July 22, 2012

Things I would like to see fixed

July 22, 2012 - Categories: business

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!

NeedWhat can help
Help people make better use of the clothes they haveWardrobe organizer/tracker
Cook more efficiently and prepare more kinds of recipesBulk cooking recipe database (more healthy and ethnic recipes, too), meal planner, grocery list, preparation guide, and inventory
Help people learn how to use EmacsEmacs tutorials, screencasts, transcripts, books, etc.
Small businesses need to expandResources for delegation and outsourcing: coaching, books, tasks, templates
Get a more accurate sense of how long it takes to do certain tasksTimer and logbook
Make better decisions about timeTracking systems, analysis, coaching
Keep in touch with wider networks and engage more deeplySocial interaction tracker, reminders for keeping in touch
Learn more about life through dataBooks and resources to help people get started with self-tracking
Take and review paper- and sketch-notes quicklyTools 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 foodGrocery tracking, price books, consumption analysis
Spread the reach of information about tech or businessSketchnotes, animations, transcripts, e-books for webinars, meetups, and conferences
Improve early math educationResources for parents, group study sessions
Make the most of booksLibrary tools, book notes, syntopicon, tracking
Help introverts connect with othersTips, tools
Transition from an employee to running your own businessTips, coaching
Organize random informationTips, tools
Use envelope-based personal accountingTools
Understand your spending betterLine-item details for receipts
Enjoy and learn from the Web and apps betterMore hand-drawn icons, websites, illustrations; better writing
Enjoy and learn from presentations betterPresentation design improvements, presentation coaching, pre- and post-presentation resources
Grow sustainably as a developerBooks, blog
Review, extract information from, and format blog archivesPlugins, tips, tools for creating e-books
Create beautiful e-books as works in progressTools, system
View a timeline of your lifeTools
Help people learn, help kids with homeworkOnline tutoring system
Help small businesses make the most of the WebServices, books, tools
Brainstorm and share listsTools, blog
Improve letteringTemplates, classes, fonts
Hang out with friends and coordinate plansTools
Learn Latin and other languagesBooks, children's books, resources
Help kids appreciate geek stuffResources, children's books
Draw with more colourInvent or find a multi-colour fountain pen; use multi-colour gel pens
Promote traditional wearMalongs?
Feed the catsAutomatic cat feeder
Track stuffApp for inventory, movement
Compare prices and find the best dealsComparison shopping tool
Help people learn about interesting thingsClear, 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.