I love coming up with business ideas. Unfortunately, they aren’t worth the bytes they’re stored on (http://paulgraham.com/ideas.html). I am putting all of them out there. Maybe they will inspire you to create something new, start a startup, and make a billion dollars. Some of them i have made attempts at creating, and are linked below. Have fun!
EDIT: I am overwhelmed by the response to this page. Thank you so much to the Hacker News community for its support, thoughtful discussion, editing suggestions, and helpful feedback. I was entirely unprepared for the massive amount of traffic to the site (I really should have prepared more!) Please if you would, sign up your email for more content like this and a book I am launching very soon! Thanks again and go start something!
I wrote this book where there are no word, only beautiful intricate landscapes and the parents have to make up stories for the kids. Just need that publisher!
It would be awesome to write a book on parenting. That is all.
Eccelesiastes is an incredible piece of wisdom literature. What would “Everything is meaningless” sound like through the mind and experience of a millenial?
The Monkey who Washed his Hands. The Elephant who covered his cough. PSA’s to teach kids in book form.
A whole book on doing informational interviews. Hey I actually did this one!
You have seen http://www.claralabs.com. I want to someone to make me an AI assistan that reaches out to people on a list and sets up coffees with them for me.
Consultancy that helps evangelize the informational interview way.
A SaaS that allows your club/church/business to schedule and match people up for informational interviews within the org.
This takes the shoebox concept of CRM (all your contacts on cards in a shoebox, call the front one each day, place card in the back, repeat), syncs your Linkedin contacts, and tells you who to talk to that day.
Company takes pictures of inside of their office so prospective employees know the culture/space they are getting into. Hey Glassdoor this would be great for you!
Upload excel spreadsheet/database generates link to put back into excel as data source . Super dumb dynamic online excel database.
A new online marketplace for doctors to get thier insurance from brokers.
http://www.prelang.com but to generate different kinds of excel spreadsheets
Cataloging all the benefits startups offer, from 401k to Zumba classes. Made this one too!
Logs all employees use, anonymously. Found http://www.rescuetime.com which does this awesomely!
On projects, when do they get made and by who. Now you know who decided to approve the $1m on the new ping-pong room.
Website that tells you the returns of everything, including stocks, bonds, VC, real estate, etc.
Website with every type of investment somebody can make.
Slot machine game with Dots design. All the slot machine apps are ugly. Someone needs to marry pretty flat design with slots. $$$$$
Golf simulator? Boring! How about home run derby, with real bats and everything!
10 daily quotes affirmations to get you through the day. “You are awesome!” “You are loved!” “You are pretty!”
A website that helps people understand thier heart. What is driving you? What do you believe about yourself? What is at the root of your struggles?
My shifting worldview app that asks 20-30 questions every six months that does personal analytics on your worldview. Politics positions, spirituality positions, self-worth, beliefts, etc.
There is no open and free real estate listing site. Loopnet is garbage.
Crowdfunders have no way to analyze deals. This is a 3rd party who can quickly underwrite and give ratings to individual equity investments in deals
An API that brings together all commercial real estate listings into one API. CBRE, JLL, Colliers, Cushman Wakefield-All of Them!
Like WeWork but for living. 21st Century Communes without the Weirdness
A way for businesses to track sale and lease comparables. For real estate and M&A.
There are a lot of these now, but always more room for blogs on real estate technology that don’t suck.
Every new multifamily development now has aspects that include amenities for dogs. Become the dog-park-in-apartments expert!
SaaS for city websites that manages multiple entitlements and building permits applications. Now developers and constructors can easily see what the status of their applications are without navigating a circa-1995 website.
Saas that allows small investor/developers to manage their investors distributions and reporting in-house.
Carmax for single family homes, buy it now price, close in 10 days, instant home liquidity.
A SaaS/AI that finds large parcels of land or multi-owner parcels that are under-developed and could be redeveloped to higher and better uses.
Upseat the monopoly on real estate underwriting. It’s just souped-up Excel! http://www.argussoftware.com/
Aggregates all broker data: absorption, inventory, rents, etc from broker reports into one website
Be able to plug in your real estate holdings and get realtime analytics on the properties performance.
One massive ALTA survey to rule them all.
I did this one. This is a set of lectures and presentations I did to teach the fundamentals of institutional real estate investment.
http://www.ycombinator.com for Real Estate companies. Startups trade equity for cash, mentorship, investment.
Plots everyone’s actual rent everywhere. Glassdoor for apt rentals.
Marketplace for real estate analysts to find part time work, companies to find part-time analysts.
A class/system for finding real estate deals.
Prove your underwriting to investment committee without hassle and pricing of appraisals. 3rd party provided underwriting assumptions straight from the market.
$300 for a beautiful floorplan of your for-sale listing. http://www.matterport.com but just for floorplans.
Load real cities into Sim Cities videogame and see what the real life effects are of new development. Now City Councils can know that the new apartment development down the street will increase homelessness, gentrification, and tax revenue.
Software that generates real offers on 1000’s of houses within certain parameters.
Instead of going across town to your mini storage, building owners rent empty space as ministorages, using quick-setup modular storage divisors. Empty space in urban areas gets filled!
Rich people don’t want the hassle of AirBnb. They need a match-making service swapping your ocean-view penthouse in South Beach for your flat in London.
Churches have a notoriously hard time finding real estate space. The combination of learning land use, understanding mortgages, finding contractors to do work for you are very difficult. This website is a marketplace and educational site as a one stop shop to help religious users find space.
This has to be illegal, but what the heck! In party cities like Las Vegas, South Beach, or New York City, often all you need is a place to crash. This is a souped up 18-wheeler with enough space to sleep 20 people. Since it is constantly moving, you don’t need to worry about all the trappings of running a hotel!
Tinder-like app for a couple to find activities/hobbies they will both like. You just found out you both like: sailing, line dancing, and shuffleboard!
Put out requests for babysitters for your date nights. Why is it so hard to find someone to watch the kids?
Monthly subscription box filled with little gifts for husbands to give to their wives. Think lotions, candles, décor, cards, jewelry etc. I am terrible at giving gifts and a monthly box would help me so much! I started this one, then stopped it because I have no clue how to run a subscription box service.
I have a horrible time keeping track of the “little things” about my wife: family birthdays, clothes sizes, likes and dislikes, etc. This app is a one stop shop to keep track of all these things. Bonus for adding shopping reccomendations based on what she likes!
Becoming a parent is an amazing experience. It’s also overwhelming. How do I learn how? What to Expect? Ferber Method? Google Everything? Baby Whisperer? This app gathers your preferences about how YOU want to parent, and then gives personalized reccomendations for what books to read, sites to visit, things to try.
Randomly disables any use of your phone for set periods of time. Like a blackout. Forces humanworld interaction!
Saas that scans all word or ppt docs for images, backs them up and creates a visual database of pictures that are in docs. No longer searching through word and ppt files for the right doc.
A site that gives you the direct link to reset your password. A direct response to the Heartbleed Bug
An email client that lets you browse email via thumbnails vs line by line. Easy way to spot spam (since its all HTML).
Type in your most common username/password combinations. It tells you: You have logins at the following sites: Google, Yahoo, Facebook, etc. etc.
It is amazing how restaurants still have dorky looking menus! This is a cheap service where a restaurant takes a picture of their menu and it gets converted to a sweet, legible, well-designed menu. And prints and sends them to your door!
Excel models are notoriously difficult to follow and track versions. Adding one step to the saving process using a Git-like structure adds transparency of an audit trail and what has been changed in the last version
A redesign of guitar chords that actually works the way most players play: give me the chords and help me remember the lyrics. Each chord chart isnt 4 pages long, requiring scrolling and squinting, but only has the verse, chorus, and bridge chords, along with the first few words of every line. It all fits on an index card!
Markdown is great for generating HTML, but asking a business person to learn a new writing language is a tough ask. Instead, this Saas/addin to Excel generates clean HTML tables and copy straight from Excel.
Social network where employees within same building, different tenant can connect
When reading an article, chrome extension tells you how much it has been commented on, and where. A service that lets you know where discussion is going on across the web.
Higher quality posts and articles than the dribble that most moms read on their Facebook feeds. I made kinda a start at the link above.
Shazam + Up/Down vote for live wedding dj feedback. No more terrible songs that kill the dancefloor.
I love to bomb hills. This is a mapping software that finds the best: paved streets+high gradient+low traffic-dead ends.
Following the footsteps of Hemingway, this is a site where you can retype word for word, amazing pieces of prose and poetry. Get inspired by retyping the masters.
Make a Stumbleupon for lots of cool online stores you have never heard of. Like windowshopping in a cool neighboorhood, but online.
A UI redisgn of Craigslist, where you scroll, and scroll and scroll…
Check out https://www.sqwiggle.com/. Now imagine instead of coworkers, you have lonely stay at home moms that other moms can talk to.
A small dashboard in your kitchen that displays your mint budget. A daily way to check your spending!
I always used to take my dog for a walk on a longboard. She would pull me 25 miles per hour! I needed a way to slow her down without yanking her. Step in “Throttle Leash!”
Not many great bookstores for real estate books. Amazon storefront anyone?
When surfing or boogie boarding, you are always looking at your board. Why not look through your board? This would be an entirely new way to explore coral reefs and the sea, without the need to strap on googles and a snorkel.