We made a list of start-up ideas that are not meant for the “save for later” notebook but the “can I have it now?” wish list.
The center of gravity in Point’s office in Cambridge is somewhere in the middle of huge, Last Supper-style table located in the corner of the office. This is the spot where Point’s team spends the most time.
Recently, I noticed that one of my team’s most enjoyable distractions from work is the “Hey, wouldn’t it be nice to have…?” game. The rules are plain and simple: you come up with the least obvious and most unthinkable start-up idea.
Most of the time, we get things that are funny but not that useful. But every now and then we come across a shiny gem that sticks in my mind for longer.
Last week, I asked everyone in the office for the ideas that survived the test of time and stuck in memory for longer. Here is the list of our Top 5.
1. An app making a party playlist based on top Spotify songs of the guests
The app’s smart algorithm would make a playlist that would reflect the guests’ taste in music.
As an invitee, you would come to a house party, and use the app to scan a party-specific QR code on the fridge when picking up your beer. This would be enough to add a fingerprint of your music taste to the algorithm. App’s AI would then ensure that the playlist reflects your recent rediscovery of Britney Spears.
As a host, you would sync the app with your Spotify account and clear your head from thinking about what to play next. The app would live-feed your Spotify queue to keep the party going.
What if you could get an experienced, First Aid and CPR certified, background checked babysitter to… drive your kids from school whenever the meeting with your client goes overtime?
UberKids would receive the pickup time you chose and share it with the school and UberKids. The babysitter’s identity would be checked at the school gate by a school worker and after a successful authorization, your kids would be invited to the babysitter’s car. Now you could focus on your meeting while UberKids updates you about the progress of your kids’ trip and sending you a link to live stream from the camera pointing at the back seat.
3. VR fitting room for trying clothes from online stores
Put your VR headset on and start shopping. Wondering if you should get M or L of this winter jacket? Well, stand up and see it for yourself. If only the sleeves are the right length, all you’d have to do is choose the color.
Every item offered by the online store would have a VR model that you could try in your VR fitting room. Shirts, jackets, hats, glasses, shoes — anything you want in all sizes and colors.
4. Whiteboard turning handwritten notes into Slack posts
Say ‘no’ to emailing blurry photos of fluorescent reflections on the whiteboard. Whether it’s a stand-up, breakout session or pure brainstorming — write what you think directly to the whiteboard and come back to it via your Slack account.
The AI-based image analysis would turn handwritten notes and sketches into a structured message with bullet points, tasks, and pipelines. We can already see a space for possible extensions for Trello, JIRA, or Asana.
5. Maps AR
Think about the offspring of Google Maps and Google Street View implemented on your car’s SmartWindshield to make the navigation easier.
With Maps AR installed on your car’s computer, you would never again get confused about which one of the turns do you have to take “in 300 feet”. The app would overlay directions on the windshield using GPS location and the view from front camera cross-checked with Machine Learning model based on images from Google Streets View. Instead of a robotic voice asking you to “Turn left onto Columbia St”, Maps AR would highlight the street that you would be looking for.
Did you enjoy the ideas? Follow us on Twitter! We had a lot of fun coming up with these and we are going to tweet a new idea every Monday.
And please, subscribe to our blog. We found a way to use subscriptions as winter fuel (that’s startup idea #6).