Crazy Business Ideas – Part 3

I’m sharing some more of the ideas I randomly write down in my tablet PC which could possibly be big money makers. Feel free to comment on these!

1.) Drycleaning ATM. Picking up dry cleaning during regular business hours is a pain, and very frustrating when you need certain clothes. Wouldn’t it be nice to have a dry cleaning ATM? Drycleaners would LOVE this since it would eliminate the need for a person to attend the store for long hours. You could pick-up and drop off clothes at this ATM which would hold your account information on a current credit card or something of the sort. You could even type special cleaning instructions. The drawbacks to this system are: it would initially be expensive to install, the building where the dry cleaner is located would have to be specially outfitted with this system. If you could find a way to make an affordable and easy to use system like this, it would change the face of dry cleaning!

2.) Wind Energy. Wind farms are popping up everywhere. The only problem with wind farms are the price. Wind generated turbines are absolutely massive. The blades get larger than the span of a Boeing 747. Once set up in a good location these things generate killowatts of energy every year that you sell to the power company. Most power companies will give you a contract that buys 100% of the electricity you produce. These also qualify to get certain tax breaks, great for any large investment. An interesting note: In Austin they have a program where you can opt to buy only “green” electricity from the city. In just two years the demand for this clean energy has risen over 5-fold, meaning this type of clean energy is in high demand. Be warned, the small investor will have a hard time breaking into this market….BUT…an enterprising person with a small budget but lots of motivation can get funding from other investors easier than with other large products. This is because you can easily get a contract from an electric company to buy 100% of your product (electricity) for 10+ years.

3.) Tablet PC’s. This is more of a trend than business idea. I have a Toshiba Portege Tablet PC, and I LOVE it. It is basically a regular laptop, but the mouse can be controlled with a pen. You can also flip the screen around and write directly on the screen, and it feels exactly like writing on paper. Have no doubt, the tablet trend will continue. I generally use it in regular laptop mode, but I use the pen instead of the mouse pad because the pen is FAR superior and faster. If you can identify a need for tablet PC’s you can make a ton of money by getting in this budding market early. A family friend who sells wholesale computer equipment said, “I sell A LOT of tablet PC’s, especially to large institutions and government agencies.” The only idea I have to improve my tablet experience is the pen. You use it a lot, and it might be cool to have “customized tablet pens”. These are more sophisticated than a regular stylus, as the screen is not touch sensitive (like a PDA), but the pen is what senses the touch. Most people don’t realize this important difference. I’m sure if you play around with a Tablet enough you can find some other device that can make the experience more enjoyable. The most money in the tablet-improvement field will probably be in the software area, not hardware.

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    Blog posted on: March 4, 2005

    22 comments on “Crazy Business Ideas – Part 3

    1. Johnie

      On my last trip to Japan, the country with the most vending machines per capita, I stumbled across a Dry Cleaning vending machine. Basically you drop off your clothes there at any time and when it’s done, they put it back in the box for you to pick up. I may have a picture of it somewhere.

      Reply
    2. Neville

      Johnie,

      Thanks for the feedback! The drycleaning atm sounds cool, if you have a picture, send it to me at nev@mail.utexas.edu , bringing a concept like that to the United States may take some time, but I think it would work.

      As for the wind farms, I’m sure there will be some initial trouble in getting them put up, but if you DO manage to get the OK on a proposal, these things are literally money-making machines.

      Something that would be cool, but probably never done: A wind turbing with solor panels lining the outside surface!! I have a feeling it would be uber expensive

      Reply
    3. Anonymous

      Hi Neville,
      I didn’t read the linked article bye johnie, but re: wind farms:

      While it sounds like a good idea, some research may shows it’s impractical.

      noise: neighborhood complaints
      as mentioned, birds.
      location: maintenance? insfrastructure to transport power?
      annoyance at the blight in the landscape.

      there are significant engineering concerns, as well as high liklihood of protests by the local residents. may be good to consult an engineer who knows this stuff: won’t work to take off so easily as you may think. then get a pr person for convincing the people :) finally, start praying for consistent wind. :D

      Reply
    4. Neville

      I am not carrying through with the wind idea, but I still think it would be a great investment (supposing I had millions of dollars laying around!).

      The successful wind farms are either on farm land or remote desert locations. Like most business ventures, there will always be some hurdles to jump. I expect to see more green energy like this in the future, but geared more towards solar energy.

      -Nev

      Reply
    5. Ross

      Wind is more restricted than solar in a pure location sense.

      So I am trying to launch my own crazy business( http://www.growcapital.com), investment advising. Can anyone check it out to make sure I haven’t said anything dumb or should be saying something I am not. It is hard to find financially minded people to review it. I can only practice in CA so this is not a sales pitch.
      Thanks

      Reply
    6. Mark Haugsten

      Nev

      Japan has Dry CLeaning vending machines. In fact, given the turnstile running as they do in dry cleaners, I don’t see why more cleaners don’t use that so customers can get their cleaning anytime. Some small engineering to open access through a commercial window to get to your hangers, and you are done.

      Off the grid energy is big, and getting bigger. Your post regarding solar is not commercial in scope, just for that building’s uses. Wind turbines are not big and expensive as you surmise. There is a nice little school and internet site that documents home made turbines, and hand wound magnetos and components, and are cheap, quiet, and easy to build.

      There are many books and CDs on home building and off grid power sourcing, and mixing the 2. I especially like the self reliance, and I am planning on building 3 homes to step into an entirely self reliant situation in my home, eventually.

      Reply
    7. johnie

      RE: Wind Farm. There has been a lot of reports about EPA rejecting proposals to build large wind farms. There are certain environmental issues [and well financed oil companies] that are holding back some of these wind farms. Most of them are due to the effect of wind farms on migrating birds.

      Reply
    8. Erin

      Nev,

      GREAT IDEA!
      I thought of this same idea
      about 10 years ago when I
      missed picking up my suit for
      a business trip by 2 minutes
      and had to buy a new one.
      Frustrating!

      It would seem that someone
      could come up with a small
      turnstile (the same unit
      they use to hang/move the clothes)
      that would be in a “box” device
      that would find your clothes
      (you would need to call and
      tell them you will be picking
      them up) and deposit them
      into an enclosure that you
      “unlocked” with your ATM card.
      The challenge is making it
      secure and affordable. I
      think people would be willing
      to pay $1-3 extra to be able
      to pick up after hours and
      the store would have a record
      of who used it in case of
      a problem.

      Reply
    9. Anonymous

      environmental issues like killing migrating birds?? yeah, here in australia several wind farms were knocked by our federal government because studies at current farms suggested that in 3 year a total of ONE orange-bellied parrot was injured by the propellors. i would have thought global warming (rising sea levels, drought, species of flora and fauna dieing) was a worse environmental issue. im sure most environmentalists would prefer a couple of dead birds then a couple of extinct species of birds.

      Reply
    10. Anonymous

      whoaa thats not true about the wind farms downunder, i dont belive it to be honest, but i have to say if it was true i would’nt be that surprised, 99.999% of politians are so out of touch with reality. bunch of over-paid greedy corrupt assholes.

      here in Ireland a collage set-up their own wind turbine, its about 50 foot high cost 1 mil i think, it has carbon fibre “blades” and is very quite.

      Reply
    11. Anonymous

      Came across your blog while surfing for some crazy business ideas…Really liked the idea of Dry Cleaning ATM’s….I want to research more on this idea…Can you suggest me some good links !!!

      Reply
    12. CatherineL

      I really love the idea of the dry cleaning ATM. For a while I toyed with the idea of doing a dry cleaning delivery service, but decided it would be too much hassle to co-ordinate.

      But, a dry cleaning atm machine would be so handy for customers, and would require much less manpower than a delivery service.

      Reply
    13. SQUEAKS

      Your so funny. I play this game with my kids and we make up inventions and money making businesses. I still think being a pet detective would be cool. People are always losing their animals.

      Reply
    14. Dustin

      Like others I like the dry cleaning idea. I use to have all my "work" clothes cleaned at a local dry cleaner and I could never seem to get around to picking up stuff during "normal" business hours. I have had similar ideas about this, but I was not thinking of it as "vending", but as a way to make it run without a person…basically vending. I usually try to think of good ways a business could be run without an employee.

      Reply
    15. Jewernest

      Great ideas!

      Working online can provide many freedoms. An online income can also be difficult to maintain. There are many different types of online incomes. The best way to figure out what is right for you is to read articles on related to generating income through online.

      Reply
    16. next

      My developer is trying to persuade me to move to .net
      from PHP. I have always disliked the idea because of the costs.

      But he’s tryiong none the less. I’ve been
      using WordPress on a variety of websites for about a year and am concerned about switching to
      another platform. I have heard excellent things about blogengine.net.

      Is there a way I can transfer all my wordpress posts into it?
      Any kind of help would be really appreciated!

      Reply

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