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Ask HN: What service would you pay me 10$ a month for?
58 points by freeslave on Apr 4, 2012 | hide | past | web | favorite | 90 comments
I'm looking for ideas to build an MVP and I thought I would hit up the HN community. As developers, entrepreneurs and techies, what service that doesn't exist now would you gladly pay a monthly fee to use if it existed? Or, if it exists, what service would you use if it was cheaper?

edit: spelling




Summary/review of local arts and community events, mainly underground stuff. I don't have enough time in my day any more to look up who's playing a local show, what they sound like, when they're playing or where. Also don't have time to look up art shows or indie movies, or community-planned events and classes. There's a buttload of these things in big metropolitan areas, someone just needs to get paid to take the time to sort through it all and summarize it each week.

None of this is covered by local magazines or blogs. I can go out to record stores and coffee shops and collect flyers, search through myspace and facebook profiles for event listings and index twitter posts, but it takes all freakin day. If it was collected, summarized and publicized properly I think a lot more people would get out there and see what up and coming people are creating.

Even if it were all covered by blogs (a lot of it is on twitter), I don't want to search through blogs or twitter or whatever, I just want an e-mail telling me what's coming up and describes it. That'd be worth $10 for me.


Might as well throw my hat in the ring: My site Showhopping.com was basically invented for people like you. Only thing is it only applies to music at the moment.

Give your location, 5 or 6 bands you like, and voila, you get a listing of shows in your area that you can sort by how much you'll like them.

No email. No username. No usership requirements whatsoever. Just use and go. Oh, and I save your selected bands in a cookie so they're there for you when you come back.


I added 6 bands, got a very small number of matches (in NYC!), and most of the matches are in the <20% range.

Is there any way to feed my Pandora or Spotify data into this? Seems like that would help produce better recommendations.

Edit: I do have to say, the design is very well done-easy to add bands, search, and the integration with Google Maps is very nice. The fact that I didn't even think about it is a great sign.


Thanks for the words. This is more an MVP at this point. My short term roadmap:

Last.fm, Pandora and Spotify logins

Users/Managers/Promoters can add shows themselves; add listings for tickets

I'm a guy who likes very obscure bands and lives in Phoenix, Arizona, and with 9 or 10 selections (one for each sound I'm into), I tend to get back at least 4 or 5 shows for a month long search. It still has a ways to go, but it's more of a folly than a hardcore startup.

On an aside, a product exists for mobile called BandMate. It actually scans your phone for acts (if you keep your music in your phone) and recommends artists to you in a similar manner. Very cool app, and invaluable for me when I'm traveling.


It's a good start. If you take all the found listings within 50 miles, automate grabbing their descriptions from their artist pages and maybe a quick link to a sample song, put it in a table for each day of the week and e-mail me once a week, that would almost be worth money. It still lacks a lot of real local information but maybe there's more sites you can grep, i'm not sure. I remember all the band flyers used to be posted on myspace profiles, which might have also had descriptions of events that could be grepped too. Facebook and bandcamp and a few other sites are slowly replacing myspace for this, I think.

I don't know what the legality of this is exactly, but occasionally there are local sites which index upcoming shows that you could scrape from. For DC there's http://www.dcshows.net/, http://www.washingtonpost.com/gog/dc-music-venues.html, http://www.brightestyoungthings.com/events/index.htm, http://www.washingtondc.com/nightlife/localbands.html, http://www.dclivemusic.com/, http://www.washingtoncitypaper.com/music/, http://www.meetup.com/indiemusic-134/ and of course the venue website calendars which are probably a nightmare to try to index individually. The twitter feed of each venue can be a lot easier to grok (for example, https://twitter.com/#!/somethingl33t/dc-music)

But if you want to make some money, you might have to spend the time/money to pull all these sources for each big metropolitan area (where you'll be making the most bank).


Created an account on HN just to say your site is wicked. Entered 4 bands and have to upcoming show's that I'm actually interested in. It may suit me better as I'm in Chicago, but I think this would be sweet for all the major cities. Excellent work.


Wow, thanks so much for the words. I want to keep improving it, but some other ventures I'm working on have been eating up a lot of time. I'd be happy to get further input.


I've been working on DeliRadio which lets you search for shows near a location (or use GPS), then buy tickets through songkick.


At least for music, jambase.com does a pretty good job. They don't cover free gigs, it seems, but even for local artists playing small venues their listings are pretty complete, at least in my area.


I tried to use twitter to aggregate this data, following relevant things related to minneapolis, but it was a complete failure.


Isn't this what independent alt-weekly newspapers are for?

The ones I'm familiar with list all of what you describe.


Not sure if this is helpful, but I feel this is the wrong crowd to ask. Developer needs are pretty efficiently met. I'd suggest asking other groups, such as doctors, lawyers, moms.


This is the best comment. OP should buy and read "Desperate Buyers Only".


or real estate salespeople sharing gripes: http://repp.herokuapp.com/


A movie information portal thing:

I like different cinema. I want lists of -

1) New releases on DVD; with links to places to buy those DVDs (or Blurays etc); also with links to different review sites; also with links to trailers

2) New releases in cinema; with links to trailers; with links to official sites

3) Awards; with links to trailers and buys

A bit like Little White Lies magazine, but online and interactive and better.

(http://www.littlewhitelies.co.uk/)


I think you want to check out http://trakt.tv


I suppose IMDB (http://www.imdb.com) already provides most of that.


But IMDB is hideous, and also crowd sourced.

I'd prefer something more carefully curated, and more tailored towards different cinema. (Indie movies; Foreign cinema; art house nonsense; etc.)


I would gladly pay 10 dollars a month for a service that mailed me a crisp new 20 dollar bill each month. In fact, my whole family would!


A service that suggests, schedules and plans things to do for the entire week for a couple to do after work.\

Things to do can be events happening in the city or restaurants they should try and eat at. It can apply the $10 fee towards any event ticket/restaurant purchased by the couple.


A friend and I currently building daretogoout.com You are not going to find any events in your city yet. The only city we are currently experimenting with populating is west orange, nj. Give the site some time, and we will eventually reach your city.


I'd love this, My girlfriend and I never know what new places to try. You'd want to have offset suggestions for users of the same city though, so as not to "DDoS" a restaurant XD


Not sure if this fits, but: the ability to have food delivered from any restaurant I want (say within 5 miles of me), when I want.


One service that I love and used many times is GrubHub.com to find restaurants delivering late at night to order. Another competitor that I've seen ads for but have not tried is seamless.com


I just (3 days ago) moved into a new city (Brighton, England) and this exists here[1]. It's amazing, seriously. I assume there's all manner of licensing crap associated with doing it as a big company (which is why the people that do it here are very low-key and haven't expanded beyond this city) but something like this globally would be so great, although there's little room for making money unless you do the aforementioned licensing.

I've used them twice so far, there's an extra time associated with delivery because they first have to go to the restaurant and order, then wait and deliver to you, but it's worth it, although I've only used them for McDonalds and Burgerking so far, both were delivered in ~90 minutes. They support about 100 different places, fast food and real restaurant.

[1] http://www.dinner2go.co.uk/


This looks like a good service. When I lived in the UK (Edinburgh) we had a service called in60 which was similar but they went out of business, then another who's name I forget tried and failed as well.

Shame their website design is absolutely awful.


It's not just dinner2go but you've also got JustEat and TakeAwayMenu who do the same thing in Brighton.


No they're different. Just-eat is a directory of restaurants that places an order with a restaurant and then that restaurant delivers, whereas dinner2go themselves handle the delivery. When I place an order for McDonalds the dinner2go driver goes to the restaurant, orders for me and then delivers it to me. I guess a good explanation is that they are a proxy.


http://www.doorstepdelivery.com/ does it here in Florida, use them quite regularly.

That this seems to exist in a number of areas suggests that it's hard to scale outside of a certain geographic area.


These guys are working on this exact idea. But the options seem limited.

http://www.mealdrop.com/


foodler.com and mixmenu.com offer this service in my area for (often) a small delivery fee. but then they have deals, so you often end up saving money. I think that the delivery fee model beats the fixed subscription model in this case.


wow, for crowded city like New York City, where there is thousands of amazing restaurants where they _dont_ deliver, this is a huge market and amazing idea coming together!


GrubHub.com my friend


eat24hours.com does this well in some places.


"It's really hard to design products by focus groups. A lot of times, people don't know what they want until you show it to them." -- Steve Jobs, BusinessWeek, May 25 1998


That's cute and all, but there's a difference between starting a business to solve problems and make the world better, and starting a business to convince people to buy shit they don't need to feel better about their lives.


The point is that needs are poorly-defined and often intangible. When you ask people what they "need", their answer is biased to their problem and the current environment. In other words, it's not innovative—it solves the problem, not the need.

I'll use another quote to illustrate: "If I'd asked my customers what they wanted, they'd have said a faster horse." —Henry Ford

Innovation doesn't come from the masses. It doesn't come from a focus group. It comes from cutting through all the problems and addressing a core need. It takes vision and a thorough understanding of the issues at hand.

This isn't to say you can't build a business around a problem and a solution. Case in point, I read an article the other day about a business that provides "Access on the Web" via a Flash-based VNC. Solves the problem? Check. Addresses the root need? Not so much.

This topic is independent from your consumerist rant. (Apple bias?) You can have world-changing solutions that address a problem (i.e., shipping water to Africa) and solutions that solve a shallow need.


No, the idea is to make money. Everything else is just a Press Release.


It's worth noting that I disagree with this statement, too. Corporations do have a social responsibility. But more tactically, simply because you can't separate actions from revenue. Intangibles like customer service, community impact, design, etc. may seem "wishy-washy", but have a measurable effect on a bottom line. You can't create value for the shareholders without creating value for employees, customers, and economies.


An upvote doesn't do this comment justice. I am going to store that quote for later.

The purpose of a corporation is to make money for the shareholders.


A music service with the easy social and cross-platform functionality of Spotify, the adaptive radio of Pandora, all set up with the scrobbling power of Last.fm.


Rdio is pretty close to this.


I hate wasting time on sites like ebay, but inevitably get sucked into them every now and then. I'd gladly pay you ten bucks a month to surface stuff I might want, even if I had to do some initial setup work.

For example if you see an X61 with the SXGA+ screen on a buy now price, I want to know (rare as rocking horse poo). Or Lego with at least 30% off is always good for my boy or birthday presents.

You'd need to err on the side of caution, because I'd rather miss stuff than be spammed, but thankfully that makes your job easier!


Currently working on a concept similar to this, but around classifieds and private sellers rather than companies.

The basic premise is along the lines of "Tell us what your looking for or interested in and we will tell you when a good deal turns up somewhere"

The point being it may not be available now, but when it is we will let you know.

Still in early prototype at the moment and focused on a specific niche but we aim to expand rapidly.


Cool. Give me a shout when its ready for beta users and I'd love to give it a try.


Will do!


I would be interested in a service similar to pantybypost.com, but instead of panties, I would receive cool gadgets, toys, candies each month.


Citrus Lane do this for baby things.

(http://www.citruslane.com/)


I would gladly pay 10 dollars for a service that can find me tasks to work on each day. Maybe a website with head hunters.

Example: I sign up with the website and input my skills and availability. 'I am currently available' A headhunter than finds me a task to work on based on my skillset. In return I pay a share of my profits to the site for each job / task completed.


what kind of tasks/jobs are you talking about? construction type jobs or software ...?


Tasks is a pretty general term. I am not referring to a construction type job. I am referring to any task that can be accomplished over the internet. A task such as fixing a website, doing research for someone, photo touch ups, tutoring with a shared monitor, answering technical questions, etc..


Are you referring to something like Amazon's Mechanical Turk: https://www.mturk.com/mturk/welcome ?


Amazon's mechanical turk barely pays any money. You can spend hours completing mechanical turk tasks and not even make a dollar. Probably something closer to Fiverr, but the other way around. Like on Fiverr people post things they are willing to do for 5 dollars. What about a site where people post things they want you to do and are willing to pay you X number of dollars to complete the task.


True true, maybe something like Zaarly or Task Rabbit would be true here?


Wow, thanks a lot freddy. I had never heard of Zaarly or Task Rabbit before you mentioned them. These are great.


I think the only online subscriptions I ever signed up for were for games. Specifically I paid for WoW and WeeWar for a while (in fact both not longer than 3 months).

Perhaps a really good magazine could convince me, too, but it would have to be very special interest (machine learning or games).

Edit: I forgot, I also pay 15€/month for a server. Also Ultima Online, back in the day...


Something along the lines of Gary Bernhardt's Destroy All Software (https://www.destroyallsoftware.com/screencasts), but focused on iOS. Feels like there's a lack of advanced iOS knowledge sharing on the web.

As for web utilities, there's really nothing I'd pay $10 a month for.


Also, a Django version of Railscasts?


I would pay $10/month (or more) for a individual designer or store to send me interior designs pieces / artwork that I can try out in my home that month. Items I really like I'll buy, items I'm not crazy about I ship back. I'd pay an additional fee for insurance to cover accidental damage.


An alternative to QuickBooks Point of Sale. In fact I might be 30 or 40 /month for that.


I've been working on exactly this for the last couple years. You can find us at cashierlive.com - my email is in my profile if you have any questions.


Awesome! Email sent!


If your looking for a Point of Sale system that runs on mobile devices (phones, tablets) checkout AnyTill (http://anytill.com) We're launching in May on Android. If you want to try a beta, let me know.


I have a semi POS / CRM that I've been using for years and built. Are you looking for full POS functionality or tracking people and what they order and maybe generating a receipt?


I guess tracking inventory, calculating taxes, discounts, and printing receipts etc, and synching the data with QuickBooks each night would be the main features.


Have you checked out Bizelo's eRetail Inventory Management solution? (http://eretail.bizelo.com/inventory)? Under $30 / mo.


What about Vend (http://www.vendhq.com) ?


Have you looked at vend? (vendhq.com) interesting startup from NZ


An easy way to hire copywriters for small (< 1 hour) jobs.


Are you familiar with Text Broker? There are some high quality writers there. If you're looking into it, be sure to use the author search to submit a direct order. Don't submit an open order (quality is not guaranteed and I haven't had luck with it). http://www.textbroker.com/


Think about asking the same question from a different perspective: What service would you _as a business owner_ pay me 10$ a month for _to help your business_?


I would pay even more for a iOS app website/landing page.

http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=3800662


I would pay for a large file transferring service.


I'd suggest Dropbox, depending on how big you're talking about -- otherwise, have you seen YouSendit[1]

https://www.yousendit.com/


I wonder if there's way to do it while avoiding the issues faced by megaupload and others?


Sure there's a way to do it - actually police activity and don't flagrantly flaunt the law. Megaupload is basically the online equivalent of selling weed out of a pizza parlor.


have you checked out www.mybackupbox.com?


what is wrong with http://wetransfer.com ?


How about kicksend or wireover?


This looks like a recurring fiverr.com type service (whereas Fiverr is more one-time). Am I mistaken?


People don't know what they want until they see it.


Riaa / mpaa lawsuit indemnification service.


Deliver restaurant food from 11-pm to 7-am.


Link building service. Article writing.


A file backup service or site/server monitoring service.


What did you want from a site/server monitoring service?


* A kickstarter like website that has an api available internationally. It should include functions for adding many campaigns (maybe a limit of 1000) and also detailed historical data (so I can see other people's campaign histories and see what works and doesn't). If you can make it an investment site in accordance with the recent jobs act crowdfunding even better.

* Rentacoder like website with all functions exposed as api.


Also

* prediction market/betting site (with ability to bet on anything) with api and detailed historical data.

* Also, a stock exchange where I can invest in houses, small local businesses, commercial property. Should have api and historical data.

* A patent stock exchange (api+data)

Not $10 a month service, but something I'd pay for (maybe up to $10 per hour) Internet access to a factory robot.

$10 service - rentacoder like site except for factory automation services (bids/fulfillmnt on design of turn-key automation systems) along with api.


What would you use this factory robot for?

Also, the setup time of any factory automation task is huge - would you be willing to pay for this as well?


Factory robots for prototyping machine vision guided tasks. Factory automation website because it should be easier for engineers to bid on jobs that need to be done (like rentaacder does for design/coding) and for manufacturers/entrepreneurs to get quotes for new projects (I'm looking more from the outsourcing perspective, I want to get the lowest quote from around the world for machines and then have them built and shipped to where I specify easily. Engineering services are way overpriced).




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