Million-Dollar Ideas

In my Aardvark regular online Internet-industry news column I've often made mention of my little notebook crammed with "million-dollar ideas" -- and I've even given some away for free.

Over the years I've seen many of the earlier ideas I scribbled in this notebook successfully implemented by others.

A good example of this is the free syndication of aggregated news headlines and links -- the very concept which took my service from startup to a unique monthly audience of two million (Nielsens, January 2000) in under three years on the smell of an oily rag. (Note: I now retain just a 34 percent holding in and take no part in management or day-to-day operations -- my emails to directors of the company are still routinely ignored).

This "million dollar idea" has ballooned into a successful model that has spawned two notable competitors (iSyndicate and to that have attracted almost US$100 million of venture capital between them.

Unfortunately, even though created and dominated this syndication model early on, a lack of readily available venture capital and what, in my opinion, was bad management by the company's CEO and directors (nothing to do with me) has meant that it has languished and is now little more than an "also-ran" in a highly competitive marketplace.

Having seen so many of these good ideas turned into profitable businesses by others, and having only a limited amount of time and finance available to work on them myself, I have decided to become a little more blatant about touting for venture capital or selling them outright to those interested in capitalizing on their value.

I don't wish to repeat the mistakes I made with by taking onboard investors who simply don't have any vision or real understanding of the models involved and who aren't prepared to listen to good advice -- so anyone contemplating contacting me will need to prove that they have more than just a fist-full of capital behind them.

Ideas presently in the Aardvark Entrepreneur's Notebook include:
  1. NEW...The provision of a managed service for websites that seek to dramatically increase their traffic but which can't justify the cost of providing such a service themselves. By amortising the cost over a large number of users, the provision of this service could be very profitable and most attractive to the largest names in publishing.
    Market: Online publishers, broadcasters

  2. A simple, powerful and foolproof system for protecting vendors, credit-card holders and banks from online fraud. In fact, this system is capable of providing authentication for almost any type of transaction involving large numbers of individuals (including e-government)
    Market: Banks, merchants, cardholders, e-government, e-commerce.

  3. A Net-based software system targeting the convergence of broadcast and Internet media in a manner that could produce huge leasing rentals on an annually renewed basis.
    Market: Radio broadcasters

  4. A Net and/or broadcast-based system based on a subscription service with significant appeal to all TV viewers. This venture has the potential for a very significant capital return within a very short timeframe.
    Market: Television viewers

  5. An online ecommerce service which offers sellers immediate access to a huge audience of potential customers while eliminating virtually all the complexities and costs associated with traditional e-commerce operations. This is an entirely new business model which could be the catalyst for a totally new business likely to rival eBay or in revenues.
    Market: New or existing online retailers

  6. A new vehicle for paid and ad-funded content syndication capable of being used as a component of idea 4 (above).
    Market: Online Publishers

  7. A system which offers a spam-proof alternative to publishing your email address, thus protecting your email accounts from the annoying waves of unsolicited junk email which has become so commonplace these days.
    Market: Spam-weary Net-users, Advertisers

  8. An advertising/marketing/branding product which has already proven itself capable of providing clients with a 100-fold return on investment within 12 months and which offers an increasing residual effect beyond that. With the decline in performance associated with traditional ad-banners, this product's time has well and truly come.
    Market: Advertisers, Advertising agencies

  9. A form of low-cost jet-thrust engine suitable for recreational vehicles (microlights, hang-gliders, boats, karts, etc), models and other applications. Over 50 export orders have already been received for these engines and a $30,000 government technology grant is assisting with further development. Investment by interested parties is welcomed.
    Market: Recreational vehicle users, enthusiasts, modelers, educators, military, scientific.
Anyone interested in the rights to any of these ideas, or the creation of a joint venture is welcome to contact me for more information.