I think he sells himself short here. Women aren't the only people that have to hunt for a fit. I'm a tall, lanky guy. Most medium shirts are too short, and my shoulders swim in a large. Like any good scientist, I've trialled and erred my way to brands that fit (thank you American Apparel medium 50/50s), but this discovery process is a pain in the ass. Here's the upside, browse through clothes online, and everything fits, see how it looks on someone with your shape.
There are some big challenges of course. A brand's sizing will vary from design to design. I bought a pair of Nike 11s that fit, after trying another Nike 11 that didn't. Then, how consistent is the sizing after manufacturing, after washing?
Sigh, somebody start this, and I'd love to help.
I thought of another use for this article. It would make a good interview question: which of these products would you be most proud to be a part of?
But major problems: clothing even within brand-lines changes regularly. Annual or semi-annual updates. Manufacturer changes. I have found size changes within colors even (BR boot cut chinos in khaki versus brown; major differences). And then identifying the clothes in the first place. We going to be scanning bar codes?
Also getting support from the retailers -- both on sharing data and collecting it (they have much better chance of getting data from customers -- attach the web address to the clothes tag). But this will compel more online purchases and reduce return-churn, so they have an incentive to participate and monetize this.
Here's the obvious drawback: you're pretty much limited to running shoes and suits. But then, these are some of the more risky expenditures, and it's even more crucial for these items to fit than it is for your sweatshirt to fit.
Still, I can imagine a lot more money being spent on clothes if all it takes is an image and an impulse. When the clothes arrive and they fit...then you don't feel like an jerk.
TechCrunch says they've raised $28 million since 2006. That is a boatload of money. They should split into at least two companies: one to represent and engage the users that will pay with their personal information, and another to integrate retailers with a suitably featured API.
If it becomes popular for people to store the entire laundry list of their personal information online (even something mundane like an inseam), then there is plenty of work to be done to upgrade the universe of e-commerce out there into such a store. It's a natural place for Amazon, eBay/PayPal, Facebook, or Google to be.
I suppose my point is that entrepreneurs are spending too much time solving mundane, every-day problems which aren't that bad as opposed to looking at the big picture. I mean, don't get me wrong, I recognize that not everyone is going to build the next facebook... but if we don't strive for that, doesn't that eliminate the risk - and ultimately, the charm - of entrepreneurship? Or am I just bitter?
I'm starting to think it might just be the latter.
First, I really wouldn't say Facebook was a big idea when it started. It was about getting Harvard students laid, with some long-shot plans about connecting the world together gradually over time. I could come up with some half-baked paths that a few of my ideas may follow to become a huge company, but of course that is more about luck down the road. I like to focus on ideas that can solve a problem right now and make money.
Second, risk is not a binary concept. You have an efficient frontier of risk/reward points and you simply choose your spot along that line. If you want to start the next Facebook, you might be looking at 1,000 competitors. If you want to build a Settlers of Catan clone, it's more like 3. There's still risk, but it's greatly reduced, and with that reduction comes a reduction of potential return. Feel free to swing for the fences-- but every team needs guys who can get singles and RBIs, not just home runs.
Happy to hear some examples of ideas that you think have sufficient potential and charm. :)
I'd like to think the idea I'm working on now has sufficient potential and charm! :-)
However I would say these ideas are not necessarily that bad to practice on. I mean for people who are serious about getting into web stuff, then projects like these could be a great way to learn the ropes. Doing a project from ground up has always been IMO the best way to learn a new language. I know that I will basically be doing this with one of those ideas or a similar one.
I think the reason why Github is a better model than reddit is because of the developer-centric model of Github. I use Github because it's how I manage my own code-- it's first and foremost about me. The social aspect of it is what makes it go viral when a cool library is pushed, but that's a vitamin, not a painkiller.
With reddit, it's more of a nail-biting, "gosh I hope people like this" sort of model. Its focus is on the community and a link is a temporary (usually < 1 day) talking point for people.
I think chefs treasure their recipes and carry them around for life. They know what they like and they're happy to experiment/learn from others, but it's mostly about mastering their own skills and creating their own recipes.
I suppose if anyone's interested, I'd be willing to carry the idea further. I'm a technical guy, with experience in RoR and NodeJS and Android, although I'd love to explore the business side of things more.
Sadly, I don't have my website up yet since I had to make architectural decisions to accommodate massive data input for example.
You and me have the biggest problem: chicken and egg. :D
Tip: If you're going to use random recipes as frontpage, try not to show them without pictures as it makes your website looks incomplete/tacky.
Yeah, we do have the same problem pretty much. It's definitely a chicken and egg thing. That's why I demoted it from startup to side project and got a job. There's way too much competition and there's too much of a chicken and egg problem for one guy to make this fly.
For recipes that you don't have any pictures of yet, seeing the site logo is really confusing. Why don't you instead show a generic icon/clipart image for the class of food (a cup of soup for soups) or pull something in from google images or flickr?
I think http://www.idealist.org/ already fills this niche
Then there is your webcam deal that hits a personal pain point - anywhere sufficiently exotic will be Mega expensive to get a signal out of. Heck I'd pay for 50 webcams to be installed throughout Rocky Mountain National Park myself if it weren't that only a satellite uplink would work for most locations and a couple hundred a day adds up to real money quick :-)
I'm going to post these ideas there now:)