Wednesday, July 11, 2007

iPhone's Killer App

The Apple iPhone has a killer app out there and it might not be Apple's. If you know anything about the Telecom industry then you know the big hype is VoIP (Voice Over Internet Protocol). Basically what this means for end users is that one can make a call over the internet for free or for extremely low prices. A good example of this is Vonage, a better example is Skype, which created a web application called a softphone. I believe a skype to skype call is free and a skype to an actual phone is only $30 for a full year (an international call is 2.5cents/minute)! AT&T is more than $120/year. Think if you could have a service like this on your cell phone.

Apple's iPhone is letting developers create web applications for its MAC OSx operating system. this article explains it further:

Potentially, a developer could make a softphone, put it on an iPhone and make VoIP calls at a drastically cheaper rate than what Cingular offers. From what I have seen fiddling with the iPhone the internet is pretty fast on it.

One of the drawbacks, however, is you would definately need internet connectivity, but that is obviously becoming less and less of a problem. Another, might be the pull back from Apple for an app like this, but knowing what they did to the record industry they might not have a problem with it.

Bar Phone Booths?

How many times have you been at bar or club and recieved an important call, but couldn't hear the other person or they couldn't hear you because of the noise? Your friend may be trying to get directions to your location or telling you where they are or even trying to find you in the same place. This will be especially frustrating for longer conversations or those who feel rushed to finish a conversation.

Having a phone "booth" where distracting outside noise is muffled and a phone call can be heard clearly would be easy to implement and have great admission. These "booths" could potentially have the ability to increase the sound heard over the phone by speaker boosters or headphones.

This service could be free, but there could be some ways to create revenue. One could charge per seat, charge per phone call or charge per minute of use. Obvisouly this would be extremely low margins, but would be made up by frequent use. Who knows, maybe Cingular or Verizon could run a pilot that works for only their subscribers.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

The Death of Compact Discs

So I think that CDs are on there way out. I think it's outdated and that eventually the music industry will fully embrace the online purchase of mp3s. The problem lies in what many consumers want, which is the packaging. They want the artwork, lyrics, cd leaflets...all the things not music.

There may be an opportunity in bringing back substance to albums. When you sell these digital albums they could come with the music videos for certain songs, the lyrics and lyric explanation, interviews from the artist, artwork/graphic design or even intimate performances.

Either the record labels would put something like this together or a 3rd party company closely related with record labels. This 3rd party company could be like a consulting company that works with artists, record labels and other media sources to put the entire product together. I think there are enough consumers out there that would find value in this. Personally, I still know that a lot of my friends think it's ridiculous to buy a song for $.99 or an album for $9.99 because of what they are getting.

Also, with MP3s players becoming more advanced like video ipods or phones that play mp3s (smartphones) there is a lot more options for the average music listener

Maybe in the future there will be flash cards that have all these goodies, which you buy from a bricks and mortar store.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Scents for a Guy's Guy

I was walking through the grocery store and remembered that my room was starting to smell kinda funky... don't ask me why, i don't know either. I decided to go through the fragrance aisle... an aisle most men don't venture into. I felt like I was lost in the woods or something. Anyways, what I noticed was there were no scented candles or scented oils or whatever else they put scents on for guys. I looked online and couldn't find anything there either.

So the idea is pretty straight forward. Make scents that guys like. Scents like baseball stadium or something.. well maybe that's a bad example, but you get the picture.

I think the only one that could pull this off successfully might be the big boys like Proctor and Gamble or Unilever. AXE or Tag body spray may really benefit from something like this. If implemented right, they could expand their market and create more of a lifestyle product line for their already very targeted demographic... ahaha!!! This would be great for high school and college students and ever some young professionals.

Have a slogan like "Once they walk into your room, the panties fall" or maybe something more kosher.

You may be able to go by this on your own... with a website and doing very selective advertising at first. The marketing itself would be a good amount of capital.

Monday, September 11, 2006

GPS Gas Prices

I am not sure if the technology is there yet, but it will be. With the rise of GPS systems more and more applications are being developed. Soon there we will also have the option of internet in our cars from the exponential growth of WiFi and WiMax technologies.

Wouldn't it be great if we were driving in our car, realized we needed gas and could check our GPS system for the cheapest gas station in... lets say in a 5 mile radius. Especially with how much gas prices have risen recently... it's rediculous.

For the mean time before internet ready cars, you could have a website where you download the coordinates for the gas stations of where you will be driving, but of course this will be static.

Through MSN autos you can obtain this data!

You may also be able to apply this to certain businesses. A trucking business or a moving business where gas prices add a lot to the opertaional cost. ... maybe even travelling salesmen and i know there are plenty of those.

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Trendy Plastic Bags?!?!

What have you noticed at the airport lately? Yes, how security has cracked down... and for good reason. We are dealing with some serious issues right now. But does any one else see the business opportunity here?

So what can't you bring on a plane. Looks like hair gel, lotion, and even liquids like water and cola; electronics are so burdensome many travellers are handing them off to check-in luggage. The U.K is even more strict... your are only allowed to bring a plastic bag with the bare necessities. Here is the website from Transportation Security Administration describing what you can and can't carry-on

What's interesting is what you CAN bring on a flight. Light reading, passport, other traveling documentation and prescribed medicine.

This idea may be more relevant to U.K. travellers (more restrictions), but make trendy plastic bags. If the above mentioned is all the carry-ons TSA will allow why not do it in style. Campers have used extremely strong plastic bags for years. This is the kind of bag you would need, because you want these bags to have some value. You give them value in two ways. One, is to make them sturdy enough where they can have repeated use and wear and tear. Two, is to give them some gusto... possibly make them tinted colored(green, blue, pink) or embroider them.... there's tons of possibilities here. Another feature could be to have different compartments inside or outside the bag. Have a pocket that is the size of a passport... have a pocket that hold pills... and maybe have seperators for random papers and whatnot. Add comfortable strap or handles. The beautiful thing is that the whole product can still all be plastic.

Trendy Plastic Bags....

If you strive to make these for higher wealth consumers, the margins could be pretty nice here.

The only downfall I really see is if these restrictions are only temporary. Problem solved if technology gets better in finding explosive components, which they are working on, but may be far from implementation.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Ethnic Band Bracelets

My First Idea.

Everyone knows the Livestrong Lance Armstrong bracelets right? I actually did some research in some producers of these bands and you can buy a bulk of these for pretty cheap.

Now the idea is this. Create these bands to meet specific target markets like the African American community, Irish community, Gay/Lesbian community, the possibilities are almost endless.

There are four keys for the success of this project.

1. Make sure the colors make sense with the fashion and style of your audience and it that has a "catch word". For example a rainbow colored band that says "Proud" for the gay community or a black band that says "Respect" for the African American community.

2. The key is to sell directly to your audience. Try to strike deals with magazines or stores. Offer them exclusive deals to begin with to get your name noticed or until it catches on with others (tipping point theory). For example try to place bracelets in Vibe magazine or other ethnic influenced magazines. Or maybe somewhere like this: This may mean you might need to incur some costs initially.

3. Have your brand name or website on the bracelets for recurring sales opportunities

4. Don't buy too many in bulk until you have deals setup. Use your initial amount as samples to potential vendors and customers.

I would imagine your margin would be pretty small on a venture like this, but at the same time your cost would be pretty low so you have to think about bulk sales.

Another thing that might help sales, but hurt your margins is doing what made Livestrong so popular(besides Lance) donating part of the profits to charity.