Friday, June 22, 2018

4 Great ideas - June 2018

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Here's another series that I'm experimenting with on this blog.

Now that almost everything is digital, the idea of 'digital examples' is a bit redundant.  But since I still get quite a lot of traffic to the blog it would be a shame not to keep writing it.

Every month or so I'm going to try to list some great ideas that I've come across recently, and hopefully explain why I think they're so great. 

There's a danger it might turn into Springwise, but that's not what I'm trying to do.  They probably won't be ideas from new companies, but instead ideas from existing companies, great ideas for books and so on.  Ideas that I wish I'd had, perhaps.

A History of the World in Seven Cheap Things - a book by Raj Patel and Jason Moore.  I haven't bought this yet, but it's a great idea for a book.  Often history forgets the commonplace, and it's the inventions that make things cheap that arguably make the biggest impact on consumers.  One example is the chicken nugget, which has made a big impact on diets and agriculture. 

Travis Kalanick's new company City Storage Systems.  The company, which Travis invested in and as part of the deal became the new CEO of, turns old retail space into something that better suits the new economy.  We have about as much retail space as we had before eCommerce, which means that there are lots of empty shops.  It's a great idea to find new uses for these - for example kitchens for food delivery services, or entertainment venues like VR arcades.  I can see this being really successful.

Paid newsletters.  I write newsletters, and read lots of newsletters.  In fact I have to be really strict with myself and unsubscribe from the ones I don't read regularly, or I find them clogging up my mailbox and hiding messages that I really need to read.  One great idea around newsletters that that I can really see taking off comes from the Dutch start-up Revue, which gives newsletter authors the ability to charge their readers.  I don't think it's something that I could do - but I can see lots of niche newsletters charging small amounts in the future.  Similarly, it's a great idea for Facebook to offer Group (read 'forum') owners the option to put in a subscription system, so that they can charge for access to useful communities.  Again, I can see this becoming commonplace, and it would also serve as a good way to keep disruptive people out.

Domino's PlacesDomino's is allowing people to order pizzas to places that don't have proper postal addresses, for example beaches or park benches.  A great idea, because sometimes you just fancy an impromptu picnic.  I'd imagine that there was some objection when the idea was floated - you must get more prank calls and hoaxes to random locations - but since it's done through their app, and they can see an identity and payment details, it's much less risky than when people just ring up. 

Until next time - here's to great ideas!

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