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Ideas by Category:
Club Meds Healthcare
Category: Business / Insurance
Target Audience: Insurance companies and entrepreneurs
Description: Sick of overpriced and lousy health coverage? In beautiful cities around the world, top-flight physicians-- trained in the US and speaking fluent English -- dispense world-class medicine for a fraction of the cost of the bloated and broken US health care industry. In fact, radiologists in India may already read your X-rays, and call centers in the Philippines may process your insurance claims. Club Meds functions like a normal health insurance company when it comes to day-to-day medical care such as vaccinations, sore throats, and broken bones. But when you need Major Scheduled Procedures, they fly you and a companion to one of their hand-picked hospitals and clinics in places like Mexico City, Paris, Bangkok, Prague, Budapest, India, and Canada, and then put your companion up in a clean, friendly local hotel until you are discharged. With all of this, it still costs you and the company far less than if you had the procedure performed in the US. Lower premiums, higher quality medical care, and free travel-- abandon the sinking ship of US healthcare, and come on over to Club Meds today!
Category: Business / Marketing
Target Audience: Benjamin Sheridan, other paintball marker manufacturers
Description: The Sheridan PGP is a pistol-style paintball marker that's powered by common CO2 cartridges. A reliable favorite among paintballers out on the playing field, the PGP is also great at defacing billboards and staining windows and fur coats in town. But this versatile marker has been marketed exclusively towards paintball-loving patriots, ignoring the many anarchist malcontents who would also love to own one. Enter the Anarchistol-- it's got the same portable, reliable workings as the Sheridan PGP, but a different look: The circle-A Anarchy symbol on the grip and the bony-looking case are designed to appeal to young "anti" consumers. And instead of being distributed through paintball and sporting-goods channels, the Anarchistol is sold through comics stores, dirtbag hipster boutiques, anarchist websites, and other alternative channels-- along with large boxes of red and black paintballs, ready to paint the revolution!
Category: Business / Club
Target Audience: Yoga entrepreneurs (or entrepreneur, if Bikram Chaudhury is the only one)
Description: A crowded, smelly studio takes all the "class" out of yoga class. Atmosphere Yoga has a better way. Instead of forcing students to scramble for mat space on an empty, old-fashioned floor, its state-of-the-art Atmosphere Studio features individually climate-controlled yoga platforms, giving you the space you need to stretch, in an environment you can custom-tailor to optimize your spiritual growth. Each three- by eight-foot platform is isolated by its own patented Laminar-Flo air curtain, which runs ceiling-to-floor via a 360-degree ventilation system. A compact, push-button console that's inset into the suspended floor allows you to adjust the temperature and humidity of the air surrounding you, as well as fill it with your choice of mood-enhancing aromatherapy scents. Meanwhile an overhead speaker plays ocean sounds at an adjustable ambient level, to provide a soothing backdrop to your Atmosphere Yoga Certified Executive Instructor's expert guiding voice. In short, Atmosphere Yoga has re-invented the yoga studio to provide students with a more peaceful yoga practice experience-- and to offer them the opportunity to fart freely and anonymously during the pavanmuktasana or "wind-relieving" posture, under the plausible-deniability cover of seeking a more peaceful yoga practice experience.
Target Audience: Online and wireless sports news publishers
Description: You're meeting some new people on a business trip, and you need to gain their trust, but you don't give a tinker's damn about sports? Sportsposer's Daily Regional Briefings will supply you with the knowledge you need to make a great impression. Each weekday, Sportsposer publishes short, simple reports, geared towards non-sports fans, which provide an overview of the current sports situation in any of one hundred regions in the U.S. and Canada. You'll get timely information carefully selected for its plausibility in light sports banter, drawn from recent games, standings, and trades-- as well as background basics that aren't spelled out on the Sports page, such as who the local teams are, what sports they play, what characterizes them, where they are in the current season, and who are the major figures. And it all fits on one page, guaranteed! Frequent travelers can get unlimited access to the Sportsposer Daily Regional Briefings online for a yearly fee, or you can buy them individually. With Sportsposer, you can make the locals think that you actually care about sports, or their team, or their stupid little city, or them, or whatever.
Category: Business / Tourism and Hospitality
Target Audience: Roadside developers.
Description: You're on a family road trip and everyone needs to relieve themselves? Instead of using the grimy, questionable facilities at some service station, treat the kids to the interactive "comfort entertainment" at Tinkletown. Strategically placed on popular vacation-travel corridors, each Tinkletown complex offers an elimination experience that's both hygienic and unique. From a special platform in your own sanitized private booth, you can urinate into a pinball-like shooting gallery of dancing, animatronic targets. Wild! Defecation triggers eye-popping, synchronized video projections of bombing runs, avalanches, and other earth-shaking events. Awesome! And even if you have no interest in Tinkletown yourself, a series of teaser billboards with fountains positioned along the interstate will ensure that your children, or at least the boys, will absolutely demand a visit. And while they're all going to the bathroom at five dollars a pop, you can fill up the tank at Tinkletown's highway-robbery gas pumps. Tinkletown-- you really have to go!
Booth's Private Dining and Newsstand
Category: Business / Restaurant
Target Audience: JCDecaux and LSG Sky Chefs, in collaboration
Description: You're in the city and you want to grab a quick bite to eat, but you don't want to eat alone in public? Booth's Private Dining and Newsstand lets you enjoy a meal in complete peace and solitude-- whether you're a crowd-drawing celebrity, you're simply feeling antisocial, or both. Step into Booth's elevator-like conveyer car, press the "Private Dining Room" button, and you'll soon be taken to your own freshly-sanitized dining booth. Food and beverage choices appear on a touchscreen menu-- which you can watch television or play games on, after you've ordered. Your meal soon arrives via dumbwaiter, not some dumb waiter, and you can relax and eat for up to thirty minutes before the room's automatic cleaning and disinfectant-spray cycle begins. Take the conveyor car to the Newsstand, and you'll find a wide, browsable selection of periodicals. The public Newsstand also serves as a convenient alibi, in case you want anyone who's watching your every move to believe that you may have been looking at magazines rather than having your dinner.
Stagers In Black
Category: Business / Real Estate
Description: Are you a realtor? Garden-variety home stagers, with their characteristically middlebrow aesthetics, might help you in the suburbs-- but what about those gentrifying urban areas where cultural sophisticates are buying their homes? The truth is that each weekend, countless properties are laughed at by househunting hipster couples because of conventionalist, stuck-in-the-70's staging. Don't let this happen to you! With-it realtors who operate in "Urban Uptown" PRIZM-cluster areas rely on stagers certified by Stagers In Black. These stagers speak the same visual language as "creative professional" homebuyers because they all majored in Liberal Arts or Fine Arts at the same schools. Not to be elitist, but this can make a difference! S.I.B.-certified stagers are equally comfortable discussing Martha Stewart, Julia Morgan, and the pre-Target Michael Graves, and with their broad design interests and keen eyes, they'll dress up your real estate to look more like the home of a cool and admired friend, not some Stepford wife-- the kind of place that intellectual homebuyers will bid on, not ridicule.
Euclid's Discount Framing
Category: Business / Retail
Target Audience: Fastframe, Deck The Walls, other picture-framing chains.
Description: Picture framing is dead simple and the raw materials are pretty cheap-- the thing that makes it so infuriatingly expensive is the custom labor traditionally required to match varying widths and heights. Euclid's Discount Framing has a better and far cheaper alternative. Located in off-freeway "big box" districts, the framing superstore is laid out on a very simple plan: Rows on the spacious floor correspond to frame widths and aisles correspond to heights. Need a frame, matting, backing, and glass that measures 34 by 18 inches? Just go to aisle 34, row 18, sir, and you'll find a wide selection of everything you need. If you get confused and go to aisle 18, row 34 instead, you'll still find everything you need, as long as you turn it sideways. All materials in the store are assembled and sized on mass-production lines, so there's no custom work required, just restocking. (The one exception is mat cutting for truly unusual border shapes and sizes, which is available at a while-you-wait counter in the back.)
The Screening Room
Category: Business / Rentals
Target Audience: Mall retail and theater entrepreneurs
Description: Typical home entertainment systems do a pretty good job, but studio releases increasingly seem to require ultra high-end equipment to be fully understood and enjoyed. F'rinstance, you can't expect an ordinary system to do justice to the amazing low and high registers of DJ Qbert's Wave Twisters DVD. But if you take the gang to The Screening Room, you'll all get the full experience. With locations nationwide, The Screening Room rents mini-theaters that seat up to ten people and are equipped with 72-inch high-definition plasma screens, plus all THX- and Dolby-certified 6.1 surround-sound audio systems that feature insanely expensive studio-quality speakers. And you get it all for as little as $50 per hour during the day (more for evenings and weekends). Whether you're a group of sophisticates reviewing to the latest audiophile Varese recording, partyers checking out rock videos, or vice-versa, The Screening Room provides optimum conditions for breaking cultural bread together. Customers typically reserve theaters in advance and bring their own CD's and DVD's, but when space permits, drop-ins can rent and screen from a selection of proven crowd-pleasers that range from The Three Tenors to the special The Wizard of Oz / Dark Side of the Moon package. A great new way to entertain, The Screening Room is far less expensive and wanky than buying a $100,000 home theater system of your own, just as much fun for a group, and more practical for space-challenged urban apartment dwellers.
Underwater Cave Demolition
Category: Business / Tourism and Hospitality
Target Audience: Extreme sports enthusiasts, eco-relaxed third world tourism boards
Description: BASE jumping, helicopter snowboarding, and street luging are all pretty great, but nothing kicks ass like underwater cave demolition, the action-adventure addict's ultimate wet dream. The principle is simple: you scuba dive into an ancient underwater cavern and plant a timed charge deep inside. Then you navigate your way back out just as the charge detonates, and ride the explosion's wake back into the open sea. What a rush! The narrower the cave entrance, the more intense your ride-- and the more dangerous your escape. As an added bonus, most of the small island countries that have spectacular marine caverns and permit this awesome sport also happen to be incredible places to party!
Category: Business / Marketing
Target Audience: Service station industry entrepreneurs.
Description: You're sitting in the drive-thru carwash again, bored out of your skull. Kids may gleefully watch the sudsy dance of scrubbers and rollers, but you've seen it before, and would rather focus on something more relevant. Brainwash Systems has the answer. At minimal cost to carwash or service station owners, they'll install a ruggedized, large-format video screen inside the carwash structure. The "captive audience" inside will enjoy WashVision™, a soundless mix of sponsored automotive-related video that ranges from thrilling action shots of the latest cars and SUVs speeding through mountains and deserts to sensual close-ups of dashboards and gleaming emblems. Each month, service station owners receive a new 90-minute WashVision™ DVD, which plays on a code-secured, dedicated player, also provided by Brainwash. This double-secure system prevents troublemaking service station employees from offending carwash patrons by playing pornographic or other unauthorized video material on WashVision™ screens.
Category: Business / Software Distribution
Target Audience: FTD, in conjunction with leading Internet software companies.
Description: You've got a new computer, and you're installing your files and shrink-wrap software. But what about all those massive free download apps-- the browsers, readers, players, runtime environments, and accessories? They take a while to download via broadband, and if you're dialing up, forget about it! Save time by calling your local FTD-affiliated florist and ordering Floradisk, a CD collection of popular, free, bandwidth-busting installer files. Rush delivery brings it to your door in two hours or less. And if you have a loved one in another city whose computer just died, call FTD to have the special Floradisk Bouquet package delivered to them-- a Floradisk, a dozen gladiolas, and a condolence card.
Category: Business / Marketing
Target Audience: Movie studios
Description: Hollywood can focus-group their upcoming film releases in an attempt to gauge interest and help build marketing strategies. But no one has a better handle on what audiences are excited about than Trailer Cash. The company has installed small wireless cameras that point at the audience, just above the screens in movie theaters across the country. They pay the theaters a monthly fee under one stipulation: that they keep the house lights dimmed during the trailers, rather than completely off. The cameras transmit audience reactions to Trailer Cash headquarters, where analysts gauge and tabulate the results - which for each preview can range from -5 (boos, hisses, mocking laughter, people whispering to each other with sarcastic expressions) to 5 (big cheers, applause, people whispering to each other excitedly). Results are entered into the Trailer Cash database by film previewed, location, time, feature film, and other descriptors. Reports are sold to the film industry for a lot of money, and the price is even higher if they want to see samples of the raw video.
Category: Business / Real Estate
Target Audience: Leftie, "New Urbanism" oriented Real Estate Developers
Description: Somewhere between a real-estate development and an intentional community lies Utne, Oregon, a new city built on a scenic, remote stretch of coastline. A sort of Celebration, Florida for the Utne Reader set, the autonomous, incorporated city offers leftie, home-office professionals well-built Craftsman-style bungalows in a community that sends the message, "We care." Utne's city charter - by far the longest in the US - carefully defines and prohibits chain restaurants, fuel-powered gardening equipment, domestically-manufactured candy and sweetened breakfast cereals, and commercial television. Violators are punished with stiff penalties of either community service or being barred from community service, depending on their current practice. The generously- funded schools, library, town meeting hall, and light rail station surround a picturesque New Urbanism plaza that's 20 automobile-free minutes away from all residents.