In the spirit of a recent TechDirt article about giving business ideas away for free, I have decided to share some of my new business ideas (none of which I am currently working on, but would if I had more time): 1. RunWebsites.com – A service that manages websites for Internet companies 24 hours a day 7 days a week, similar to how a real estate management company manages rental properties for the building owner. This would be a combination of being webmaster, programmer, customer service, server admin, website monitoring. I can hire an employee to run sites for me, but they are not available nights and weekend, plus they usually can’t do everything. Programmers usually are not proficient at running sites, and people who run sites are usually not able to do programming or fix server problems. I have used low cost companies in India for many of these tasks, but somebody still needs to be in charge and manage the company in India, so it is not a full service solution. If I did not have to spend so much time managing my sites, I would create a lot more of them, and also buy more of them. The way it is right now, each new site is just a burden to me because it sucks up more of my time. 2. FindKids.com – A website where you upload a photo of your missing/abducted child and it searches photos online for matches. Many times the child is living in a new location under a new name, but still appears in things like school photos or social networking profiles. Yes, it is a long shot that there will be a match, but if you are a desperate parent it is worth trying anything that even has a small chance of finding your child. 3. DetectLies.com – A lie detector website where you give a friend/lover/spouse a lie detector test by having them talk into a microphone on their computer. You enter the questions ahead of time into the website, and then email the person a link to the test. It then will show you the results. 4. SeeingEyeHumans.com – A paid mobile phone app (for the Apple iPhone and Google Droid) for blind people which they would use when they need help with something, where for a short period they use their phone to stream video of what they are looking at and the Seeing Eye Human (a low cost worker in a cheap labor area such as India or Africa or Russia) would describe it to them over the phone. I don’t know anybody who is blind, so I have no idea what blind people need help with, but I would think it would be good for them to have for emergencies (like if they are lost) or even just things like finding the right cereal at the supermarket or if they are going on a date and want to know if they look ok. [February 2016 Update: Be My Eyes now offers this on an iPhone for free, using volunteers, but I think a paid version might still do well] 5. FunTimelines.com – A site like dipity.com and xtimeline.com where you can create your own timelines, but with a twist. Instead of just being able to create the usual historical type timeline, users could also create alternate fantasy type timelines showing what would have happened if thing had been different, like if Al Gore had won the election instead of George Bush, if Michael Jackson had not died, or if the US lost World War II. Kind of like fan fiction sites, but using timelines instead of stories. 6. KidHeadlines.com – A news site like digg.com or popurls.com, but for kids. News about video games, music, movies, young celebs, teen sports, etc. 7. WebHaters.com (or maybe NotFriends.com) – A Facebook/Myspace social network type site, but linking together people who have in common people or companies that they hate. 8. CrazyImpressions.com – create a site where people submit videos of their celebrity impressions. 9. An iPhone app where you snap a photo of a person and it guesses their weight (by analyzing their height and proportions), like the old carnival game. 10. RaiseCash.com – As we saw from the banking crisis of 2008, giving out loans is a risky business. But, there are a lot of desperate people who would pay high interest rates to get personal loans (no collateral) so they don’t get evicted from their apartment or lose their house, or maybe to fund a business deal. The problem is states have usury laws that prevent lenders from charging high enough interest rates to compensate them for the big risk. Also, people desperate for money usually have trouble making the monthly payments. My solution would be to give people a long term loan without them having to make any payments until they get back on their feet. It would be more like an investment in the person, a kind of venture capital for people instead of businesses, where I would get a percentage of their future income as repayment for the loan. This is similar to a sports agent type contract, where the agent gets part of everything the player makes. [May 2010 Update: I recently read about ThrustFund which helps people get loans like this for venture capital type purposes, to launch a business.] 11. See my Bone of the Month Club idea that I proposed in one of my previous postings. It would be a site where people could buy their pet a luxurious gift, which would a gourmet dog bone delivered by mail to them each month for a year. Each month a different type of bone would be mailed to the dog. In addition to pet owners buying this gift for their pet, it would also be a great Christmas gift for friends and family to give to the owner/pet. 12. I’ve got no domain for this one, but starting up your own kid’s party company is something that will never go out of fashion. Accessing commercial bounce houses from companies like JungleJumps is always a plus and will ensure children will have a good birthday with your planning. Note: The domains I propose for each idea in this post are domains that I actually own.
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