This is my latest post in my Free Startup Ideas series.

I've been coming up with business ideas since my earliest childhood memories. Most of them have been absolutely terrible. Some of them have been decent. And now I'm going to give away some of my best ones for free.

Am I really give these ideas away with zero expectation of return? Absolutely.

  1. Ideas are worthless. It's all about execution. If you want to take one of these ideas and run with it, do it. I'll even be happy to give you a brain dump with all of my notes on the idea as I’ve been thinking about most of them for a while.
  2. I take coffee meetings all the time with people looking for startup ideas. Perhaps one of these ideas will help them spark a new idea of their own.
  3. I want to get these ideas out of my head to clear some of my brain's RAM. That way I can come up with new and better ideas.
  4. I like giving things away and planting seeds.

Without further ado...

In The Market

Elevator Pitch: People delay purchases for extraordinary lengths of time until they are finally ready to make a buying decision. They put off purchases while they wait to find a better price, do more research or just wait for the right buying decision. In The Market matches people who have been considering purchasing a product with experts who can help them make the right decision.

Backstory: First, let me start with this: I am not a big fan of shopping and view it mostly as a waste of time. If I need to go to multiple stores or talk to different people to find what I'm looking for, that is massive inefficiency for me. I do not get excited by the thrill of shopping. That said, I am a consumer and regularly making purchases. Because of this massive inefficiency in my life, I will put off purchases for weeks or months and sometimes never buy something at all even if I really want it. Perhaps I'm a bit crazy in this department, but I think there's definitely enough people like me out there to make a market.

A perfect example to illustrate my point. I do a fair amount of cooking. I knew that I need a mandolin. It is such an amazing solution to cutting certain foods for certain recipes. I cut up apples and zucchinis every week, and I know that a mandolin will save me 10 - 20 minutes every single week AND it will allow me to make better food. No brainer. Except I got caught with analysis paralysis. There were so many options, so many reviews, such a wide range of pricing. Long story short, I hired a virtual assistant to do a bunch of product research for me on several items I wanted to buy including the mandolin. In the end, I ended up doing the research myself. In total, I put off making the decision to purchase a mandolin for 6 months!

Match People with the Products They Want

In The Market is a very simple solution to this problem that I described in painful and embarrassing detail above. The platform allows users to create a list of items that they're looking to purchase sometime soon. The platform then allows product experts to make recommendations based on what you are looking for. They can provide multiple options or just one recommendation. They can include product reviews, comparisons, and any other information that will help you make a purchase. Most importantly, they will include a link to make the purchase which will generate an affiliate commission to be shared by the platform and the product expert.

I want to emphasize, this is a very simple solution. A MVP could be up and running in a day or even minutes if you really want to be minimal about it. Find people to tell you what they are actively looking to buy. Help them make the right product decision. Done. It doesn't need to be any fancier than that. There are boatloads of money to be made in affiliate commissions, and if this can be done at scale with product experts, this will be a home run.