Idea #36: In This Room / Who’s Here? App ( )

This is a kind of augmented reality app idea.  Basically intended to answer the question “who is in this room right now?” Especially useful at conferences but in other situations too, you could have a sort of overlay view of the room/building/city block you are in to see people who have their profile turned to public.  You could have a link to your twitter profile, a brief bio, a web site, a picture, and an “I’m interested in…” section.  You could quickly browse people nearby to see more about them before you actually meet.  In a conference setting, you may have a problem that either the wifi or the cell networks may crap out. You may have to resort to Bluetooth.  I presume that that is how apps like Bump work.
Another really interesting use case would be dating.  Learn more about the people who are here before you even talk to them.  Build on Steve Odom’s original Gelato concept by encouraging “reality-based dating” by having a Facebook or a Twitter authentication portion of it so you at least can associate it with a real profile.  It’s like Gary Vaynerchuk said in Austin at Texchange recently…”Facebook is becoming the Driver’s License and it’s on it’s way to the credit card.” Someone must be doing this for dating already. If you hear of any apps like this, please let me know in the comments.
Known Implementations: None
  • Yobongo (it’s not exactly the same, but it’s in the same ballpark)

Idea #35: Gonna Be Out ( )

This is a simplified calendaring app for small teams that helps you/your manager keep track of who is supposed to be in the office and who is not.  Working on a virtual team as I do, this seems really useful, but I suspect it could still be useful to those who work in an office (or maybe part-time telecommute).  There would be a simple text field for entry of when you’ll be out a la the 37signals Backpack “Reminders” data entry field. Something like “out tomorrow afternoon” or “dentist appointment at 3pm” would work.  It has to be stupid easy and the field has to be pretty smart with parsing.  In Ruby, a library like Chronic goes a long way towards something like this.
Instead of a typical top-down org chart view of who is on which team, instead, people can make a team and share it.  Anyone can make a team and those teams that you make are automatically in your view.  If someone else has created a view for you which seems like what you want then you don’t have to create it yourself.   You might even offer subscriptions such that someone could be notified if your calendar changes.  Like say Sally in Marketing wanted to talk to me tomorrow afternoon but I have a dental appt.  So I put into the system, “dentist appt at 3pm”.  When I do this, since Sally has subscribed to my changes, she gets an email/SMS/Twitter DM that says “Damon has updated his schedule…he’s gonna be out at 3pm tomorrow at a ‘dentist appt'”.  Sally then could take corrective action in her schedule to make sure that she talks to Damon after lunch instead of waiting until later in the afternoon.
Why not just use a traditional calendar?  To me, they tend to feel pretty heavy weight.  I don’t necessarily want to list every appointment, but I might quickly type something into a field and hit save. Also, have you ever tried to take a team of 10’s calendars and overlay them to figure out who is *IN*?  It’s a royal pain in the ass. So having a view that was broken up into “right now”, “this afternoon”, “tomorrow”, etc… to see a view of a team seems like a really useful idea to me.  I guess we’d have to see if it really is useful by building something and iterating on it with some teams.
Known implementations: None

Idea #34: “Twitter Radio” or “SpeakTweet”

Imagine an iPhone app or a mobile browser app which … (on a few minutes delay) delivered you a radio broadcast of your Twitter stream that you could listen to in your car while you drive.  You could turn some dials to adjust how much was coming at you, or who you were listening to…or maybe someone’s on a roll and you want to just focus on one person for awhile.
Just like traditional radio, advertising could be injected into the stream if they were on a free plan.  Paid plans could be streamed ad free.
Known Implementations: None

Fascinating. Here’s part of a solution from Mark Silverberg.  Thanks Mark!

Idea #30: “Life as a Game”

Using game mechanics to motivate a person to achieve their own goals. Giving points for achievements and streaks of achievement would build towards rewards that the user set up for themselves.
For example: Let’s say I want to lose 10 lbs. So I decide that I’ll walk 10,000 steps per day.  If I do this for one day, I get 10 points.  If i do this for a second day in a row, I get 15 points, etc. (extra points for the streak).  If I achieve 500 points, then I can eat a cheeseburger (assuming that is something I have given up).  Or if I lose 10 lbs, then I can get the Vibram FiveFinger shoes that I’ve been wanting, etc…Essentially you set up your own rules and the system lets you track your progress and rewards for achievement in a set of rules that you define.
Known Implementations:

  • Epic Win (iPhone app link) – thanks to Smythe Richbourg for the pointer