6 Ideas Off My Chest

For the past few months I’ve been sitting on some ideas (for Web applications) that I’ve scribbled here & there. I’m working on a few (not listed here) in my spare time, but realistically I won’t be able to work on all of them. So I thought it will be better to just publicly share some of the ideas for others interested in driving them.

1. Car Pooling – Sometime back I took a taxi cab to work. I got talking to the driver, a friendly guy with crude English. He mentioned something so simple that it made me think on several interrelated issues (environmental, social, economical) for days. “Only one person in each vehicle. That’s what’s wrong with this f**king world.”, he said. As I looked around in the sluggish traffic, I could really see only one person in each vehicle, for miles. It made me jot down a note to think about promoting car pooling and maybe improve the experience somehow. Eventually, a bit of brain-storming brought a question – what’s a good model for online coordination of car pooling, so that more and more people can easily get on-board and the mechanism is effective?

2. Comments Aggregation – Most of the decent user-generated content is built around niche online communities, where users often post some great comments on various topics. Most of these comments (however small or big) go unnoticed and get buried over time. If these comments were available for reading on a wider platform (a dedicated website) to a larger audience, then it can add more value. Each deserving comment becomes an independent post/article, linked back to the original post/article. The app can simply be a bookmarklet to clip thoughtful well-deserving comments and a website to aggregate the clipped comments with a clean uncluttered reader-friendly UI to go with it.

3. Social Goals – An application (probably a Facebook app) where anyone can set one or more goals (e.g. lose x amount weight in y days) for themselves or their friends. The user (person who has to achieve the goal) can then post regular updates on their progress. Their network of friends rank their effort on each update posted. Their network of friends can also send them a gift (virtual or real) at each milestone or when the goal is accomplished. The idea is loosely based on Game theory, as it aims to promote action and behaviour change through group motivation.

4. Feedback for Startups – Startups need early feedback as part of customer development. The idea is to create a website for startups to put-up a survey (small or big) and a special offer (e.g. discounts, coupons, gifts, gift certificate, books etc.) to go with it as an incentive to complete the survey. The longer the survey, the bigger the offer to the user. Users (who meet a set criteria) can then choose to participate in a survey and receive the special offer. Startups on the other hand can get the relevant feedback.

5. Food Photos – More and more people are sharing photos of their food. And there’s something about looking at other peoples (real) food. It’s somehow aesthetically pleasing to the eye. New York Times wrote about the phenomenon – People Who Photograph Food and Display the Pictures Online. The idea is to create a website and curate/aggregate food pictures in real-time from various photo sharing sites and social networks (Twitpic, TweetPhoto, Flickr, Posterous, Blogs). Add a bit of social voting and make it elegant for ‘food porn‘. (Update, 28 January 2014: Gastronomic voyeurism, or watching people eat online, is the latest craze in South Korea. Video report)

6. Integrated Blogging Environment (IBE) – Blogging is more common than ever before. From a bloggers perspective, I find that it still lacks a simple integrated tool to write rich articles quickly. Here’s my wish-list for a blogging tool: Web-based, simple WYSIWYG text editor, inbuilt support for dictionary & spelling suggestions, quicker reference to Wikipedia, inbuilt support for search and embedding of images (Creative Commons licensed) from Google Images and Flickr, auto-post to multiple blogs, auto-post to Twitter & Facebook. How about it?

Most of these abstract ideas have emerged from my own needs and observations. These ideas are open for anyone to use, so feel free to go for it. Drop me a message if you make any progress. Good luck.

20 thoughts on “6 Ideas Off My Chest”

  1. I love the idea of “food porn”!

    Could be an awesome wee gimmicky site and it would definitely be really interesting to code up aha!

    I’m definitely going to look into it!

  2. #1 : Good, should be developed as user friendly web or mobile appln
    #2 : Good but complex to implement
    #3 : Good but may not seem interesting to large amt of ppl
    #5 : May be used as other way

    over all, very useful post.

  3. Blogging like you do is such an art and you obviously have that skill here – I don’t but I did find this that made me smile so maybe I can return the favour by making you smile too?
    Some days you are the bug, some days you are the windshield. 🙂

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  5. “6. Integrated Blogging Environment (IBE)”

    Love to see Google Docs integrated with Blogger. This mashup could offer far better blogging experience than what Blogger can offer today.

  6. Great ideas. For those with great app ideas but that lack programming skills, we are pleased to introduce NewAppIdea.com (https://www.newappidea.com).

    NewAppIdea.com is a community where people with creative new app ideas but that lack programming skills can connect with and hire expert app developers.

    After reading article-upon-article about people turning their app ideas into app store success stories, we became frustrated with our inability to find a developer to turn our own app ideas into a reality. We also sensed that we were not the only people out there with great ideas and searching for app developers. From that experience NewAppIdea.com was born.

    There’s no cost for those with app ideas or app developers to become members of the NewAppIdea.com community. Users simply post their app ideas on NewAppIdea.com, app developers submit development quotes, and users can pick and choose which developer they want to hire to create their apps.

    Happy developing!

    The NewAppIdea.com Team
    New App Idea | App Idea Development

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  7. I love the IBE idea! What would make that even greater is if it plugged into the major blogging platforms like WordPress, Posterous, Tumblr, Typepad, etc.

    However, I would think that most people are content with their current blogging platform as it seems to be good enough. But an IBE could really be pretty damn helpful.

  8. I believe http://www.foodspotting.com/ is a great implementation of idea #5. In fact, they’ve done a fantastic job of making it like a game – just like foursquare – by offering badges etc. What do you think? Is it what you had in mind?

    P.S. I am not affiliated with them in anyway. I thought it was an excellent idea and was thinking how I could implement it.. and while randomly surfing, I came across foodspotting.

    P.P.S. I also think your idea #6 would be useful. As someone who has blogged in bursts and spurts before on different topics (all blogs dormant now), I would have loved a central place to work on them all.

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