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I was listening to a ABC World News report today about rising poverty in America. The broadcaster suggested innovation as a solution to our nation's economic problems. She cited Apple as an example of how their innovation has created 24,000 jobs in the last five years.

What do you think about the idea of having a group on TechHui where people can freely brainstorm about startup ideas? I enjoy dreaming up business ideas but don't have any time to devote to them because I'm otherwise occupied. Personally I don't mind sharing ideas. I'm guessing there are others like me.

An business idea came to mind just today. If there was a Startup Idea Group on TechHui, I'd write about it on the group and others could comment on its viability. Perhaps subsequently someone would come along and implement the idea, create jobs and our economy would benefit as a result.

Here's today's idea: A relative in New York City had a funeral yesterday and a family member commented that funeral homes should offer streaming video of the funeral so those who can't attend in person can still be a part of it via video. What if a company put together a streaming video platform which enabled small freelance videographers all over the world to provide services live online video coverage of events. The company would create an online platform where videographers could have one to three people on their video team with cameras providing a video feed to a laptop onsite where someone would mix the video. The laptop would upload the video to the server which would then stream out to players in browsers and mobile devices. Viewers could help defray costs by paying a pay-per-view fee. The platform would process micropayments, take a cut and charge the videographers a fee to use the service. The platform could even provide the videographers an online billing feature which they could use to bill their customer (i.e., in this case the family having the funeral) for their services much in the same way that Campaign Monitor allows web developers to create email campaigns for customers and provides a billing platform for the developers to charge their end customers for the service. Most videographers don't have the expertise to set up live streaming video. So being empowered by a platform like this would be a win/win. The videographers could be signed on and trained like affiliates, authorized service providers or franchises. The platform could create a skinnable website just for the event, perhaps with it's own custom domain name. Also the platform could have a online social component where the viewer could leave comments for the family. This platform could be used for weddings or any event or conference.

What do you think?

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Replies to This Discussion

I'd like to join!
Great idea! Ideas aren't much use if they are kept private, and the real challenge is not coming up with them, but rather implementing them successfully.

Count me in.
I read an article some time ago about an individual funeral home that provides this service. So it seems that it's a viable idea.

I don't know about charging the actual viewers, though. I think it might seem kind of tacky to tell your friends and relatives that they can see Uncle Bob's funeral online "for just $1.99 a minute!". I'm thinking this would be something that the funeral home would offer as an option. The funeral home could have the cameras permanently installed and could probably provide the video mixing themselves (perhaps with training from the site). And perhaps even provide video from the burial site as well.
I know of a well funded company developing virtual cemeteries, memorials, etc. The sign of a good idea - someone else is already doing it!

But this forum makes it possible to find out very quickly if an idea has been tried before.

Here's one: Paisley Spray Paint. Put an ink jet nozzle and an ultrasonic range finder on a spray gun and spray patterns directly onto walls.
Wouldn't the nozzle need very close proximity to the wall in order keep well defined edges on the painted patterns? An inkjet has both a very close proximity to paper and a very small aperture. I suppose high pressure droplets would travel in a less diffuse manner, when compared to droplets from a spray can, so maybe that would help.

Ken Berkun said:
I know of a well funded company developing virtual cemeteries, memorials, etc. The sign of a good idea - someone else is already doing it!

But this forum makes it possible to find out very quickly if an idea has been tried before.

Here's one: Paisley Spray Paint. Put an ink jet nozzle and an ultrasonic range finder on a spray gun and spray patterns directly onto walls.
I didn't say it would be easy! But wouldn't it be cool? You make money by selling the patterns. What if it only worked on small areas? Then T-shirts!

Dan Starr said:
Wouldn't the nozzle need very close proximity to the wall in order keep well defined edges on the painted patterns? An inkjet has both a very close proximity to paper and a very small aperture. I suppose high pressure droplets would travel in a less diffuse manner, when compared to droplets from a spray can, so maybe that would help.

Ken Berkun said:
I know of a well funded company developing virtual cemeteries, memorials, etc. The sign of a good idea - someone else is already doing it!

But this forum makes it possible to find out very quickly if an idea has been tried before.

Here's one: Paisley Spray Paint. Put an ink jet nozzle and an ultrasonic range finder on a spray gun and spray patterns directly onto walls.
Sounds like what you're basically doing is substituting a person moving his hand (holding the spray gun) across the surface to be painted, as opposed to a mechanically controlled spray gun. The person's hand substitutes for the mechanical linkages and controls you'd normally find within an inkjet printer.

You can already get one-off T-shirts from several companies, so I'm not sure that this would be marketable for the T-shirt application. For larger areas, like walls, it might be viable as a way to paint murals or advertisements. Although it could easily be misused by graffiti "artists".
I think a StartUp group is a good idea. I had created an Inventors group some time ago, and a StartUp group would be in the same vein.

So many of us have great ideas but do not have the full set of skills, experience and talents to turn a great idea into a great product or company. We need some way to pull together all of the various components. We need not just the tech people but also the money people, the marketing people, the manufacturing people, the human resources people, etc., etc.

And even though this is TECH hui, I'd suggest not limiting it to just technology based ideas. Any idea that could form the basis for a new product or new kind of company should be welcome.
Here's an idea I just came up with:

Posting resumes or past work/skill information on Linked.in or Facebook is a pretty passive activity. Whereas, the Facebook 'gifting' phenomena is pretty popular and is a diametrically opposite "push"-like activity. I imagine a fair share of people taking part in Facebook gifting activities could be underemployed, so why not make these gifts have the potential of being something tangible: gifts which the person can really provide?

The basic idea would be to have a person list a variety of services/skills/labor/crafts that they can perform, each maybe with a numerical point which reflects its effort/value to them. They also build a list of services/labors they would like to receive. All of this could be contained within one of Facebook's boxes webpages. Then, a person can proactively "gift" say 3 points of their services to someone else, allowing the other person to accept and/or possibly return an equal amount of service/labor that the initial person needs.

My initial vision would be to just have some simple Facebook note or email to seal the gifting transaction. I think such a tool could be much more powerful if trades/gifts could be transferred through an additional layer of a person's Facebook network. For example, this would allow a friend of yours to receive the gift-points given to you, but which you are unable to make use of (whereas this friend might be able to). I suppose people might want to limit their gifts to only people they know, and other complexities like this would arise.

Some benefits:
- This might foster networks / promote someone's skills beyond their own network.
- People will start getting services which they may not be able to easily pay for.
- People can feel more useful within their community.

Some cautions:
- Bartering websites have had a notoriously bad time in the past. I can't think of one startup in this area which has survived since the Dot-com era. Some bartering sites which do exist, cater to businesses sharing their services to other businesses or local communities (eg.: Theswop.com, timebank.org). I'm thinking that having an existing social network (Facebook) would alleviate a lot of the critical user headaches, and piggybacking on the gift paradigm could make the concept more readily grasped/adopted by users.

Although I have not coded a Facebook app before, I imagine it would be pretty straight forward when compared to the the Big Data ML/analytics problems I've been working on lately.
This idea is from my wife. This weekend we went shopping for a new freezer. Found it at Lowes and purchased it. We only got 1 item, the freezer. But! the receipt was like a mile long, well maybe only 24" long, for ONE item? We seriously hate receipts and having to take them home and file them etc.

It would be cool if we could just give the vendor our email or phone number and they'd text or email you the receipt. This way it's paperless, you don't need to carry it anywhere and you can file it electronically with all your other stuff.

A plugin or option would need to be created to fit into the major types of POS used by major chains and mom & pops.

It could be based on a monthly subscription fee that the store is charged, this would actually save them money by not using less paper receipt rolls offsetting the cost so everyone wins.

Not sure if this already exists, it sounds to easy not to. If it does they need to start using it. If it doesn't let's get it done.
Perhaps there could be a choice after the digital signature... would you like a paper or digital receipt and all the customer has to do is press P for paper or D for digital or swipe a mini card if they want a digital copy.



Tim Parsons said:
This idea is from my wife. This weekend we went shopping for a new freezer. Found it at Lowes and purchased it. We only got 1 item, the freezer. But! the receipt was like a mile long, well maybe only 24" long, for ONE item? We seriously hate receipts and having to take them home and file them etc.

It would be cool if we could just give the vendor our email or phone number and they'd text or email you the receipt. This way it's paperless, you don't need to carry it anywhere and you can file it electronically with all your other stuff.

A plugin or option would need to be created to fit into the major types of POS used by major chains and mom & pops.

It could be based on a monthly subscription fee that the store is charged, this would actually save them money by not using less paper receipt rolls offsetting the cost so everyone wins.

Not sure if this already exists, it sounds to easy not to. If it does they need to start using it. If it doesn't let's get it done.
yep or just punch in your phone# and it's texted to you so you don't have to carry around another card.

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