Ideas that I need to get out of my head (and out of my inbox)


I guess that you could say that I come up with my fair share of ideas. Sometimes the ideas are to simply make my life easier and other times they’re just things that I think would be cool or fun to have. I can’t really think of an example for making my life easier, but I just came up with something that would be cool to have last night while I was chatting online with my friend Amanda.

She has a Pug and of course so do I, so we were talking about how some products for dogs don’t really work for Pugs due to the fact that Pugs don’t really have a snout (see this cartoon for an explanation why). This brief chat led me to an awesome idea for a Pug t-shirt that would have a picture of a Pug’s face on it with the words “Snouts are overrated” printed under it. Now I’m well aware that this isn’t a mind-blowing idea that is going to change the world, but it’s definitely something that I think a lot of Pug owners would love to own (including myself). Am I going to actually make this t-shirt? Probably not, but it’s still a pretty good idea.

Along with these random ideas I also have a lot of other ideas for websites, apps, etc. that I usually email to myself the moment that I think of them so that I don’t forget them. Some of these I end up following through with, but a majority of them just sit and stare at me in my Gmail inbox waiting for me to do something with them. Unfortunately most of them stay right there never to be seen again, but the more I think about that happening the more I realize that it’s a total waste. Even if I don’t do something with these ideas I should at least share them so that other people can think about them and potentially even act on them if they feel like it.

So, for the first time I’m going to post some of my latest ideas here in my blog so that they can finally escape from my lonely Gmail inbox. the first one that I’m going to talk about has to do with the wedding photography industry, which is ripe for the pickin’. Be free ideas, be free.

An awesome engagement and wedding photography website

Brief Summary: This would be a photo-heavy and highly visual site that would enable simple sorting and browsing through literally thousands and thousands of wedding and engagement photos with the goal of finding a great photographer based on various options like style, location, price, location, etc.

How it would make money: Photographers would join the site and would connect it to their various feeds that they’re already posting everywhere else online in hopes of finding new clients. One option of making money would be charging photographers on a per lead basis. One other way would be to build traffic and then charge for premium placements on the site through a self-service tool. Of course, advertising through AdSense could work pretty well, too as the wedding photography niche pays around a $5 eCPM.

The Idea
I don’t want to brag, but Stephanie and I took some amazing engagement photos thanks to our friend Henry Sun (who we actually met after he randomly came up to us in an Ikea). After our awesome photo shoot around San Francisco I decided to write an article on HubPages (where I was working at the time) titled How To Take Unique And Creative Engagement Photos, which is now always near the top of the Google search results for engagement photos (go ahead, try it).

After my article starting getting more and more traffic I saw that a lot of people were using it not just to get ideas for what to include in their photo shoot but were also using it to get a better feel for what they wanted out of a photographer (which most hadn’t hired yet).

This got me thinking about how hiring a wedding photographer is a very visual process and if there was one, single place where someone could browse just wedding and engagement photos based on style, location of photographer, price and other options it would be a killer way to find and hire someone. Right now most wedding photographers are all over the place. They have their own websites (that are usually flash-based, slow and filled with cheesy music) and most have blogs while also posting photos on their Facebook pages and Flickr. It’s one huge mess that their potential clients have to somehow sit through in order to figure out if they’re a right fit or not.

By bringing together one site that would be focused on helping people find wedding photographers I would think that it would be pretty easy to reach out to the target market and make some noise. Once you had people’s attention and started getting more and more photographers adding themselves into the mix there would be a high level of value for those looking to hire one and the site would continue to grow.

The design of the site would be very important as it would need to be super easy for photographers to create an account and to suck in all of their photos as quickly as possible. From the other side the site would also need to be easy to sort through depending on what someone wants to view. Your standard leaderboards might be nice to have as well and would keep the photographers motivated to continue to add new and fresh content.

So, that’s my first idea that I’ve been thinking about and there are more to come. Any thoughts, comments, etc. that you have please feel free to leave me a comment and let me know what’s on your mind. Also, if you want to build something like this I’d be more than happy to help you out — just let me know!