Methodically Validate My business Ideas
- Validate at least one business idea per month and by the end of that month decide to continue or shelf it
- Generate enough monthly income to sustain the rest of the year, and hopefully many years to come
Update June 2017: Type of Idea
As the year has gone on I've personally changed quite a bit, having the luxury of the time to think has allowed some pretty deep ponderings. What do I want my life to be? What is truly important? Do I want, and if so what do I want my legacy to be? Am I helping anyone through any of my creative and business ideas? What can I do to better society? The privilege of being able to take this year to build something of my own, to be proud of and to help others is a responsibility I don't take lightly. It's my duty to use this opportunity to better others' lives in some way - be that small or big. I haven't got the answers to all of this yet, but I'm working on it. :)
Work In Progress
Project 3: The Drawing Game
Every Christmas since I can't even remember when, my family has played 'The Drawing Game' (pretty clever naming right there). Introduced to us by my Gran, it involves splitting into two teams positioned in different rooms (living room and kitchen, say) of almost infinite size (we used to regularly play with 16 players). One person designates themselves the 'Wordsmith', writes a few lists of ~20 words of varying drawing difficulty and sits at an equidistant point to the two teams. At the beginning of the game, one member of each team comes to the Wordsmith, and 3, 2, 1... the Wordsmith whispers the first word on the list to the two team members.
The two team members sprint back to their team's as fast as they can, word in mind, pencil in hand, they start frantically drawing aforementioned word on a piece of paper and whoever is first to guess the word correctly then, themselves, sprints to the Wordsmith to whisper the word to them, get the next word on the list, and sprint back themselves. It is a speed drawing battle, and sprinting battle between the two teams to see which can get through the Wordsmiths list of 20 words fastest. It's high energy, all inclusive, utterly hilarious.
I've introduced it to friends in the past and many of them have since introduced it to their friends and even colleagues (it works well as a work event icebreaker). The biggest problem with the game is 1) the writing of the word lists and 2) not enough people know about it. Almost in honour of my Gran, I'd love to bring this to the masses, so I'm currently researching how this might be done.
Project 4: TBC
I'm also currently working my way through my list of over 300 business ideas to assess which others still have potential for the remaining months of my Year of Projects.
Project 1: Spotter App - Archived
I've spent around 3 days a week for the past few months coding an educational app for kids based on the age old game of spotting/treasure hunts. The app would contain a number of photos based on various themes (Seaside, London, etc.) that the kids have to tick off when they spot them. To prove they spotted it, the kids can also take a photo of the object. As kids entertainment moves progressively further onto mobile devices, this app would give kids a reason to look up from their (parent's) phones and spot and interact with things in the real world around them.
- After reading The Mom Test (really useful guide to market research) I performed as much research in that market as possible before touching a line of code. It's a difficult idea to research, I'm confident in the growth of parent's use of smart devices to distract their kids (a trend I'm not hugely keen on, but enthusiastic to fill that space with an app tha incentivises discovering the world around them, not getting lost for hours in the phone).
- I decided to develop a prototype of the app myself using the coding skills I learnt last summer on my coding course.
- I started to hit a limit to my technical skills whilst building the prototype, resulting in me focusing more on other projects and ideas. Just as I was putting out some feelers to get a freelance programmer on board to help me out, I found out that by some incredible coincidence one of my best mate's colleagues had been building exactly the same idea and had just released it on the App Store. You can check it out here.
Project 2: Charity Investment Management
I'm also researching the potential for a new kind of investment management/advice firm for charities. I know many charities currently pay high fees for their investments to be managed, every penny spent on managing investments and advice is a penny not spent directly achieving the charity's goals.
- How costly is is for a company to become regulated? What qualifications are required?
- How receptive would charities and foundations be to this offering? Is there a market for it?
- Who are the main/potential competitors? What do charities currently do?
- I've put this idea on the back burner as becoming FCA Authorised would take around a year, I'm prioritising ideas that have a higher likelihood of bringing in some income earlier on. I remain passionate about this idea though.
Project 3: The Future of Wills
I recently made a will before going to climb a pretty dangerous mountain. The process was so incredibly complicated, time consuming and costly - it honestly felt like a process that hasn't changed in 200 years and therefore ripe for disruption. I've begun putting the initial research into how this process could be digitised and properly updated to modern standards and expectations.
- This idea is also on the back burner while I wait to further some discussions with someone else very keen to work in this area.