Thoughts and Ideas #1 – Putting Them “Out There”

I’m constantly thinking, and coming up with ideas for things.  Be they apps, blogs, movies, tv shows, business ideas, whatever.  Most of the time, I just forget about them and they’re lost to the ether. Other times, I’m interested in developing them… but someone’s already done it, and I don’t feel like reinventing the wheel.  And still other times, I take steps to move forward with the idea.  Here are a few of my random thoughts:

#1 Increasing CD sales

I actually first had this idea YEARS ago, around the time Napster was at the height of popularity.  Each music CD should have a unique code, and when that code is entered into the record company’s (or third party’s) website, the buyer gets a credit for 10-15 mp3 downloads… plus, they can buy more credits if they want.  They can then download any song, by any of the record company’s artists.  Of course, back in 2000-2001 when I thought of this, it could’ve have had a huge effect on the recording industry, and my idea of buying “credits” to download songs actually predated the iTunes store. I knew too that to be successful, the record company’s “store” needed to have an overwhelming number of songs available.

The problem is, I didn’t (don’t) know anyone in the recording industry… or know anyone who knew someone. And the idea of building a third-party platform myself never even entered my mind.  Right now, I think the idea would only have limited appeal, since online music stores are so ubiquitous.

#2 Demystifying Flight Costs

I thought this up after listening to an episode of  This Week In Google, when Jeff Jarvis talked of how airline ticket prices were such an unknown. My idea was to create a database of ticket prices, so each user would enter in their flight info and price… and after enough info was submitted, I would create an algorithm that could parse the info and try to re-create the airline’s yield management algorithms. Eventually, you could input the date and locations of your flights, and the site would calculate the best price you should be able to get.  Since the prices are so variable, this would allow the user some ammo when negotiating with the agent… or even when putting in the Name Your Own Price on Priceline.

I knew the algorithm would be no cakewalk, but I figured if I could at least start gathering the information, it would make it easier to get started.  Initially, as is my want, I had all these grand ideas of parsing flight data through APIs and Scraping, letting the user click on a Google Map where they were flying to/from, allowing them to Tweet/Facebook their flights, and much more.  Well, thinking like that becomes untenable and creates an overwhelming amount of work for myself… and thus work either stops, or never starts.  With that realization, I created MyFlightPrice just using freely available Google Tools.  It took just an hour to make, and is pretty simple. After I finished, I tweeted to Jeff Jarvis, he re-tweeted, some people entered in some information… and that was about it.

#3 Finding Quality Celebrity Twitterers

These days a lot of famous people are on Twitter. Some are really doing their own tweets, some have PR people, some are a mixture. To weed out the PR generated tweets, and the just really boring people, I thought there needed to be a way for people to rate the celebrity twitterers and leave a review. So I created TwRate.

It’s a pretty simple concept. You login with Twitter, choose a celebrity, rate/review them… and that’s it. Each celebrity’s page shows a bit about them, their last 5 tweets, and the reviews.  You can also Follow/Unfollow from their page. I had hoped it could be a fun, snarky place to make us “normals” feel better about not being rich and famous… by making fun of those who are.

I actually had pretty high hopes for this site, but it really hasn’t taken off.  In fact, I’m the only one who’s used it.  But to be fair, I haven’t promoted it much at all.

#4 Practical Relationship Advice and Tools for Husbands

I bought the domain thinking of creating a blog for husbands – offering tip, tools, and advice on how to help your relationship with your wife.  I was hoping to have less of a Dr. Phil angle, and gear more towards technology. As you can see, 3 and 1/2 years later and I haven’t done much more than set up a blogspot account.

#5 HTML 5 blog

So I also wanted to blog about my journey as I taught myself the ins-and-outs of HTML5. I bought and while I’ve teaching myself HTML5, I never bothered to blog about it.

#6 Web Development Podcast

This is a recent idea that I still hope to do one day.

One of the things I have yet to find in the podcast-o-sphere, is a decent Web Development News podcast. There are good shows like the Big Web Show and Boag World, but they don’t have the specific format that I prefer listening to. I prefer the news w/ commentary format of shows like Buzz Outloud and the TWIT shows. That format, but dedicated to Web Dev News, is something that I have yet to find… and a couple that come close are either very infrequent, or just sound lousy.

The goal is to have a weekly show, with a couple of “regulars”, and add in a third (or fourth) guest on a rotating basis.  We’d run down the latest web development news, discuss each story, and move on. Nothing ground-breaking, but as far as I can tell, it hasn’t been done in a consistent, quality way for this topic.

The one problem I’m having with this is that I’m new to Austin and haven’t ventured out to meet with other devs. Hopefully, once I get more social with the community, I can get this thing off the ground. I’ve considered doing it on my own, but that would get dull.  Maybe just starting with 5 minute mini-casts? I don’t know….

So those are just a few things rattling around in my head. In the past, I was always a bit scared to share things, thinking someone might take my idea and do it themselves. I’m over that now. With so many things in my head that never even get started, I figure they might as well be out in the world.


Moving and Work have side-lined by site redesign. Will hopefully get back to it within a few weeks or so.