My First Homeless Innovation

Some of the mini experiments I want to try during the Homeless Experiment involve holding up different types of signs on the side of the road, sort of like an A/B Split Test to see which is the best play for making the most food/money in an hour:

  • Funny signs
  • Serious signs
  • Asking for money
  • Asking for food

I was a little concerned about this because from what I’ve seen, cardboard seems to the medium most bums on the side of the road use (old boxes or real estate signs generally). This means I will have to procure a new piece of cardboard for each sign (since generally only one side is blank).

Well I inadvertently came upon a solution:
I ordered something online the other day, and the packing material was a single, long strip of brown paper just crumpled up and stuffed in the box.

Great packaging for the products, but even better sign material! If you un-crumple the paper it gives you a tall writing space of 14″ and unlimited width.

So instead of having to carry around a sign I already made, I can discard and make new ones on the fly. It’ll look something like this:

So in addition to the few things I’ll be carrying, I’ll add this small roll of paper to the list. It folds up nicely, and will provide me with about 15 – 20 signs.

Blog posted on: June 3, 2009

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