Saturday, November 27, 2010

Rapid Readsponse

People, in general, do not like to read. If that were not the case, it would be easier to draw attention to this blog. Because of this, it seems that a lot of people miss a lot of information because they are unwilling or unable to devote the time necessary to read what they should be reading. Out of these multitudes that don't read much, a good portion would probably pay money if they could have other people read for them and let them know about the important parts.

Rapid Readsponse would be a rapid-response reading company that would hire people based on strength of reading skills as well as strength of character. The company would need to provide confidentiality and non-disclosure forms to employees because some information might be sensitive, and they would also need to provide forms (worded as simply as possible) to clients confirming that Rapid Readsponse employees are in fact authorized to read documents and/or websites provided by the client. Clients would have the option to send what needs to be read to Rapid Readsponse via secure snail mail or a very secure web server and then quickly go over he gis of it via phone, or they could opt to pay more to have an employee travel to the client's home and read what needs to be read over there. It would probably also need to be extra money if the documents contain complex legal or medical language since that might require an expert.

I think this would have a real shot as a legit business. What do you think?

Monday, October 4, 2010

Roller Arcade

Unlike most of what I've come up with and put on this blog, this is not a digital idea, although some of its inspiration comes from digital technology.

A lot of the inspiration came from a somewhat disturbing dream that woke me up on Friday night. Since then, I tried to cut out the part that scared me and expand on the game element that might have business potential.

There is no reason to go step-by-step with the thought process, and I don't remember all of it anyway, but what I eventually came up with is something that combines two major potential sources of nostalgia for Generations X and Y: roller skating and arcade games.

In my vision of the physical venue that would house this business would have one large rink in the tradition of traditional roller rinks, but instead of being used just for skating, which could happen during off-hours (mostly weekday afternoons), it would be used to re-create classic arcade games on roller skates.

The first one that I thought of, and probably the most commonly used one due to its potential for multiple participants at the same time, would be a re-creation of the Snake game where the player would control a snake going after food dots while trying to avoid the wall and itself.

In the live version, each person would pay a fee ($5-$10 depending upon the local cost of living) to get an identifying number similar to what race participants have, but these would be on both front and back so staff can more easily take note of when a contestant collides with the wall or another contestant. Contestants will also get little velcro strips on their backs, and helmets for safety.

Once everyone is signed up, each contestant will be assigned to a basket that is labeled with the same number that the contestant has. Then a staff member will throw a soft, nerf-style ball out onto the rink and each contestant tries to be the first one to pick the ball up and place the ball in his or her basket. Once that happens, the staff member will throw out two balls, and then three, and so on until time is up (probably after an hour) and the game ends.

As previously alluded to, crashing into walls and other people is a bad thing. A staff member will keep collision tallies, and when someone has three collisions then they have to sit out for five minutes. Once released from the penalty box for the first time, two more collisions will lead to a ten minute suspension, and after that another collision will mean the contestant has to sit the rest of the game out.

The reason for the velcro is to add extensions onto the back of each contestant after each time that they put a ball in their basket, thus making avoiding collisions more difficult.

Whoever has the most balls in their basket when time is up is the winner, regardless of how much time they spent in time out or if they were in the game when it finished. Winner gets a prize to be determined by the proprietor of the venue.

This should include a bar, but people drinking at the bar should have to sign a special waiver taking responsibility for any accidents that may occur from skating while intoxicated.

I have ideas for how some other games would work in a roller rink, but describing all of those would make this post far too long. Feel free to contact me via the comments here if you are interested in discussing this further.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Game Idea: Shine On

Yes, this is a Pink Floyd reference.

Not a very developed idea yet, but the concept revolves around crazy diamonds.

It would be a side scrolling platform game, and instead of collecting gold the game character would collect diamonds. These diamonds would be unavoidable at times, and would also be useful at times. The catch is that they are alive and violent.

The character would automatically pick up diamonds once encountered and place them in a sack. Like in traditional platform games, the sack is not heavy or visible. The only problem (for the character's) well-being is that when there are over fifty diamonds in the sack, a diamond jumps out of the sack and takes out an eye, making the screen blurry. If this happens a second time, the screen goes dark and navigating through the level becomes extremely difficult.

Having some diamonds is necessary for survival because when attacked by an enemy, the enemy will either steal a few diamonds or kill the adventuring hero. The need to maintain a moderate amount of currency introduces strategic elements that should set this apart from other side-scrollers.

This would ideally be a mobile app selling for $2-$3.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Game Idea: Big Insurance

*Takes place in an alternate reality in which there is a company called "Big Insurance" that charges the lowest introductory rates out of anybody.

*Gamer plays a character, with the physical appearance picked out of about a dozen options, that signed up for Big Insurance without reading the fine print about the contract being irreversible and permanent. They also cover every single thing that can possibly be insured, and the character is signed up for four to six of them.

* Big Insurance the company has some sort of horrible dirt on the government which allows them to get away with tactics that would normally be illegal.

* Big Insurance agents will do things like try to drive you off the road to increase your car insurance costs, frame you for an electrical fire to increase home insurance rates, expose you to radiation to increase life insurance costs and shatter your kneecap to increase medical insurance.

*The goal of the game is to fight and outwit your way out of various forms of attempted sabotage as well as earn enough money to pay for insurance when rates increase. Not having enough money to pay insurance bills will get the character arrested for a year.

*Making money in jail is difficult but necessary in order to have a chance of paying bills once released. There will be a "jail" mode and not doing well in jail mode essentially guarantees a quick ticket back to jail.

*Ten hours of playing Big Insurance is equivalent to a year inside the game. One game lasts for ten years of a character's life.

*Achievements within the game, at least in an app version of it, could be integrated with facebook, twitter, foursquare, and other appropriate social media sites.

Hot Sauced

*App idea that relies upon figuring out a comparison between alcohol consumption and spicy food consumption (based on the Scoville Scale, not caloric quantity).

*Once the two can be compared, the app user could input a certain amount/intensity of hot food consumption and there would be a graphic showing how drunk someone would get with the equivalent of alcohol.

*Could also be reversed, with an amount of alcohol (adjusted for time and body weight) typed into the app and the graphic would show the person sweating and chuuging cold, neutralizing beverages (or barely reacting at all) based on the equivalent amount of spicy hotness ingested.

*Would be a novelty app that would likely not be used very often, but its conceivable that hundreds of thousands if not millions of hot pepper enthusiasts and college students and others would be willing to drop 99 cents on this app if someone built it.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Quick food-Related Concept

If something like what I just thought of is out there then please let me know so I can use at at some point. If it does exist, I hadn't heard of it so here's what my idea is:

There are plenty of apps that help people measure their physical activity and plenty that give dining discounts, so why not combine the two? If someone is very hungry because they exercised extensively, wouldn't it be nice if they got a discount so that working up an appetite won't be an economic strain? This would only apply to large portions and carb loading the night (maybe 2 nights) before a big race. Would have to figure out some way to minimize fraud, but making this app would not only help drive business to restaurants but provide a public service by encouraging exercise.

Media Map

This is an app idea that I literally just came up with right after I started this "Startup Concepts" blog. It would consist of a map of the world, but instead of names of places it would feature books, movies and songs that feature those places. Only one place per piece of media, so books and movies would be put where they primarily take place. Sleepless in Seattle would be in Seattle, Gone With the Wind in Atlanta, the song "Kansas City" would be in Missouri and less obvious media titles would be placed at the discretion of employees.

Once media works are placed on the map, users could mouse over them to see what works take place in their city or in whatever other place that they're curious about. Double clicking on it could lead to the Amazon page for that product, with the affiliate links being the main source of revenue. Users could zoom in and out, just like with regular maps, for easier searching, and they would also be able to narrow down the maps to only have media items that fit within certain parameters such as year released and genre.

There could also be a quizzes section of the app, with the quizzes often requiring using the app in order to make answering the questions easier. If cheating can be guarded against, higher scores on the quizzes could earn a user increased privileges such and being able to message employees with advice regarding missing or misplaced media products or even earn moderation rights and/or a chance to work for the app.

Finally, this would heavily utilize researchers and therefore create at least a few jobs for people who majored in History and other Liberal Arts subjects.