Blog by Sumana Harihareswara, Changeset founder

15 Sep 2006, 19:09 p.m.

Business Ideas

Hi, reader. I wrote this in 2006 and it's now more than five years old. So it may be very out of date; the world, and I, have changed a lot since I wrote it! I'm keeping this up for historical archive purposes, but the me of today may 100% disagree with what I said then. I rarely edit posts after publishing them, but if I do, I usually leave a note in italics to mark the edit and the reason. If this post is particularly offensive or breaches someone's privacy, please contact me.

Well, there's the intellectual property clearing-firm. It could also start what doesn't exist, which is a universal registry of who owns what IP. Do I hear databases calling? Tech component: check? However, it could be that such a database, or the problem people would hire it to solve, is computationally impossible or epistemologically intractable. And where's the target market? People who can afford lawyers already have them, and indie artists or small businesses who would use this service couldn't afford what I'd have to charge. The network effect plus publishing companies' possible urge to outsource legal work makes for thin gruel here.

You could set up a dehydrator near airport security lines to speed-dry liquids for people into just-add-water powders. Leonard tells me that rapid dehydration often changes the chemical properties of a complicated liquid. A better business proposition would be to sell tooth powders, shampoo bars, etc. to airport sundries shops, but where's the tech in that?

And there's coming up with an online sudoku competition site, possibly for sale to Yahoo! Games. The folks at work thought up a few variations so as to make Sudoku a two-player game:

  • When you complete a row, column, or 3x3 square, your opponent's board gets rotated randomly: 90, 180, or 270 degrees.
  • When you complete a subtask, some boxes your opponent had filled are erased, and others are filled.
  • Variation on that last one: when you finish a subtask, your opponent's puzzle actually changes. The computer permutes it by changing a few of the numbers.

But I'm not seeing where people would pay. Yahoo! Games is free; people don't pay to play Hearts or the like over the Internet.

None of these are right for my Master's project. Back to the thought mines.