Something I’m glad I did: Sitting down with a large pad of paper, thinking about all the things that ought to exist, and writing them out as ideas for startups.
Time: 26 minutes for brainstorming (an hour is a long time) plus 90 minutes of research and blog-writing.
At the end of this, I had something like two dozen ideas, most of which were terrible. But a few were promising, and overall, it was a pretty good use of time. If there are things about the world you wish were different, you might enjoy doing the same.
The biggest takeaways from the experiment:
- Almost everything that you can imagine existing with current technology already exists, though it may not have been implemented very well.
- Following from (1): If you wish something existed, Google it. It probably does. (Example: Free wake-up calls from Wakerupper, which may replace my alarm clock.)
Something else that occurred to me:
Many problems in life can be solved if one tries enough new things. The greater challenge seems to be that many people don’t like trying new things. A great meta-invention would be an addictive app that rewards people for trying new things—but how would you convince people who don’t try new things to try it in the first place?
Most of the ideas are listed below. Steal them if you want to.