If I had to recommend one area to explore, I'd say something to do with lightweight, portable electrical power. As handheld and portable computing devices proliferate, battery life and recharging shenanigans are becoming more and more obnoxious. Especially at airports like O'Hare where electrical outlets are in short supply. A breakthrough in fuel cell technology or something of that nature would be nice.
Also, anything based on allowing people to self-organize into groups for mutual purposes, in such a way as to reduce (or eliminate) the status of "government" as-we-know-it as the default mechanism for communal / collective initiatives.
An example: some of the biggest projects on Kickstarter (in terms of dollars) are about totally unanticipated uses of the site, like consumer electronics and game development. Surely this means something.
Whoever makes this kind of site will have to jump through some hoops, so that will rule out 95% of the possible competition right up front.
Interesting Forbes article on it:
For me its paying bills ... it sucks, so now im building something to make it suck less.
When I built my last house I also found things that sucked like components for hanging tvs on the wall. I wanted a junction box that was interchangeable and could work specifically for each tv, so I made that too.
There are probably hundreds of thousands of valuable things no one has executed well on yet, it does not mean no one has tried and just because someone has tried and failed it does not mean it is less valuable either.
If you're looking for inspiration on how bills should be paid, just take a look at nearly any other country.
Money can be transferred between people in an instant, with no hassle. Bills can be sent directly to your bank account, and you can just choose to pay them, or dispute them if you like, one click, that's it. It's rare to spend more than even a minute or two on bill payments.
The systems exist, it's just the slowness or unwillingness to adopt that's the problem.
I have about 16-17 bills monthly (mainly because I own two homes) but I have to remember to login to each of those accounts and make sure all of the payments went through even if they're on autopay, I'm also anal enough that I like to check every single bill to make sure there are no charges I did not make etc.
I'm making my version of this now and hopefully launching soon to some feedback.
check it out. http://cloudbill.com
"You" and me are not a very good target market.For starters we dont like to pay.
I don't see how you would be rich just focusing on NDAs... I lived in Silicon Valley for six years and I think I maybe signed three or four. It's not exactly the next iPod.