Brainstorms Issue #18

Brainstorms Issue #18: 3 Ideas Worth Pursuing

Brainstorms Issue #18

Validation Bootcamp: Last Call

This is the last call for the Validation Bootcamp which is kicking off next week. If you're struggling with finding or validating ideas, this is perfect for you.

Check out my announcement for more details. 

Last week, I changed things up. If you missed that edition, check it out here.

My goal was to learn what content you all liked best. Well, the results are in:

  • 52% of you said you liked the new direction (3 short-form ideas)

  • 27% of you said you liked the old direction (1 long-form idea)

  • 21% of you said you were indifferent

Being a fan of democracy, I’ve decided to produce more content with more ideas.

That said, many of you mentioned that my unique value proposition was in-depth research, which I agree with. So, I’m still going to produce long-form content on ideas (where it makes sense). If I see an idea with a lot of potential, I’ll probably break that one down.

It’s like the best of both worlds, right? Now that’s what I call compromise. 🤝

Alright, let’s dive into this week’s Brainstorm.

3 Startup Ideas

#1: Murder Mystery Walking Tours

The Opportunity

This idea is less revolved around a pain point and more of a fun idea. Nonetheless, I still think someone should build it. Here’s the background:

  • I recently participated in a city-wide scavenger hunt put on by Let’s Roam, a company that organizes and manages scavenger hunts across major cities. It was a great way to see parts of the city I usually wouldn’t, get me outside, and a fun activity for my friends and me.

  • The other day, I learned about the company Hunt a Killer, a murder mystery game delivered through monthly subscription boxes that does multiple millions a year in revenue. Each month you get new clues, puzzles, and story details that progress the game.

  • Lastly, the company Detour (no longer in service) provided walking tours via a mobile app + headphones. After being acquired by Bose, they ended up going nowhere.

The Idea

Someone should combine these concepts and create a murder mystery walking tour that takes you around a city collecting clues to unlock new parts of the story. This could all be delivered via a mobile app, a little narration, and some geofencing.

I imagine it being similar to Pokemon Go, but done like a scavenger hunt across the city. You could charge people to unlock new tours, have new DLCs, and even tie in seasonal contracts with local shops and restaurants to maximize the experience.

Note: I drew inspiration for this idea from the MFM Podcast

Current Solutions

  • Story Tourist - This seems like a similar solution, but rather than using real places, it’s based on fictional places. It also appears to be operational in Europe but not in the States.

#2: Airbnb Deal Finder

The Pain Points

Have you ever negotiated Airbnb or VRBO prices? I hadn’t either until my friend told me he saves ~20% on every Airbnb he stays at. I learned there are a number of tactics he uses to save on lodging such as:

  • Leveraging his profile rating (it’s a 4.8/5)

  • Seeking out new renters who are in need to guest reviews

  • Finding holes in the listings booking calendar. This indicates cancellations from other bookers.

  • Destinations that are on off-season

The problem is doing all this hunting is a manual process that takes up time.

The Opportunity

Someone should create a simple chrome extension that analyzes Airbnb listings, highlights properties with the highest chance for giving a discount, and shoots them a message inquiring about a discount.

I think this is a super simple idea that could help save people thousands per year on travel.

Note: You can get kicked off of Airbnb for being too aggressive with discount inquires. My suggestion is to limit the number of inquires you can make via the platform and focus your features on highlighting potential deals.  

Current Solutions

  • There are many articles talking about how to save on Airbnb listings, but I couldn’t find a tech solution. However, if you do develop a service around this, be sure to reach back out to all of those articles - they may link to you or give you some free PR.

#3: Managing Interns as a Service

The Pain Points

If you’ve ever been in charge of managing interns, you know it’s a huge pain in the ass. Typically, you spend more time per intern than you do a full-time employee. You need to recruit a cohort/class each year, help them figure out housing (in some cases), train them, and most importantly, keep them busy with meaningful work.

It’s basically like hiring a batch of employees and running a summer camp simultaneously.

The Opportunity

There should be a service to help manage internship programs. Here are a few ideas:

  1. As mentioned, internship programs can be a bit like summer camp. Having a company help manage that aspect alone could be valuable. They could help organize social events, help interns get set up in a new city, and create experiences that help interns get the most out of the program.

  2. An even better idea is to help companies create internship Bootcamps. Lately, we’ve seen a number of Bootcamp-style learning programs emerge and gain tons of traction. What if you could do that same thing within big corporations? This would require you to help a company create a program-based curriculum that teaches interns what they need to be successful within the company.

Current Solutions

  • Parker Dewey - Parker Dewey offers “micro-internships”, short-term project-based internships that last weeks rather than months. It appears they help find and manage interns for micro-internships

  • Internship Bootcamp Example - While this technically isn’t a solution, it’s a great example of what could exist. For this idea, they’d hire you to set up a program as the one linked.

Thanks for reading - now get out there and build it! 

Catch ya next week, 

Keevin ✌