Stuff That I Wish Existed
A Better Safe Deposit Box
While there are several players attempting to disrupt the self-storage industry (Makespace, Clutter, and Boxbee), no one seems to have put some thought towards a better safe-deposit box experience. Many metropolitan areas in the U.S. are facing a safe-deposit box shortage, the waitlist in parts of Los Angeles, the bay area, New York, and Miami is 2–3 years!
The profile of the customer who needs a safe deposit box has evolved and banks haven’t caught up. Historically, boxes were a loss leader for banks, the logic being that the customer who needs a safe deposit box is an excellent prospect for high-margin banking services such as private wealth management. For large swaths of the U.S. population, specifically immigrant families which tend to keep jewelry and cash at home, not having a place outside their home to store their valuables is a real problem. These people may not be the target customer for private wealth management services but are in dire need of boxes.
Further, the fact that a box renter has to schedule a time, during business hours, to pick up their valuables, and then return them, is an acute pain point. My sister, mother, and wife, all chronically complain of their sub-par safe deposit box experience. Margin expansion is possible as well with less overhead being needed to manage a space that isn’t publicly accessible.
Testing Tactical Skills in Interviews
Companies of all sizes can fumble during the hiring process. We felt this pain first hand at Black Box when a few recruits wouldn’t be able to exhibit the skills they represented on their resume and articulated through interviews. Doing something analogous to what TripleByte is doing technical hires for sales, marketing, and product hires would help companies hire fast, and, hopefully, not fire fast.
Flight Delay Insurance
My wife and I spent countless hours this past year in airports, stranded due to flight delays. Founders fund recently funded a platform that reduces the friction in accessing private airport lounges, but I think it falls short. When I’m stranded in an airport, the chances that I’m going to purchase food, beverages, or books/magazines goes up considerably. I would gladly pay $5-$10 dollars to reserve the option that, should my flight be delayed by more than one hour, I am awarded with $25 of currency to spend inside the airport.
The pricing isn’t cemented, but I think there is potential here to give people instant relief from an acute pain point. On the merchant side, you could potentially collect a bounty from vendors inside the airport for sending foot traffic their way and get distribution to reach merchants through airports themselves.
Video Marketplace for Interviews / Public Speaking / Hard Conversations
Its’ often cited that the most diligent candidates and workers will video record their answers to interviews, board presentations, speeches etc. as part of their preparation. Why hasn’t someone built a service making this turn-key for job seekers? A medical student should be able to get thoughtful, actionable feedback on their medical residency interview answers by current residents. An MBA student should be able to get feedback and coaching on their interview performance from current practitioners. Think of UserTesting but for mock interviews / public speaking.
Privatizing Pieces of The Justice System
Every small claims court experience I’ve heard of recites like a nightmare. Painfully long paperwork and trips to/from the courthouse. Its’ almost as if the system is designed to discourage you from pursuing a claim.
If TV networks can justify re-inventing the People’s Court every few years for the past 20 years, is it time to build something on Youtube or Facebook? The user psychology already exists, spectators generally enjoy observing conflict and its resolution. Its’ the same reason crowds gather around police incidents and why traffic accidents lead to rubber-necking. A service that offers two parties involved in a dispute an alternative platform to small claims court is very interesting. The parties’ can have their dispute resolved by an arbitrator online in a timely fashion in exchange for having the hearing streamed.
Build on Top of Slack
When Slack opens its’ app store (I’m going to go out on a limb here and say its a matter of time :)) a host of interesting businesses can be built on top of Slack, similar to the ecosystem that flourished on top of Salesforce. These may not be billion dollar ideas, but are still viable businesses. Early candidates include a gifting platform, an employee recognition platform, and a professional network built inside of slack for companies to engage in partnership discussions. What else?