Business Ideas

March 20th, 2007

Exhilarating Dinner

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I always enjoy conversation with smart people. So when Jerry Michalski say he will be in Singapore, I grab the chance to have dinner with him. It become even more fun Andreas Weigend join us later. (Cory Ondrejka was also in town but he couldnt make it for dinner tonight). Together with some locals, Ming Yeow, Vivek Singh, Shaun Lee, dinner was a blast.

Topics went from US politics to local politics, from US to China and, from technology to business, crazy to fantastic ideas. So many ideas to blog about, so little time.

Anyway, let me share one portion. Shaun asked us what we think of Social Network and I replied with this idea.

The problem of Social Network is not the lack of it but there are so many to join. Each of them have its specific functions (or none at all) yet nothing do exactly what we need. So what would really be nice is if someone could create a Social Network that is just a platform but have open APIs that allows to plugin and expand the capability.

You want to build a social network for vacation, or you think you can do better than Linkedin, why build a whole platform and getting all the users to sign up again? Do that ontop of a common Social Network platform.

Beside able to create multiples social network and customize functionality, the open platform could allows plenty of innovation. For example, a email spam-filter based on how many degrees the sender is from you; or a addressbook that updates itself via the common Social Network platform.

This common Social Network platform is waiting to be build. The question is who is going to do it. While all agrees that it is probably easier for one of the existing Social Network (friendster, orkut, linkedin etc) to open up than for someone starting from scratch, Jerry added “they probably wont open up since they put too much value on the database”.

Crazy idea waiting for someone to do it :-)

This Business Idea is release under the condition “No need for permission nor do I ask for anything in return”. Good luck!

March 16th, 2007

IM Phone


I had this idea while having dinner with Marc in Bali a few weeks ago. I am sure a lot of other people already thought of it but I think the timing for the idea is perfect right now.

The premise is that kids who grow up in the 90s on IM are now in the lates teens or early twenty entering the workforce. Email is dead as far as they are concern.

Do you think a phone like blackberry will appeal to them?

No, what they want is a cheap mass-market phone that specialized in Instant Messaging.
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March 15th, 2007

Business Ideas


Good business ideas are hard to come by. But more important then good ideas are timing and execution. Ideas without the right team of people with sufficient time and money will remains as-it, just an idea.

Over the years, I have developed many business ideas. I was flipping through my old notes and here are some:

1. A web-based Email system (pre-dating Hotmail)
2. A host-to-host finger & talk1 (pre-dating ICQ)
3. A graphical multi-user dungeon (MUD) (1999)
4. A IP-based PBX (1999)
5. Online game operator/publisher (2002)
etc etc

At the time I noted them down, I either dont have the right people, the money or the time to work on it. Then sometime later, someone think of the same thing, with the right team of people and bingo.

This happens so often and the latest was just a month ago when I saw an idea I was working on appears on slashdot, executed by another team (funded by VC).

So really, ideas are cheap. If I can think of it, somewhere out there someone else probably would have thought of it too. The question is who can bring it into reality faster.

Therefore, I decided to create a new category called Business Ideas. Instead of filing in my private document, I will blog it. Instead of letting these ideas remains as yet-another-idea-never-fulfill, I would be happier someone take them and do something about it.

So if you see any business ideas you like and want to make it yours, please go ahead. No need for permission nor do I ask for anything in return2. Just run and may you find success with it.

To kickstart, I shall have one business idea to share shortly.

1 Unix folks will remember “finger” and “talk”, the former for presence and the later for instant chat.

2 Of course, if you so kind to credit me or if you want to give me a share of your company, I wouldn’t reject them :-)