July 22, 2012

Bulk view

Things I would like to see fixed

I brainstormed a list of things I would like to see fixed. Of this list, there are probably quite a few things that people will pay for. Of that list, there are probably a few things that I can build a sustainable business around. It’ll be interesting to figure out which!

Need What can help
Help people make better use of the clothes they have Wardrobe organizer/tracker
Cook more efficiently and prepare more kinds of recipes Bulk cooking recipe database (more healthy and ethnic recipes, too), meal planner, grocery list, preparation guide, and inventory
Help people learn how to use Emacs Emacs tutorials, screencasts, transcripts, books, etc.
Small businesses need to expand Resources for delegation and outsourcing: coaching, books, tasks, templates
Get a more accurate sense of how long it takes to do certain tasks Timer and logbook
Make better decisions about time Tracking systems, analysis, coaching
Keep in touch with wider networks and engage more deeply Social interaction tracker, reminders for keeping in touch
Learn more about life through data Books and resources to help people get started with self-tracking
Take and review paper- and sketch-notes quickly Tools for organizing and searching scanned notes (building on top of Evernote?), layouts and templates for drawing sketchnotes quickly, classes
Get the best deals without wasting food Grocery tracking, price books, consumption analysis
Spread the reach of information about tech or business Sketchnotes, animations, transcripts, e-books for webinars, meetups, and conferences
Improve early math education Resources for parents, group study sessions
Make the most of books Library tools, book notes, syntopicon, tracking
Help introverts connect with others Tips, tools
Transition from an employee to running your own business Tips, coaching
Organize random information Tips, tools
Use envelope-based personal accounting Tools
Understand your spending better Line-item details for receipts
Enjoy and learn from the Web and apps better More hand-drawn icons, websites, illustrations; better writing
Enjoy and learn from presentations better Presentation design improvements, presentation coaching, pre- and post-presentation resources
Grow sustainably as a developer Books, blog
Review, extract information from, and format blog archives Plugins, tips, tools for creating e-books
Create beautiful e-books as works in progress Tools, system
View a timeline of your life Tools
Help people learn, help kids with homework Online tutoring system
Help small businesses make the most of the Web Services, books, tools
Brainstorm and share lists Tools, blog
Improve lettering Templates, classes, fonts
Hang out with friends and coordinate plans Tools
Learn Latin and other languages Books, children’s books, resources
Help kids appreciate geek stuff Resources, children’s books
Draw with more colour Invent or find a multi-colour fountain pen; use multi-colour gel pens
Promote traditional wear Malongs?
Feed the cats Automatic cat feeder
Track stuff App for inventory, movement
Compare prices and find the best deals Comparison shopping tool
Help people learn about interesting things Clear, idea-packed, inspiring, and thoughtful writing
Help people get into business (new parents, people with disabilities, etc.) Books, tips, notes, resources, network

I’m scaling back consulting over the next few months so that I can experiment with other models for business. I could probably stay fully booked offering consulting services, web development, or other things that are time-for-money trades, but if I want to scale up and make a difference bigger than I am, it helps to learn how to build a business that can go beyond me. While I have the space and time to experiment with building a scalable business, I should do so.

Even if all these opportunities around me sound so interesting, I’ll be strict about working only on things where I can either create value disproportionate to efforts (in a good way, I hope!), or I can teach other people to do it and then scale up that way.