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Ask HN:What valuable company is no one building?
26 points by kevinwdavid on June 13, 2012 | hide | past | web | favorite | 21 comments



I don't know, but if you're looking for ideas, try here:

http://paulgraham.com/ideas.html

http://ycombinator.com/ideas.html

http://paulgraham.com/ambitious.html

http://www.quora.com/Startup-Ideas/As-of-2012-what-are-some-...

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.


I'm working on one of PG's highly ambitious ideas right now. That's a great, inspiring list.


One of my heuristics here is to look for misuse of technology. Look for people persisting in their use of a tool unsuited for a particular task. It means they really really want something new, and might even pay for it.

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.


I haven't heard of anyone working on equity crowdfunding. It's like kickstarter for startups, only you get actual stock in the startup. The JOBS act, signed in April, allows for this. Previously, only "accredited" investors could get in on that kind of thing.

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: http://www.forbes.com/sites/johnwasik/2012/06/06/what-you-ne...


Usually its in plain sight ... try something that affects you daily.

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 paying bills is a pain for you, you likely live in the US, where banks choose un-encrypted RFID over Chip and PIN, and people still use checkbooks.

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.


Just curious, what is the actual pain point for you? Is it the actual paying of the bills, remembering to pay them, splitting them between people, or something else?


for me its the amount of bills I actually have and trying to keep track of all of them.

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


Usually its in plain sight ... try something that affects you daily.

"You" and me are not a very good target market.For starters we dont like to pay.


"For me its paying bills ... it sucks, so now im building something to make it suck less." I have the same pain point. I posted this on HN today http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=4107367


Location based tasking for professional journalists (word, photo, video, radio) that is 100% anonymous (including payment). Disrupt the need for every news gathering organization on earth to maintain ANY foreign bureaus. Users of this app ARE the bureau.


An actual, disruptive solution to the US healthcare crisis. There's a ton of economic value to be created, but the current ecosystem is shockingly resistant to non-incremental innovation.


Confidentiality agreement negotiations. If you could streamline the process and get an NDA agreed in an hour, take a slice of each NDA signed (licence), you would be rich and loved.


This is interesting. Having not had to sign many NDAs (thankfully) I'm not sure that's a large enough slice to pay for the development of a cool tool for negotiation. There are lots of people selling boiler-plate NDAs that seem to work for most people, but if you could create a platform for contract negotiations... that sounds like a winner to my non-lawyer ears.


http://contractual.ly/ aims to streamline signing of forms, as well as negotiating contracts. NDAs among them.

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.


The question you should be asking is which one of the many complex problems haven't been solved. Company building is a secondary stage. Of-course you'd want to solve a problem that would make you rich.



Converting YC internet points into anger management classes ?



A hardware manufacturer that can compete with Apple. Someone should build this company before its too late ..


What important problem is no one solving?




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