Archive for the ‘Businesses’ Category

Fruit Basket Cover

Monday, July 5th, 2010

I have a constant problem with fruit. My fruit bowl allows bugs to occasionally come in and land on the fruit. I have tried a plastic container with a lid. This works but restricts the amount of fruit I can comfortably fit, because of the uneven shapes of fruit. My idea is some sort of zippered mesh bag that fits around the fruit bowl, but comes to a point at the top. This would also comfortably accommodate the odd shaped piles of fruit that fill the bowl. See the picture below for a rough idea:

Custom Boxes While You Wait

Tuesday, December 1st, 2009

A store in a strip mall with a computer aided machine to custom cut boxes to order. You bring in what you want to ship, it gets 3D scanned, and then your box options appear. You’d have stacks of sheets of cardboard in various weights/colors, and the machine would know how to scale basic designs to suit. There’d be a piece price and a sheet price, depending on if you want one or as many of your design as can be cut from the sheet.

An ink-jet could custom print the boxes to order, as well.

Art Rescue Organization

Friday, March 20th, 2009

I’ve heard several stories of artists forced to abandon storage units or old apartments in a hurry who had to discard or otherwise leave behind large portions of their work.

Seems like it would be a viable business to form a non-profit organization that could go pick up the art and give the artist a receipt for a donation at some reasonable amount; this way the artist could at least get a bit of a tax deduction for the donation, and, the organization could then redonate the art back to community projects and use it in auctions to raise money for community projects.

Social Website Responsibility Watch Group

Saturday, January 31st, 2009

I have recently been hearing some pretty concerning things about how some popular Social Websites can use your private information. I think having a Social Responsibility Watch Group would be a great service to general Social Website consumers.

I realize that there is an individual responsibility on the part of the consumer to agree with these Social Websites terms and conditions and privacy policies. But sometimes they change and we may not keep up on them like we should, we may have been less aware of the importance of these policies, or misunderstood them.

Having a group that would monitor and report problems with how your identities and information are managed on popular Social Websites would be something I would be interested in.

Here are some links about popular Social Websites, that I found disturbing:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZMWz3G_gPhU

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/06/11/AR2008061103759.html

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/programmes/click_online/7375772.stm

Food terms translation cards for convention cities

Friday, December 12th, 2008

A laminated business-card sized piece that contains the convention city’s most common (basic) menu terms defined and translated into the major conventioneer languages. Terms like: vegetarian, beef, pork, chicken, etc. would help visitors navigate menus. Recently I was in Germany for two weeks, and when you travel on business you eat out for pretty much every meal. There were quite a few terms in each city I was in that kept appearing, and I would eventually learn them, over time, but having a cheat sheet would have helped a lot. There’s a core set of terms that every city shares, but then there’s also a specialized set of terms that’s unique to every city. Maybe one side of the card is general and one side is city-specific. Philly has cheesesteak lingo (wiz wit?), Scrapple, etc., Chicago has deep dish or thin crust, italian beef or combo (you want that wet?), Dusseldorf has Lieberkase which has neither liver nor cheese in it, even though it translates to livercheese, and the list goes on and on.

Cards could be printed in large numbers and sold by the convention centers, as well as by restaurants popular with conventioneers. Many shows it might even be profitable to have a booth at the show that sells the cards to attendees as well as exhibitors. Lots of potentional ways to bundle/package/market them. Heck it could even be a promo item for a company that offers translation services.

Intelligent Integrated Restaurant POS and Reservations

Monday, November 24th, 2008

Standing waiting for a table at a restaurant recently and listening to the hostesses repeating the mantra “10 to 20 minutes” to everyone who walked in the door while watching servers enter orders into the restaurant’s POS system I realized those systems are not currently integrated at all. But there’s some huge scheduling benefits to integrating them.

When servers key in orders to the POS system they put in a table number. So the system could know not just what tables were “in use” but also where in the process each table is. Knowing where a table is (these people ordered appetizers, these people did not, these people have ordered dessert, these people just ordered a pitcher of beer, etc.) in their meal flow could make wait times far more accurate. And could also do a better job of ensuring there’s no double-seating or triple-seating of servers without an override.

bARTer system

Tuesday, November 11th, 2008

The bARTer system would allow artists to exchange their art for products or services offered by individuals or businesses who are willing to barter for their goods or services. The web has faciliated many barter sites, this one would model itself on those, but limit itself to those able to offer art and those willing to accept art as barter.

Trade a painting for some plumbing work. Water plants for a week and be paid with a watercolor. You need a root canal…a dentist in your area needs a sculpture for her entryway, the bARTer system is here to help.

Total Immersion Restaurants

Monday, August 11th, 2008

A chain of restaurants that attempt to be as authentic as possible, not just in the food and the decor, but down to every possible detail. It should be, for the diner, like stepping into another country. The wait staff should speak only the native language, the menus in the native language, even change the money at the door if that can be done legally into the native country’s currency. All menu items and ingredients should be as authentic to the native country the restaurant is representing as possible.

It should be like taking a vacation to another country for the time you’re in the place. Not “mostly” but “maximally” so.

Amazon Kindle Menu

Tuesday, July 22nd, 2008

A way for Amazon.com to help put the Kindle in people’s hands so that they can get a hands-on test drive and possibly learn to love it: make the devices available to upscale restaurants at or below cost with a limited-functionality block such that they only load the current menu file off of the restaurant’s server–or, better, restaurants upload current menu to the Amazon server which pushes to the device. This way restaurants can have always-current menus put in front of customers with no printing costs or problems and Amazon can sell a region-specific browse the menu service that is constantly kept current by the restaurants.

Independent Artist Portal

Wednesday, July 2nd, 2008

Been looking recently for a site that does what I want to do and am finding a few things that are close, but none that are spot-on what I think would be ideal for both artists and the business built to serve them.

The closest is ArtistShare.com, but they miss the mark on a couple of fronts. First, they’re expensive. Second, their model doesn’t incentive the artists to generate content for the site (what I mean is, the artist gets paid the same regardless of how much material they contribute to the “share” portion of the program–if they put up one photo a month they get paid the same as making a daily audio, video, and textual progress report). Third, they don’t allow for a monthly subscription option. But other than that, I like the general look/feel and functionality (horizontal timeline; allows for audio, video, image, and text content uploads; fan base communication tools).

I first heard about Kevin Kelly’s notion of “1,000 true fans” from Will Wheaton’s blog. Will, being a writer, makes a good point that the first obstacle to the idea that 1,000 fans x $100 per year = $100,000 in income is that he’s not sure he could even create $100 worth of material a year even if he had 1,000 true fans.

Would you pay $8.33 per month to follow a favorite artist’s progress from conception to completion? Over 12 months, that’d be $100. Using the “1,000 true fans” formula, that’d make for a pretty decent income for the artist.

Other “fan-funded” sites (do a web search on “fan funded” and you’ll find them all) seem to exist to help fund projects before the project is begun. You propose a project and if enough people are interested in seeing it completed to contribute, the project happens…but only after the fact of being fully funded. And then shares of the returns are disbursed among the “investors”. I’m talking NOT about pre-funding projects that don’t yet exist. I’m talking about documenting projects as they happen and providing a content-stream of sufficiently rich material that its worth subscribing to.

The monthly subscription angle would incentive participating artists to keep making new content available in the progress of the project, because subscribers would be able to unsubscribe, and resubscribe later, but only ever have access to the months they subscribed to, so it would be very much in their best interest to make each and every month loaded with content.

There could be zero up front cost for the artists (because they’re so heavily incentived to generate content), and the service could simply take a percentage (10%?) of the subscription fees as they’re paid.

If someone wants to code this puppy up, I’d be more than willing to beta test.