patterns.
I hope you’ve enjoyed this second collection of ideas! The goal is to continue these installments, and hopefully continue to make better relationships with you, the reader. In the meantime, shout out and follow me on Twitter!
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Written by Jonathan Cutrell, Engineering Manager at Guild Education and podcast host at Developer Tea. You can follow him on Twitter at @jcutrell.