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Author Topic: Frighteningly Ambitious Bitcoin Startup Ideas  (Read 4953 times)
mdosi
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May 10, 2012, 08:41:34 AM
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I'm still a newbie in the Bitcoin world so forgive any errors or omissions.

I'm really excited about all the possibilities that Bitcoin affords regular people, business and society in general.

This post was inspired by and article by paul graham called
"Frighteningly Ambitious Startup Ideas" http://paulgraham.com/ambitious.html.  Be warned, this post  however is a rumbling of a newbie.

The purpose of this post is get everyone to share their ideas for Bitcoin Startups, Bitcoin business and projects. What kind of Bitcoin Startup or business would you like to see? If money, time, skill or other resources was not an issue what kind of Bitcoin Startup would you start?

Hopefully these ideas should challenge conventional wisdom and push the adoption of Bitcoin by main stream businesses and people.
 
without much further ado I present my four humble ideas.

1. 100% Bitcoin Venture Capitalist firm


The bitcoin community needs Venture Capitalist firms willing to invest in Bitcoin startups.
Recently CoinLab was created to "cultivate and luanch inovative bitcoin projects"(http://www.forbes.com/sites/jonmatonis/2012/04/24/coinlab-attracts-500000-in-venture-capital-for-bitcoin-projects/). CoinLab will be investing in Bitcoin Startups and projects which is a great start. This got me thinking about a Bitcoin Venture Capitalist firm that is 100% funded by Bitcoins and in turn funds new companies and project in Bitcoins. I do not know if this idea would work but it would be neat to see something like this in the wild.

Assuming that Bitcoin remain viable long term a Venture Capitalist firm funded by Bitcoins would see it value increase by the fact that Bitcoin would increase in value long term. Ideally the Venture Capitalist would be investing most of it Bitcoins into the Bitcoin economy and not holding onto the Bitcoins.

2. Bitcoin Ad network

The Bitcoin community has a few Bitcoin ad networks like Anonymous ads, Operation Faboulous and the rest. What I think Bitcoin echo system needs is something large like the Google ad sense network.  This will give the Bitcoin community a way to advertise both within the Bitcoin echo system and outside the echo system. This will allow advertisers to run both Bitcoin ads and  non Bitcoin ads while paying in Bitcoins. For publishers, blogger etc, this will allow them to get paid for both Bitcoin and non Bitcoin content. These publishers would of course get paid in Bitcoins.

3. Large Affiliate Market/Network

Just like the Bitcoin Ad network above we need a large affiliate Ad network like the likes of Commision junction, Maxbounty, Clickbank, etc. The network would be 100% Bitcoin based. The advertisers would pay in Bitccoin and publishers and affiliates would get paid in Bitcoins. The ad network should be a general purpose network offering  a wide range of products and services for promotion.

4. Bitcoin Bill pay
Perhaps the most disruptive idea in my mind is a Bitcoin bill paying services. This service would take your Bitcoins and covert it to dollars and then pay most of your bills, like cell, utillites, whatever. Imagine living in a world where you get paid in Bitcoins and most of your bills could be paid in Bitcoins.

I'm looking forward to reading everyone's ideas.

I'm a billionaire in my own mind. Send your unwanted Bitcoins to 1FxgpC3aqorhuB71EjMi8rdGf1cdKDjzxy
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May 10, 2012, 09:30:38 AM
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I think that running conventional ideas with bitcoin is somewhat limiting yourself. None of the ideas suggested in the OP are unique to bitcoin, they're just doing the same ol stuff with a shiny new form of payment. And truth be told, there's no good reason for anyone to use the shiny new thing on the old ideas cause the old shiny things worked just fine (for very-much most of the people). This is just reality. No matter how much bitcoin is 'a better money', if it's not more convenient, people won't use it. And let's face it, regular money is pretty damn convenient now with internet banking etc. Not as good as bitcoin, but still, pretty damn convenient.

There's always the argument of 'less fees is a big incentive' which I totally agree, and 'instant is awesome', again I agree, but I don't think that's enough of a lure to take people away from their convention, especially given the current mainstream notion of bitcoin is generally along the idea that it facilitates shadiness which is of no additional benefit to their needs over cash/wire/paypal/whatever. To most people, it's just another money. To really have an ambitious startup idea, you have to show how bitcoin is more than just another money. None of the OP ideas do that imo.

There are some amazing opportunities for bitcoin to expand NEW areas of commerce, none of those are listed in the OP. I would love to say what I think they are, but I'm working on some of them now, so you'll just have to wait and see. Bitcoin, as you say, is amazing. But it's amazing mainly because of the new stuff we can do with it, not because we can appropriate it to the old stuff.

I just don't see
Take existing product X
Add bitcoins to get Y
Sell product Y
as frighteningly ambitious...

Don't take this too hard. It's great to see such enthusiasm from a noob. An equal amount of creativity would really blow me away. And as a final 'optimist prime' statement to counteract my 'negatron' post - having the appropriations in place will certainly make the creative ideas even stronger by a whole magnitude than if they didn't exist.
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May 10, 2012, 09:39:59 AM
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4. Bitcoin Bill pay
Perhaps the most disruptive idea in my mind is a Bitcoin bill paying services. This service would take your Bitcoins and covert it to dollars and then pay most of your bills, like cell, utillites, whatever. Imagine living in a world where you get paid in Bitcoins and most of your bills could be paid in Bitcoins.

this might be disruptive to spendbitcoins.com, as then they'll have some competition while doing exactly as you describe.

imagine living in real life, today Cheesy
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May 10, 2012, 09:51:25 AM
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4. Bitcoin Bill pay
Perhaps the most disruptive idea in my mind is a Bitcoin bill paying services. This service would take your Bitcoins and covert it to dollars and then pay most of your bills, like cell, utillites, whatever. Imagine living in a world where you get paid in Bitcoins and most of your bills could be paid in Bitcoins.

this might be disruptive to spendbitcoins.com, as then they'll have some competition while doing exactly as you describe.

imagine living in real life, today Cheesy

Damn, looks like your fingers are faster than mine. I was just about to say almost exactly that. Smiley

Will pretend to do unverifiable things (while actually eating an enchilada-style burrito) for bitcoins: 1K6d1EviQKX3SVKjPYmJGyWBb1avbmCFM4
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May 10, 2012, 09:52:15 AM
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4. Bitcoin Bill pay
Perhaps the most disruptive idea in my mind is a Bitcoin bill paying services. This service would take your Bitcoins and covert it to dollars and then pay most of your bills, like cell, utillites, whatever. Imagine living in a world where you get paid in Bitcoins and most of your bills could be paid in Bitcoins.

this might be disruptive to spendbitcoins.com, as then they'll have some competition while doing exactly as you describe.

imagine living in real life, today Cheesy

Damn, looks like your fingers are faster than mine. I was just about to say almost exactly that. Smiley

i save time by not hitting the shift key... but it's a lazy habit.
mdosi
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May 10, 2012, 10:09:42 AM
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I think that running conventional ideas with bitcoin is somewhat limiting yourself. None of the ideas suggested in the OP are unique to bitcoin, they're just doing the same ol stuff with a shiny new form of payment. And truth be told, there's no good reason for anyone to use the shiny new thing on the old ideas cause the old shiny things worked just fine (for very-much most of the people). This is just reality. No matter how much bitcoin is 'a better money', if it's not more convenient, people won't use it. And let's face it, regular money is pretty damn convenient now with internet banking etc. Not as good as bitcoin, but still, pretty damn convenient.

There's always the argument of 'less fees is a big incentive' which I totally agree, and 'instant is awesome', again I agree, but I don't think that's enough of a lure to take people away from their convention, especially given the current mainstream notion of bitcoin is generally along the idea that it facilitates shadiness which is of no additional benefit to their needs over cash/wire/paypal/whatever. To most people, it's just another money. To really have an ambitious startup idea, you have to show how bitcoin is more than just another money. None of the OP ideas do that imo.

There are some amazing opportunities for bitcoin to expand NEW areas of commerce, none of those are listed in the OP. I would love to say what I think they are, but I'm working on some of them now, so you'll just have to wait and see. Bitcoin, as you say, is amazing. But it's amazing mainly because of the new stuff we can do with it, not because we can appropriate it to the old stuff.

I just don't see
Take existing product X
Add bitcoins to get Y
Sell product Y
as frighteningly ambitious...

Don't take this too hard. It's great to see such enthusiasm from a noob. An equal amount of creativity would really blow me away. And as a final 'optimist prime' statement to counteract my 'negatron' post - having the appropriations in place will certainly make the creative ideas even stronger by a whole magnitude than if they didn't exist.

You are absolutely right my ideas are not very new or original.  Just like the people that build the web could never have imagined google, facebook, groupon, blogs etc, bitcoin long term will bring new products, services and cultural shift that we can't even contemplate to day.

As a noob I'm interested to hear what ideas the community things are amazing and ambitious.

I'm a billionaire in my own mind. Send your unwanted Bitcoins to 1FxgpC3aqorhuB71EjMi8rdGf1cdKDjzxy
Kris
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May 10, 2012, 10:32:21 AM
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2. Bitcoin Ad network

We are a few trying to create something large in regards to a Bitcoin Advertising Network, but since these services uses only Bitcoin it is still a rather limited audience we are targeting.

But I will wait until Bitcoin is the only currency left in the world!, and then you will see the success multiplying all over the current bitcoin services.
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May 10, 2012, 10:35:59 AM
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2. Bitcoin Ad network
What I think Bitcoin echo system needs is something large like the Google ad sense network.

There were three that just launched in the past couple of weeks:

 - http://www.BitcoinAdvertisers.com
 - http://www.ThroughAds.com
 - http://www.thebtcnetwork.com

And that is in addition to:
 - http://www.OperationFabulous.com
 - http://www.AnonymousAds.com


3. Large Affiliate Market/Network

Just like the Bitcoin Ad network above we need a large affiliate Ad network like the likes of Commision junction, Maxbounty, Clickbank, etc. The network would be 100% Bitcoin based. The advertisers would pay in Bitccoin and publishers and affiliates would get paid in Bitcoins. The ad network should be a general purpose network offering  a wide range of products and services for promotion.

I know that ThroughAds has Cost per action (CPA), Cost per click (CPC) or Cost per 1,000 impressions (CPM) billing methods.  Others might have this as well.

4. Bitcoin Bill pay
Perhaps the most disruptive idea in my mind is a Bitcoin bill paying services. This service would take your Bitcoins and covert it to dollars and then pay most of your bills, like cell, utillites, whatever.

That's coming.  Maybe not in one step like that, but when you have bitcoins you can today use them to buy mobile prepaid wireless monthly bills and top-up type plans.
 - http://btcbuy.info/CallingCards.cshtml

Another forum member was soliciting feedback on a bill payment system:
 - http://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=79669.msg883857#msg883857
 - http://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=78254.msg873107#msg873107

mdosi
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May 10, 2012, 11:12:08 AM
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2. Bitcoin Ad network
What I think Bitcoin echo system needs is something large like the Google ad sense network.

There were three that just launched in the past couple of weeks:

 - http://www.BitcoinAdvertisers.com
 - http://www.ThroughAds.com
 - http://www.thebtcnetwork.com

Good info to know. Thanks

And that is in addition to:
 - http://www.OperationFabulous.com
 - http://www.AnonymousAds.com


3. Large Affiliate Market/Network

Just like the Bitcoin Ad network above we need a large affiliate Ad network like the likes of Commision junction, Maxbounty, Clickbank, etc. The network would be 100% Bitcoin based. The advertisers would pay in Bitccoin and publishers and affiliates would get paid in Bitcoins. The ad network should be a general purpose network offering  a wide range of products and services for promotion.

I know that ThroughAds has Cost per action (CPA), Cost per click (CPC) or Cost per 1,000 impressions (CPM) billing methods.  Others might have this as well.

4. Bitcoin Bill pay
Perhaps the most disruptive idea in my mind is a Bitcoin bill paying services. This service would take your Bitcoins and covert it to dollars and then pay most of your bills, like cell, utillites, whatever.

That's coming.  Maybe not in one step like that, but when you have bitcoins you can today use them to buy mobile prepaid wireless monthly bills and top-up type plans.
 - http://btcbuy.info/CallingCards.cshtml

A good step in the write directions. Hopefully more services will come online.

Another forum member was soliciting feedback on a bill payment system:
 - http://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=79669.msg883857#msg883857
 - http://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=78254.msg873107#msg873107

I'm a billionaire in my own mind. Send your unwanted Bitcoins to 1FxgpC3aqorhuB71EjMi8rdGf1cdKDjzxy
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May 10, 2012, 11:15:34 AM
 #10

Mdosi, thanks for the link to that great Paul Graham article, which I found interesting not so much for the ideas themselves, but for Paul Graham's ideas about how out-of-field ideas can turn into reality.

Having said that, I agree with mav that your ideas are just "standard" ideas with added Bitcoin. This is not really a bad thing. Plenty of people made lots of money in the 1990s by implementing "standard" ideas with added internet. (It's hard to imagine now, but I recall when Amazon started up, and most people thought that a business like that would never become profitable. Incredible!)

One downside of "standard" ideas with added Bitcoin, is that the hard work will be done by Bitcoin pioneers like those found at this forum. Then, after they ahve proved the concept, the big guys who are already doing those "standard" ideas will simply add Bitcoin to their repetoir, and collect the big bucks.

So, like Paul Graham says, you have to edge your way in by filling a niche that seems so way-out that others are not interested.

Graham's third idea ("Replace Universities") is going to happen for sure, and Bitcoin could be one of the enabling technologies. The idea of cloistering knowledge, and reserving its dissemination for the chosen few, is on the way out.

On this idea, Graham is remarkably unadventurous. For sure, credentialling will (not "may") separate from teaching, as will syllabus development. This idea is wide open for exploitation, and none of the existing players will find it easy to muscle in to the field once the early implementors are in business. Especially not the universities, whose ideas are far too entrenched.
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May 10, 2012, 11:30:07 AM
 #11

Having said that, I agree with mav that your ideas are just "standard" ideas with added Bitcoin. This is not really a bad thing. Plenty of people made lots of money in the 1990s by implementing "standard" ideas with added internet. (It's hard to imagine now, but I recall when Amazon started up, and most people thought that a business like that would never become profitable. Incredible!)


You are right standard ideas can be powerful. Bitcoin allows for commerce to take place on a global scale. Imagine able to buy/offer goods and service on a global scale and not having to worry about exchange rates and their associated fees. There would huge opportunities in terms of scale with these "standard ideas".

I'm a billionaire in my own mind. Send your unwanted Bitcoins to 1FxgpC3aqorhuB71EjMi8rdGf1cdKDjzxy
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May 10, 2012, 04:18:25 PM
 #12

1. Bitcoin exchanges (you have to be clueless to think it's easy)
2. eBay for Drugs
3. Assassination market
4. Online strip club
5. Pyramid scheme
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May 10, 2012, 04:19:25 PM
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1. Bitcoin exchanges (you have to be clueless to think it's easy)
2. eBay for Drugs
3. Assassination market
4. Online strip club
5. Pyramid scheme

Done, done, done, done, and done. Next?

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May 10, 2012, 04:23:10 PM
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1. Bitcoin exchanges (you have to be clueless to think it's easy)
2. eBay for Drugs
3. Assassination market
4. Online strip club
5. Pyramid scheme

Done, done, done, done, and done. Next?

Oh, ok...

1. Mars mission
2. Free software activist mission
3. Publically funded town lacking government using irredeemable-until-target-met payments
4. Web infrastructure for implicit donations to websites
5. A vertically integrated company based on Bitcoin
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May 10, 2012, 04:54:27 PM
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Social networks and digital currencies.
Bitcoin crowdfunding.
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May 10, 2012, 04:56:11 PM
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Quote
Bitcoin crowdfunding

Done: http://www.bitcoinstarter.com
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May 10, 2012, 08:21:30 PM
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1. Bitcoin exchanges (you have to be clueless to think it's easy)
I know this can't be easy based on the pain Mt. Gox went through when they were hacked.

4. Online strip club
Never heard of this one

I'm a billionaire in my own mind. Send your unwanted Bitcoins to 1FxgpC3aqorhuB71EjMi8rdGf1cdKDjzxy
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May 10, 2012, 08:23:44 PM
 #18

4. Online strip club
Never heard of this one
http://reddit.com/r/girlsgonebitcoin
http://reddit.com/r/decrypto
http://cam4btc.com/
and others.

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May 10, 2012, 08:43:38 PM
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I like ++

I'm a billionaire in my own mind. Send your unwanted Bitcoins to 1FxgpC3aqorhuB71EjMi8rdGf1cdKDjzxy
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May 10, 2012, 09:03:54 PM
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Some random ideas that crossed my mind:


Put QR codes on bills so you can pay them instantly with btc.

Bus/train/parking/toll road passes that can be bought with btc.  Also things like laundromats.

Some way to tip delivery drivers with btc (QR code tags?).

Prizes for being one of the first 100 players to achieve x in an MMO can be in btc.  Could be a marking ploy to get more players in the game.

Internet scavenger hunt or series of puzzles (anyone remember the Pirates of the Carribean thing that Disney put on a few years ago?).

Pay-per-skipped-view of internet ads.

Pay to unlock movie or video game extras/add-ons.

Penny candy vending machine (since nobody has pennies on them).  You could, for example, buy a specific number of Skittles - maybe just 1, maybe 100 (and you have little plastic bags to hold whatever mix of candy you buy).

Pay to unlock content on airplane tvs.

Financial tracking software that utilizes the blockchain.

Pay for completing a task - you can hire any stranger on the street to take the job or it could be a game of sorts?  (i.e. put a box on the street with a note on it saying to take it to x address and receive a btc reward - when the recipients verify delivery then you pay them.  I know, this is only half thought out..)

Blog articles/music/video that gives you a preview and then says "to read the rest of this article send x btc to..."

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