Here are 10 ideas I want you to steal. No seriously, go run with them and tell me how they do. Throw me an invite to your launch party and we’ll call it even. Like them? I’m putting out 10 more gems next week. Grab ‘em here.
(Cheesy ideas graphic that gets you inspired)
1. Drone Middle Man
Everyone and their mothers is jumping on/about to jump on the drone train. You see all the surf videos and high light clips of the awesome aerial photography? I mean, you could even sell one of these babies to the frat boys looking to be the cool kids on campus at any university. If you didn’t want to get into the selling business then thinking about the leasing side. Looks like one of them costs around 450 bucks, lease that out at $40 bucks a day and an insurance package, you have yourself going green pretty quick.
How to validate: Contact a few photographers and see if there is a need, throw up a few craigslists ads and see what kinda of response you get. Cost to validate: $0. Cost to first sale: $450 or $0 if you wait for an order before you buy.
2. Job Course
Whilst in the middle of a job search, I’ve seen a lot of tricks that try to get sold to the vulnerable job seeker. Whether its b.s. resume help, or 12 reasons why you are searching poorly, the market is filled with absolutely crap job material. The reason these tricks are so successful is because the job seeker is stressed out and will usually try anything. I see a udemy course that addresses all of the hardships of searching for a new job. There are some successful courses on there, but the key here is that you need to sell differentiation. Sell happiness. Maybe even tailor it to the young 20s professionals. 90% of my friends first job was something that they didn’t really want to do.
How to validate: Research the keywords that job seekers are looking for. Throw up a landing page to course material that you’ll likely be offering and see what kind of response you get. Cost to validate: <~10. Cost to first sale: Considerable amount of time and effort to put a course together that will get a referral reputation.
3. Panhandling - A/B testing
This one isn’t too practical…yet but its fun to think about. I see an app that allows you to A/B test and analyze street begging either for random strangers on the corner or musicians.
One thing that strangers on the street and musicians have going for them is the repetition of people passing by. What if an app could record all of these people and intelligently guide your efforts to the exact demographic, time of day, location of the person who is most likely to donate money. Think of it as an fundraising campaign…but outside the CVS down the street
How to validate: Talk to street performers and sell them on the idea that this app would help them figure out when/where/and with who exactly to be performing with. See if you get interest. Cost to validate: $0. Cost to first sale: <$500 depending on your coding/UI experience…I mean shoot you could even go oldschool and track everything on excel.
4. Hike Half Dome Course
This is more for the niche market, but would be fun for someone who loves the outdoors. I did a search for Half Dome on udemy and couldn’t find a class that had anything on it. If you search Quora or countless forums you’ll find people asking about how to hike half dome, and if they should pay money for a guide. In reality, Yosemite does such a nice job laying out the course that a monkey could hike half dome, but some people like the peace of mind knowing exactly what they are getting themselves into.
Make a course outlining the trail, what to bring, and answer any questions they may have. Extra points, make it artsy like some of Camp 4’s videos.
How to validate: Throw up a landing page with your course material similar to the job hunting one, do some AdWords, and see what kind of a response you get. Cost to validate: $0. Cost to first sale: Considerable amount of time, planning for the course.
5. Elance Middle Man
Simple, generate a website and market it as a “Graphic Design Workhorse” Market your site, get a couple orders, then outsource all of the graphic/art work to elance or another cheap supplier. You take the middleman cut.
How to validate: Get a reputation on elance, or any graphic design referral agency, could take some time. Cost to validate: Your time. Cost to first sale: Your time.
6. Tattoo removal
Large start up costs but potentially the biggest market on here. We’ve been hearing a lot of how tattoo removal is on the rise. Recently I’ve seen Tat Removal locations pop up that try and go for the “cool vibe.” Looks like we’re still in the early stages of this trend.
How to validate: Throw up Craigslist and Adwords campaigns to see what kind of response you get. Sit outside a popular tattoo removal place to count customers. Cost to validate: $0-$30. Cost to first sale: Considerable amount of time, planning, equipment (10k for cheap new laser), locations, insurance, employees. I’d say a cool $35k-$50k will get you on your feet. Investors needed.
7. Polaroid Pics
Props to Amsterdam showing me this one. Warning: Lots of fun. Get a Polaroid Camera with the old school film. Walk around bustling downtown area with a lot of outdoor seating/foot traffic. Talk to people and advertise that you’ll take a picture for them that will develop in their hands. “Its a great way to preserve memories, have a tangible account of the evening, and take a trip down memory lane.” Charge 3-5 bucks per photo and next thing you know you’re a freelance photographer. Honestly I would be stoked just to make enough for dinner and a couple beers. How to scale, collect the cameras and rent them out for a fee per night, or just straight up sell them locally to people while you’re taking their picture for a good mark up.
How to validate: Pretty tough to validate without some money down. Get a camera and try it out. Cost to validate: $0-$30 (eBay quote for camera). Cost to first sale: $30-$40 for camera, film.
Nature calls and you’re bored on the can. Standard. 98% of people have their cell phones with them while they are on the throne. I’ve always wondered…how much volume of pee just left? A 12oz? a grapefruits worth? maybe 8 ping pong balls worth? Sound silly? But I mean, cmon you’re not just a little curious? I see an app that mimics a stop watch and while you’re peeing it displays pictures that equal the amount of volume you pee. Not in traditional measurements..who cares about those…but in pictures of everyday objects. Get this going live and I expect friends to post on facebook, “I just pee’d a 2-liter with #peepal.” Bonus points: dedicate a section of the app to prostate awareness and urinary health.
How to validate: Ask a few buds if they are curious and see if you’re the only weird one in the room. Cost to first download: Depends on mobile development experience, stupid simple app that you could pay a freelancer to do for about <$300.
9. Party packs for house in college dorms
Number one question asked on a Friday night in college, “Does anyone have cups for beer pong?” More times than not the answer is no and someone has to make a Ralphs run and grab some. That would be cool if cups were delivered weekly to get around this problem. I mean, don’t even stop at cups, what else do college houses need that aren’t ever around? Cleaning products, soap, snacks…tons of stuff. Start a weekly delivery service that will take care of this issue.
How to validate: Easy. 1. Head to the closest university/college you can. 2. Talk to any group/org and ask to speak at their weekly meeting for 5 minutes 3. Fake it till you make it and say you are servicing 3 other schools in the area 4. Take sign ups and pass out site information. Cost to first sale: Snickles…less than 5 bucks to start your product going out the door. This is about as easy as it gets.
10. Park equipment rental
Set up a cage/container/holding spot for jump rope, footballs, basketballs, tennis balls…any park equipment you see kids/parents wanting to use. Capital Bike Share-esque. Have people either pay with a card right there, or use some sort of app that allows them to pull equipment out of the container and rent for a certain amount of time. Renters card is on file to protect your self from the bad guys.
How to validate: Go to a local park and see if people would benefit from renting equipment. Conduct some interviews. Cost to first sale: Rent space at the park and spend a Saturday afternoon renting out equipment to people. <$30