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 7am.com 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 7am.com 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 Moreover.com) to 7am.com that have attracted almost US$100 million of venture capital between them.
Unfortunately, even though 7am.com 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 7am.com 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.