Thursday, August 21, 2014

My Second Best Ideas for a Startup

Every day I try to come up with different ideas for a new startup business. The best ones I am keeping for myself for obvious reasons. However, I have many other startup ideas that I am rejecting for many reasons, and would like to share with everyone.

Some ideas have already been done and I just didn't realize it. Other ideas would take up too much of my time. And for some, I just don't have the expertise.

One idea that I came up with while making breakfast is a toaster with a timer on it. There is nothing I hate worse than standing there waiting for my toast to pop up. (Actually, there are other things I hate worse, but not usually at breakfast time.) It would really help if I could see a digital timer on the toaster, just like what a microwave has, instead of just staring at the lever on the taser. Unfortunately, Cuisinart already came up with a Toaster with Countdown Timer which I happened to find on Amazon. As a matter of fact, it retails for $130.00, but has been marked down to $39.99.

Another idea I had was a silent leaf blower. The gardeners in my neighborhood drive my dog crazy with the noise from those machines. I checked Amazon again, and although I didn't find a silent leaf blower, I did find a Husqvarna Back Pack Blower which is described as having minimal noise.

A politically incorrect idea I had would be a book about how to get out of jury duty. I've seen books on how to get out of speeding tickets but there are far more people that get jury summons than speeding tickets. Of course, the book has been written, 10 Ways to Get Out of Jury Duty. It's even written by an attorney.

I do a lot of tweeting. It would be nice if there was some software that could extract all my tweets, then sort them by hashtags, and make them exportable to Word or Excel. I haven't found any such software in my initial search.

One other idea I had was a child/pet/property finder app using RFID size transmitters to provide locations on your smartphone. The RFID could be sewn inside a child's clothing, attached to a dog's collar, or put inside a car or computer. Is it technically feasible? I don't know. Has it already been done? I've seen something similar.

Anyway, that's it for this week. I will try to come up with another set of second best startup ideas next week.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Launch Scale Conference for Startups October 23 & 24 in San Francisco

The Launch Scale Conference is designed for entrepreneurs that want to scale their startups. It will be held in San Francisco, California on October 23 and 24. The presentations will be from startups that have scaled and companies that provide tools that help startups scale.

Presenters that have been lined up so far include:

1. Steve Huffman, Co-Founder - reddit & Hipmunk
2. Marco Zappacosta, CEO - Thumbtack will explain how thumbtack got 70,000 paying customers without a salesforce, and raised $50M.
3. Andrew Johns, Head of Growth & Revenue - Wealthfront will talk about how they attracted $1B in assets under management with a tiny marketing budget.
4. Patrick Cheeseman, Head of Customer Experience - HotelTonight will discuss how to use support to drive product innovation.
5. Ryan Mannion, CTO - POLITICO will discuss how to grow from 0 to 100 Million monthly pageviews.
6. Christopher DePatria, VP of Revenue - SignPost will explain how he grew their sales team from 5 to 100 in 2 years, and signed up 93k SMB customers.
7. Aaron Magness, VP of Marketing - Betabrand will tell us how they use crowd-funded emails to never have unwanted inventory again.
8. Craig Zingerline, Sr. Director of Product - Red Tricycle will tell us how they grew to 750,000 emails without spending a dollar.
9. Arjun Naskar, Growth Manager - Homejoy will discuss how to expand into 31 markets in 2 years.

For more information, go HERE.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Startup Voodoo Conference September 25

Startup Voodoo Conference, which will be held in St. Louis, Missouri on September 25, is looking for nominations of Midwestern startups for its Most Promising Midwest Startup contest.

Winners will be chosen from each major city in the Midwest. The top prize is $10,000 in funding and services.

More details can be found HERE.

Caviar, Restaurant Delivery Startup, Taken Over by Square

Caviar is a San Francisco Bay Area startup that delivers food from restaurants to homes and businesses. It was taken over by the mobile payments processor, Square.

Square is the company that was founded by Jack Dorsey, co-founder of Twitter.

Although not disclosed by the company, the New York Times reported that Square is paying $90 million in stock to Caviar.

First Bilingual Startup Group

The first bilingual Startup Weekend group began in Santa Maria, California. Startup Weekend is a non-profit organization based in Seattle, Washington to help entrepreneurs with their businesses.

Although there are numerous Startup Weekends being held, this is the only one where both Spanish and English are spoken.