List of One Page Pitches
One Page Pitches
Great ideas in one page
GitHub for everything
An agile solution to bringing foreign founders into the U.S.
An incubator for people who didn’t get into Y combinator
Real time geolocation sharing
Your marketplace for used underwear
The space you need for your browser tabs!
Genome Specific Biocide
Precision warfare with zero collateral damage
Twitter for videos. It’s different from Vine.
The Real Show
The first person real time reality show
A social metric for assessing value
Free market resource allocation for corporate environments
Power and Prestige (P&P)
A social platform for managing corporations
Snow shovelling, no more
Drone augmented reality
An on-screen language dictionary
A delta robot for auxiliating animal brain surgery
On demand paywalled content without subscriptions
A wrapper for the 20 texting apps you use
Simulate PCR off target reactions
A text editor for nucleic acids
Lee Kuan Bot
Like the Singapore Story, on twitter
Neuralnesty. Or deeprruption
AI to make (literal) face value judgements of politicians
3D gesture mouse control
Idea: To write up your idea in a one page format, as opposed to common, lengthier formats such as pitch decks, business plans, etc. This is aimed at ideas of any nature, not just things like startup pitches.
Why: Being able to summarize an idea in one page can make it extremely compelling. Such a brief format should be able to catch the attention of any audience. When all the elements are displayed at a glance, it feels tempting to peruse it, especially because now it takes very little time, less than a minute, even. This is especially appealing when you’d like to present several ideas to a reader with a short attention span, such brevity makes you want to take a glance at the next one, and then the next. Distilling an idea to its bare elements has the additional advantage of making you fiercely think about it, which is great. Brevity takes a lot more effort than lengthiness.
How: Really, just write it down. Even the most incipient ideas can warrant a few paragraphs. Including boldly labeled sections such as Idea, Why, How and Monetization/Potential can make it even more appealing to the reader, and help delineate things. A larger font size helps readability, and catchy title and subtitle also goes a long way. You can also include pictures, if relevants.
Potential: Sure, this is no business idea, and there is no money to be made. But I think it’s a pretty cool format, especially if you’re a prolific person with too many ideas to bother writing them down in extensive detail, and repeating them to friends. It’s a great format for presenting raw ideas to friends or potential investors. Who knows, it could even become trendy ;)
Idea: Develop a platform offering the same kind of functionality as GitHub, but allowing for flexibility to be used in projects of any nature, not just aimed at coding. It would be especially powerful if (a) it could track changes on any sort of documents, and (b), you could easily integrate any other collaboration platforms already in use (say, Google docs, or Thingiverse projects, or Dropbox folders). Actually, it would be in the best interests of Dropbox, Google or Microsoft should develop it.
Why: Because we actually still lack comprehensive collaboration tools for general projects. Yes, they are super trendy now, but there seems to be a surprising lack of unification. Could we build a comprehensive project management platform that would be the default choice for anything, like GitHub is for code? The prospects are so overwhelming that it is worthwhile to think about, despite being a formidable challenge.
How: Start with a subset of everything, of course, that is your MVP. Just try not to make the platform too rigid, or feel too rigid (i.e. made for one kind of media only). Suppose we could make a GitHub of 3D models, that sounds fairly feasible, right? Then it becomes a matter of expanding to other media, like just copying github structure for code. We could integrate images, video, sound media. It’s a matter of thinking “what kind of media people use”, and devising a tracking system for that media.
Monetization: Similar to GitHub, you can use everything, what you pay for is privacy. Depending on niche types of media with particular requirements (say for people making videogames, taking lots of bandwith), one could charge per media supported, just be wary of stalling growth.
Idea: To create a university in Silicon Valley aimed at foreigners who want to create startups, allowing them to come to the U.S., study, and dedicate their free time to entrepreneurship.
Why: The U.S. has no startup visa, and the government is notoriously retrograde in all aspects pertaining to immigration. As such, it’s virtually impossible be a foreign entrepreneur in the U.S., because it’s very hard to
obtain a visa allowing lawful residence. As Paul Graham puts it, the vast majority of the very smart people are foreigners, and many would like to start ventures or work in the U.S..
How: By creating the university, prospective founders can legally reside and study in the U.S. as enrolled students. They cannot work however, but this does not preclude that they dedicate their free time to their own personal entreprises, and I believe it doesn’t even preclude them to start a company or own equity, as long as they don’t get paid for it (should check with a lawyer, in case they can’t start companies but can own equity, the university could start the companies). Additionally, the university will serve as a very efficient incubator, providing a rich social environment for prospective founders, and it should also provide tailored advice for entrepreneurs. It is important to note that this is a profitable/self sustainable venture from the outset, not only because of tuition fees, but also because the university should be able to receive equity in exchange for services or in return for investments.
Potential: There is little data on the proportion on startups in the U.S. and abroad, and it’s hard to compare ventures, but it’s straightforward to see the university would greatly increase prospective founders in the Valley.
Idea: To make an incubator in Silicon Valley with a low entry threshold, funding lots of startups, many of which would otherwise go orphan.
Why: As Paul Graham puts it in this essay, there is an absurd variation on the returns a Startup can give, with unicorns giving 1000 to 10000 fold returns. The returns are exponentially distributed, and in terms of investment, what really matters is to hit the big winners, with the lesser successes and failures altogether amounting to a breakeven, as described here. Because it’s so cheap to angel invest on very early stage startups, it is a sound strategy to invest a little money in as many startups as possible, with a low threshold. You can afford failures, but not missing the big hits.
How: By implementing an incubator program tailored exactly after Y combinator, in order to pick promising startups and increase their success chances. The only difference is standards are lower, and one is aiming to fund as many startups as possible. Naturally our incubator won’t be as flashy, fancy and prestigious, and this is compensated accordingly: by taking less equity. But even if we only buy 1% of each startup for $10.000, it should be a good deal for startups to get a million dollar valuation, and to be able to enjoy the incubation program. The only caveat is that, since our startups are in principle less promising, and we’re less appealing, efforts should be made to get equity in sexier startups, even if you pay more for it. Remember, what matters is to have some equity in a big hit, it doesn’t matter if you pay two, three or ten times more, because potential returns are thousandfold. What matters is to invest in as many startups as early as possible, for as little as possible, and increase their success chances, and therefore ours. It’s a win-win, and this might be just the extra incentive to make many ugly ducklings succeed.
Idea: To allow people to temporarily share their location with others, ideally through Gmaps or Facebook. Edit: They did it already.
Why: It would be extremely convenient to be able to easily share my location with friends. The most obvious case is when you arrange to meet, instead of having to text each other to update your situation, you could just see it on the map, and helps avoid mis-encounters due to misunderstandings on the meeting point.
The other case on which this would be very desirable is on an environment such as a university: if you are able to see where your friends are, this increases the number of serendipity meetings - you can grab lunch, coffee or just chill with friends without having to ping them individually to see who is available.
How: Ideally, this kind of feature would be ingrained on Google maps or Facebook chat. In practice, nearly the same thing might be achievable by creating a one time use link you can send to the other party - running things on a browser also avoids the need for them to have a specific app. Offering a browser solution to capture the user would be ideal, who would then download the app for more convenience and extended features.
There is one big concern, however: privacy. Individuals must be made well aware when their location is being shared, and with whom, and it might be desirable to not allow permanent sharing - meaning they choose to share their location with a person for up to a certain maximum period of time, after which they must re-share it.
Potential: Once a good MVP is up, and usage is growing fast (which I think would be easy), I bet Facebook or Google would be quick to snatch the initiative for a few million.
Idea: A marketplace for used underwear, providing a safe environment, protecting seller and buyer privacy, and guaranteeing origin.
Why: There is a huge market for it. It is currently a spread mess all over the internet, though non-optimal platforms (i.e. reddit), generating hassle, privacy, and quality issues for users. Here and here are two relevant references. Taboo and cultural issues prevent proper streamlined solutions from arising, meaning less competition too. With a proper platform and marketing strategy, attaining market hegemony should be somewhat straightforward.
In addition to female underwear, there is a huge and almost entirely unexplored potential for male underwear. And that is just the start, sex fetishes are virtually infinite, meaning once the platform is established, expansion in several directions is possible.
How: Develop an online marketplace that can protect user privacy (e.g. mailing addresses), allowing personal interaction (important for sellers to acquire loyal customers), and streamlining the whole business, including even support for video and picture sales, as well as private shows. Ease of use and confidence is fundamental for user acquisition, by charging low fees growth can be very fast (common cam sites are around 35%!). Be a middlemen, allowing sellers to send the product to a central location, which then dispatches it to the buyer. Users will pay premium for this - you can take a cut in both product sales, as well as private shows.
Potential: The cam industry revenue is estimated at $1 billion. Used panties sell for about $30 a pop, and users would happily pay some 10% for the experience we can provide.
Idea: A Chrome extension that makes tabs wrap around the perimeter of the browser instead of collapsing and not showing the favicon.
Why: I often times have so many open tabs I’m forced to open a second window in order to keep the favicons visible, and I know I’m not alone. Clicking back and forth to find on which window the tabs you want are is not fun. This is the solution!
How: Develop a Chrome extension that wraps tabs around the browser, like shown in the picture below:
Potential: I’d use it. Some more people would. No clear way to monetization, best way to add value is to grow a user base, and then try to get acquired by someone who cares.
Idea: To develop a genome specific biocide, poisonous only to individuals with specific genomes.
Why: The ultimate precision weapon, collateral damage is literally impossible, save for identical genomes.
How: That’s the question. How to develop a system that is general and flexible? Could we develop antibodies tailored to a specific immune system? Could we develop a toxin triggered by a specific combination of proteins in the cytoplasm, and make that combination easily customizable? Could we use DNA binding proteins to trigger the biocide? Could we induce aggressive cancer by cleaving at customizable sequences?
Potential: Any military would pay billions for this.
Idea: A video based social media with a longer video length than Vime where instead of looping, videos play in sequence.
Why: If the content is minimally engaging, it’s very hard to stop watching, simply because the videos are so short you’re always thinking “oh just 20 more seconds to find out what happens”, however, since the next one starts right away, you immediately fall into the same trap...in an infinite loop. This is exactly the kind of media consumption Facebook and the like want you to indulge in: short, shallow, sequential snippets that hold your attention just enough so that you may indulge in the next one. I’m sure that as soon this “twitter of videos” gained a minimum user base, Facebook would snatch it for a billion dollars.
How: Just develop the platform. Add some content creation tools to aid users (like stitching things and adding captions), and all the social media shenanigans (likes, hashtags, tagging), and try to invent a new one: how can we leverage videos for social media?
Potential: Just as much as Vine itself ($1B), Twitter ($40B), Snapchat ($15B) or Instagram ($35B). We’re trying to create a new messaging protocol. The way people communicate is changing, because of the tools they have at their disposal, and mobile bandwidth is ever increasing. From text, to image, and now to video. How we can best harness that change?
Idea: To make a reality where participants live stream recordings from a first person perspective while living their lives, outside a camera set.
Why: Very many times I have found myself (and friends) regretting a situation within our lives had not been captured on camera and shared with the world. Reality often supersedes fiction in terms of amusement, and aside from the value of seamlessly recording situations (especially social) we’re in, they would certainly easily cater to a large audience. Especially once made personal, such kind of media could readily take part in current social platforms.
How: The biggest hurdle is to develop an wearable or implanted camera that can record with sufficient quality and stream it wirelessly. Google glass can do that, so despite the fact it has been discontinued, there are no technical hurdles.
It is then a matter of producing a show. One possible format is to have participants which live in the same environment to broadcast 24/7, editing the best footage into a daily summary that is the TV program, and allowing pay-per-view options for watching any of the participants any time, pretty much exactly like current reality shows. Another format is where individual users broadcast or post produce their own footage, making one-person reality shows. This could easily become another form of social media.
CAVEAT: Privacy. If we offer a livestream of participants daily lives, people will be sure to shriek about privacy. This is what killed Google glass.
Potential: As much as Facebook, our TAM is the entirety of humankind. If only we could get over our privacy oriented culture. Perhaps in 20 years.
Idea: To develop a platform to assess the perceived value of things, ideas and projects, using a metric similar to PageRank
Why: In certain environments, such as corporations, it can be very important to assess the value of individual contributions. However, due to the nature of larger enterprises, value tends to end up averaged between individuals working on a given project or enterprise. ValueMetric allows users to assess the value of the work of their peers, and thus offer an estimate of specific individual contributions.
How: It is not entirely unlike Yelp for ideas. Users will be able to review ideas, projects and things within the platform. In order to asses the value of something (which is something impossible to do in an entirely objective manner without a definition of value or wealth that is too restrictive to be useful), we can also rely on the reviewers history and reputation (and we can even take into account his field of knowledge, meaning his reviews can have different weights for different things). The procedure for determining a final value will always be arbitrary, but the one proposed here is something like Page Rank, where the value of something will be proportional to it’s reviews, weighted by the reviewers reputation, which can be dependent on the domain of the review, among other things.
Idea: A platform within structured social environments (like corporations) that allows individuals to invest influence and resources on different enterprises using free market logic.
Why: This is a novel management technique, by allowing individuals to exert some degree of influence according to the resources they can invest. This might optimize resource allocation within corporations in a manner analogous to how free markets self regulate. Because all transactions are recorded and there is perfect information, pulling off the kinds of frauds and stunts that plague our financial system becomes much harder.
How: Implement a platform that allows for this sort of transaction, to be used within corporations and such. Initially the system could work with 20% of the employee's time for example, meaning they have 20% of their time they can use within this system: they can work on their own projects, sell their work for influence, and recruit others to work with them. They may also invest their influence points in the same manner we do with money in our financial system: by lending it, borrowing, obtaining interest, and exchanging for equity in third party projects.
Potential: To revolutionize management. I suggest the system might start by running on 20% of the employee's time, but it actually works it might well be run with 100% of the employee's time.
Idea: To incorporate ValueMetric and Laissez-faire democracy into a social platform, allowing for better value assessment, rewarding, resource allocation and decision making in corporations and similar environments.
Why: As Paul Graham says: Internally most companies are run like Communist states. If you believe in free markets, why not turn your company into one? Hypothesis: A company will be maximally profitable when each employee is paid in proportion to the wealth they generate.
This system allows for the implementation of Paul Graham hypothesis, by incorporating a system for value assessment of contributions, and allowing resource allocation using a free market logic. It is virtually a financial system leveraged by quantification of power, influence, prestige and the value of ideas and projects. This could be a huge game changer in corporation management an efficiency.
How: Make it like an internal communication network (integration with Slack would be ideal). Users can post ideas and projects, and be reviewed by others, which allows inference of value. Management is able to ponder review by reviewer reputation, allowing better assessment of the value of contributions, and thus compensate employees (with real money) according to wealth they generate, instead of the coarse traditional approach.
Users can also invest “influence credits” in projects or individuals, in return for interest, collaboration (this work time could come from a 20% time policy), or equity in projects (rewarding those who bet in successful projects). Such credits would be awarded by the administration (perhaps in proportion to their salaries), and in addition to circulating among workers, could be exchanged with the administration for other types of resources.
Idea: To develop an autonomous robot to clean snow from sidewalks and passageways, especially for areas with low maintenance.
Why: Human snow cleaning is a big hurdle. It’s expensive, inefficient, slow, only lasts until it snows again. But if not done properly, in addition to the inconvenient, there are serious accident risks, especially from black ice. An automated robotic snow cleaner that could be deployed as soon as it started snowing, prevented snow accumulations, and operated continuously would solve these issues.
How: This could be either a bigger more expensive robot that is bought by the municipality or the neighborhood and services a larger area, or smaller personal robots that can act alone or in a swarm. The main thing is that by deploying the robot continuously and as soon as snow starts, it won’t need to clear large accumulations, and can be designed accordingly. Also, it would have charging stations to there it returns once the battery is low.
The biggest challenge is developing the navigation system, and then ensuring the robot don’t cause accidents.
Potential: However much the world spends on humans clearing snow. Also a big salespoint is that it prevents accidents, and thus reduces liabilities.
Idea: To use drones as a physical complement to the experience, of VR/AR providing things such as moving physical objects and directional wind/smells.
Idea: To develop an integrated on-screen dynamic language dictionary with OCR for on-the fly hassle-free content translation, especially useful when running programs or game in other languages, as well as learning.
Idea: To develop a robotic system that automates finding coordinates during brain surgeries, to be used in animals in research.
Edit: Thankfully they did it already
Idea: An app that allows you to read individual paywalled articles with one click, without having to subscribe to the specific content provider.
Why: Content providers can derive considerable revenue from users who would never subscribe, because they don't read enough articles from that provider for it to be worthwhile to them. Users can read content from anybody, on demand, without having to keep tabs on subscription or be concerned whether it's worth it. The headache they save from having to deal with subscriptions alone is probably worth more to them than however much they will pay for the articles.
How: Make a browser extension. License from content providers the right to show users individual articles. Price each article according to the license fee, and possibly even with some dynamic pricing, like special discounts for users who are not using the service much, or bundle deals.
Potential: Even I would be willing to pay 20 cents to read some paywalled articles, like from the Wall Street Journal. And people like Paul Graham too. Multiple times.
Edit: matrix.org is successfully pulling it off better than I ever could hope for: https://matrix.org/docs/projects/bridges
Idea: Make a wrapper for instant messaging apps so that you only need to check one app.
Why: The whole instant messaging situation is a shitshow.
How: Use http requests or an Android emulator on the cloud.
It’s unclear if it would be possible to make decent group chats across multiple platforms.
Potential: It’s probably against the terms of service of the whole universe, otherwise it’d be a billion dollar startup.
Idea: Write a program to simulate a complete PCR reaction (or at least the first few rounds) and assess off-target products.
Why: There is a complete lack of software that can do this and is readily accessible. It seems that with regards to PCR, all software readily available (such as Snapgene or benchling) is only concerned with just primer design.
Upon further search apparently one company developing a package called VisualOMP that seems to be able to do a complete PCR simulation (https://www.dnasoftware.com/our-products/visual-omp/). However, this is corporate enterprise software that is not readily available to academics.
How: Using Nupack (http://www.nupack.org/) could make the development of a script to predict the results of a single PCR step relatively straightforward.
Potential: Making PCR easier.
Idea: A text editor with nucleic acids syntax (reverse, complement, reverse complement), search, and basic error checking functions. It should also support degenerancy syntax:
R = A,G; Y = C,T; M = A,C; K = G,T; S = C,G; W = A,T;
H = A,C,T; B = C,G,T; V = A,C,G; D = A,G,T; N = A,C,G,T
Why: I’m going insane editing DNA by hand on Google docs and making painful mistakes.
How: The simplest way to implement this seems to be to just make an addon for Google docs. This addon could include (in order of importance and implementation dificulty):
Potential: Saving me a lot of frustration and wasted time.
Idea: Train a LSTM on all of Lee Kuan Yew’s writings and speeches and make a twitter bot out of it.
Why: It would be basically like having Lee Kuan Yew back forever. Not too different from how Ray Kurzweil wants to bring his father back, but a billion times better.
How: The trickiest part is getting clean data for the training. Fortunately there is already a 19 tome collection of The Papers of Lee Kuan Yew. Unfortunately it retails for some $5000 and it’s not clear they’d give us a PDF. Another option is to comb the Singapore National Archives for his speeches and do a lot of data wrangling, or somehow convince them to give us the raw text data, if they even have it.
Potential: It’s probably against the terms of service of the whole universe, otherwise it’d be a billion dollar startup.
Idea: Train a neural network to predict how corrupt politicans are by looking at their faces. Just like people can apparently do.
Why: Since Inferring Whether Officials Are Corruptible From Looking At Their Faces is a surpringly publication worthy endeavour, then surely improving upon it with deep learning is a most pressing need.
How: Get the original data from the study authors, and look around for other datasets of corrupt politicians. Brazil and India would be wonderul targets.
Potential: To publish something I guess.
Idea: Use the iPhone X True Depth Camera and other similar hardware to make a gesture controlled 3D mouse. Like Elon showed with the Leap Motion 5 years ago.
Why: There is a clear use case for the more intuitive 3D gesture control for CAD, and in other 3D media as it becomes more ubiquitous. The reason why what Elon shows did not take off seems to be the specialized hardware. But if phones start to pack the needed sensors, streamlining this functionality becomes much more compelling. Especially if it becomes possible to seamlessly do it from just image analysis instead of infrared sensors like the ones from the Kinect, Leap Motion or iPhone X.
How: Grab data from iPhone sensors. Use open source libraries to process the point cloud, then CAD what to do. From the user perspective downloading an app on the phone and pairing via bluetooth or USB with the computer would be needed.
It would be very desirable to have core functionalities work with a single had because in most workflows you still want to use a mouse. The productivity combo is single hand gesture + mouse. Having both hands is likely nice for demos.
Potential: This kind of input has the potential to unify at least one kind of control across all CAD programs. Everyone uses different keyboard shortcuts and mouse controls, and for people that need to deal with multiple programs it's a pain. A friend who uses Solidworks, Unity and Blender when doing work for says that switching controls across them is really annoying. A few important programs where developing such an addon or extension is readily feasible: Blender, Unity, Maya, Autocad and Fusion360