In a fit of generosity towards the greater good in the New Year, Srini offers some free ideas for startups.
Startups are buzzing nowadays, aren’t they? Aggressive young folks putting together some ideas that they think will disrupt everything. Many startups may be genuinely interested in making changes to the unsustainable lives we lead, others want to become wildly rich before you finish reading this, while some are… Well, if you need grocery deliveries in ten minutes, you certainly don’t deserve grocery delivery in ten minutes. Still, startups are all about ideas, and I have a limitless supply of them while technology makes it possible to bring them to life. If you want, feel free to borrow them to become a zillionaire. Here we go:
Vehicle Air Curtain
Problem: You’re driving on the highway, and you’ve stopped for a chai break. You open the door, get back into the car and before you know it, seven filthy flies and eight bloodthirsty mosquitoes – give or take a few – have decided to accompany you on the rest of the journey. You can’t swat all of them away because you’re driving. Your co-passengers are pretty useless because they are either squeamish to commit insecticide or lack the hand-eye coordination for this precision battle. Opening and shutting the windows doesn’t help because you don’t know whether they are in or out. What to do? Solution: Presenting the Vehicle Air Curtain! You know the ones that are used in various halls, malls and factories? Same thing, but miniaturised to fit into car doors. Open the door, and a gush of wind prevents the bugs from entering. Simple. Potential Brand Name: No-Pass Wind
Problem: Not too long ago, India was predominantly a left-side of the road driving country. Incredibly, two-wheelers more or less followed this rule too! Then many road users became impressed by China’s progress because the Chinese drove on the right-hand side of the road. Many others were taken in by the US. This country has the highest per capita superhero numbers, and they too drive on the right-hand side of the road. Given our lack of self-confidence and massive inferiority complex, we started aping China and the US by driving like them but on roads designed the other way round. Now it has become addictive, and thrill-seeking Indians regularly tempt innocent lives by driving or riding in the wrong direction. Some of them of course are safe drivers, as they keep their headlamps on. Nevertheless, the thrill wears off once crashes take place, damages occur and lives are lost. This needs to be curbed. How? Solution: The Wrong-Side Paralyser! Using a combination of vehicle-embedded GPS, cameras to detect lane markings and oncoming traffic plus cellphone location, the WSP immediately understands that the perpetrator is going against traffic, and gives three warnings in succession. If the driver or rider persists (or if he is not dead yet), the system paralyses the vehicle. Deluxe versions deliver a great electric shock that paralyses the perpetrator for two days till the cops come. Potential Brand Name: Againstr
Curb Removal as a Service (CRaaS)
Problem: It may seem unbelievable today, but once people could use footpaths to walk on instead of roads. Today, footpaths are repurposed by local municipal bodies into thriving open-air malls. Noble intentions, because it supports a vibrant economic ecosystem. How else can poorly paid municipal employees afford Apple devices? Unfortunately, municipalities cannot convert all footpaths into open-air shopping plazas, and some are tragically left empty for people to walk on. But help is at hand. Enter the biker! Everyone knows a biker’s time is more precious than that of anyone else on this planet. They are always in a rush; more so in India, where riders in the 18-35 age group are the most eager to meet their maker. Riding on the footpath is the quicker way to do just that. Clever guys – they have figured out that a pedestrian is softer to hit than a car. But why put everyone through all this trouble? Why should we have footpaths at all? Solution: Curb Removal as a Service (CRaaS) is slightly low-tech but an impressive employment generator. Unemployed people set out in the morning with implements, identify walkable pavements and immediately start demolishing them. Especially the ones that haven’t been dug by the municipalities yet. Once that’s done, the area is converted into much-needed roads. Elegant! Potential Brand Name: PedestriansWhatPedestrians
I have many more such ideas. If you’re interested, let me know. Together we can disrupt the world this New Year.