Ideas which I wish I had followed through..

I did a blog post yesterday about an idea I had for a website.

Here are some other ideas which I’m kicking myself I wasn’t able to follow through with..

“Internet Cafe”

When I was back in school, in this instance circa 1996, I had this idea with a friend of setting up a cafe, to be specific, it was going to be an “Internet Cafe”.  A bunch of computers in a room which were connected to the internet so people could get online, and we would serve coffee.  An “Internet Cafe” in the literal sense.  At that time, there were no “Internet Cafes”, or at least I wasn’t aware of any in Australia like the one we were dreaming up.

Because I’ve always loved listening and playing to music, there were going to be Open Mic nights, and it was going to be a place that everyone could just hang out at.

The downside was that the two of us with the idea were 16, still in school and wouldn’t have been able to fund it.  Granted, we probably weren’t in a position to run it ourselves, but given the market at the time, this particular venture was a new market, even to the point we might have been able to franchises (I could dream!).

The reason I talk about franchises, looking at the bigger ones in Australia at the moment: Coffee club had just started franchising 2 years earlier, in 1994.  Gloria Jeans opened 3 stores late in 1996 then in ’98 started franchising.  Starbucks wouldn’t have a store open in Australia for 4 years.. mid-2000.

“Statistic ball”

Imagine a ball (was thinking an Australian Rugby League, Australian Football League, Tennis or Baseball ball), which had the ability track information such as its speed, height, force and more.

OK, I had no chance of making this at the time because it would have been physically impossible because the technology didn’t fully exist and if it did, it wouldn’t have been small or lightweight enough.  Also, I was about 10 at the time.  Ironically, at the time, I didn’t dismiss it because of this, I was more worried about how it might change the balls dynamics in the air.

And yes, it was a good idea..  because it looks like the patent was filed in 2010, I had the idea back in the late 80’s, early 90’s. Patent:

“Throw camera”

I had a similar idea at the time of the “Statistic Ball”, a camera which could take a 360 degree photo after being thrown up in the air, the photo being taken the moment it reaches the stationary point at the top of the throw. It exists, and is on sale now. Look up Panono…

“Order and pay ahead coffee”

I came up with this idea in the last few years.  Just before an actual product was made.  A very simple idea (as most are).  Takeaway shops large and small have similar offerings, like websites and the ability to call a head, but the idea of this was to focus around coffee shops.  The phone app would allow you to select a participating coffee shop, order you coffee and pay for it and a number of items in the app.  Ordering ahead for a later time or an option to ‘make it now, I’m close’.  In the app, the ability to ‘set favorite’, for future one button presses to order the same coffee.  I know some people enjoy the conversation with their barista’s, but the ability to order as you are on your way to work and then literally just pick up your coffee as you walk past the coffee shop could save you a few minutes.. expanding that out, say just 1 minute a day, that’s 4 hours a year (based on 1 minute a day for 48 weeks)!

An idea for a site: The 3 Month Project

I had an idea back in 2011 which I was going to call the “3 Month Project”.  Trying to make the purpose of the site obvious in its name. Basically, start and finish a ‘project’ in 3 months.

While there are sites out there which promote and encourage people to achieve goal and accomplish targets in a month, such as National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo),  February Album Writing Month (FAWM) and RPM Challenge, I was thinking of a site for projects which might take longer to complete, or for those who wanted to complete the same goal as one of those sites, but with a longer time frame.

At the time I wrote up a business type spiel to explain what the site might be:

How often does a person have an idea and by lack of support, lack of focus or a never ending deadline, never actually completes it?  3 Month Project (3MP) is the support vessel for that idea.

3MP is an online community and future learning resource. Community for support and a learning resource for others who have similar ideas/goals. Future members will be able to see how others achieved their goals and to see what worked along the way, and what did not.

Each member will have 1 project/goal on their list at one time, they can’t start another project until 3 months after the current project start date. At the end of 3 months, they will fill out a completion form which let’s them assess where they got to and do a review of their project, addressing how much was completed, things that worked really well and things that didn’t.

Supporting others along the way by following them, and opening communications publically via commenting on status posts/questions, or by a suggestions on people page, such as offering links to sites or assistance which they can offer/help sold problems.   Additionally private communication would also be offered if some subjects couldn’t be spoken about publically.

And this was my idea of how it would work:

After signing up to the site, providing basic information, members would be prompted to set up their first project and it’s start date.  If not, just a basic profile to communicate with others members.

Each project will be given a ‘code name’, a short description, a more in-depth description, categorised and keywords added to the project. If there are known milestones that need to be met, they can be set as well.

From Day 1 onward, the member updates their profile as much as they can with images/videos/audio, anything that can show what they are doing.  Effectively a public blog of their project.

The first project ‘on’ the site was going to be the creation of the site.

I know the goal sounds similar to the sites I listed above and something anyone could publish on their own blog (or a finished project on Instructables), but the plan was to make this a central resource for projects.  Then completed projects, assuming fully documented, could be viewed as an extended tutorial.  Also, while it’s find to see the finished project or tutorial, the journey in getting to the final outcome can be as interesting, if not more.  It could also show decisions made and lessons learned along the way which affected the outcome.  And that was where I saw the worth in the site, a repository of projects where people could learn from others.  By keeping it central and open to be viewed by all, it would be a treasure trove in the future.

I think back to the movie “The Social Network” where the creation of “Facesmash” was presented.  The character/Mark appeared to be documenting it through a number of smaller blog posts as it was created.  I’m not sure how many posts were published, and granted, it was a way to drive the story forward in the film.  But those posts/’pourings of the mind’, could explain why things worked or didn’t, or how it did work.  Now I realise that what was put forth was a mild hacking attempt, but he was saying “they used this, so I had to do this instead”.  You could ‘see’ the logic as it played out.  You could learn from the rights (or would it be wrongs in this particular case?) so if other people made similar sites, they might get it right the first time.

That’s my ‘little’ post about “3 Month Project”.  So, why am I posting this? To get the idea out there!  I’ve had a number of ideas which I’ve realise that I won’t be able to make or create.  So if someone likes the idea, go for it. I just ask to please give me credit if you make it!

Tom’s Time Machine – a short fiction story

One morning last July, I work up at 3am with a mostly formed idea for a story in my mind. I spent the next half hour furiously writing it down… on my tablet (one of the reasons I love the S-Pen on my Note 8), before I went back to sleep.

Over the following days and a number of revisions, the story was fully formed.  I put it aside and let it sit for a week before I went back and edited it.  THEN I showed my family.  A few edits later I showed some work colleagues who also gave my some feedback (and edits as well) and I feel it’s now in its’ final form.

Check it out and let me know what you think!  <— click here to read it

Starting fresh

I’ve owned for a while now, over 10 years.  I’ve put stuff up, taken it down, put some other stuff up, taken it down.  I’ve even used it for some musical collaborations behind the scenes!

Anyway, New Years Eve I decided I’d clean it up and start using it as a blogging platform… finally.  That and I feel like I’m finally at a point where I want to share ideas and thoughts.

One of the reasons I’m thinking that way is that I’m seeing a number of things, whether it be music, technology or websites; being made today which were ideas I had years ago and well, I’m cussing myself for not sharing the ideas.  I’ll explain that soon in another blog post.

So this is basically my ‘Hello World’ post again, but ‘starting fresh’.