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Tell me your business idea...you could win an autographed copy of Tribes by Seth Godin

I need 111 business ideas that are: unique, unknown or risky.

This is an assignment for Seth Godin's alternative MBA program and I need your help.

Any ideas you share here become public and anyone is free to use them.

I'll pick my favorite and send the author an autographed copy of Tribes by Seth Godin.

You can post your ideas below or if your a twitter user (and you should be) then post them here: http://www.snurl.com/111ideas

Thanks so much for all your replies. Many of them were featured in a recent blog post that Seth Godin linked to from this post. Our blog post of 999 business ideas has received over 20,000 hits.

Thanks so much for all the great suggestions. I'll keep this post open so that people can keep adding their ideas.

Tony V. of Colorado was the winner of the free autographed book. He emailed me 20 ideas that all made the final list.

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My idea is already in place. Custom bible verse paintings. www.MyCrossVerse.com. Each work of art is original hand-painted on canvas and it is unique to the buyer's specific order.

Cross Verse is a unique opportunity for you to build your own custom painting displaying a beautiful cross design along with an encouraging bible life verse for all to enjoy.


1. Choose your favorite Cross
2. Submit your bible verse
3. Complete your order

Lance Brown ~ Artist
My business idea: Become an e-Business fulfillment 'hub' for more traditional retail businesses. You would have one or more major warehouses, and stock products for companies that have brick & mortar storefronts, but no e-Business fulfillment expertise. You would become the absolute expert on the best/most efficient way to warehouse and deliver products to customers (i.e. have close relationships with carriers like FedEx, UPS, etc. - your warehouses would be strategically located near carrier hub locations), and a very flexible, web services approach to connecting your back end fulfillment capability to the various websites that use it. This is somewhat similar to the Amazon business model, the difference is that you are 'invisible' and behind the scenes, you don't have your own web storefront, you are the fulfillment arm of many web storefronts. You focus on warehousing and fulfillment, so that you maximize that as a core competency.
My hometown doesn't offer curbside recycling service. After a few discussions with the city's Solid Waste Director, I started my own recycling service business. For a monthly fee, I provide a container and service it once a week. All the contents are taken to the city's collection site.

The city doesn't think people will pay for recycling service. They are wrong. Check out my website and let me know what you think www.HayesEnviro.com/recycle
I have always wanted to create an "Artists' Playground". This is a building that has rooms setup for ceramics, painting, silk screenings, theater, writing, open mic, dance, photography, etc. This building will also have social areas for people to mingle over coffee and healthy foods. It is square and multiple levels. The center is an atrium with trees, plant, flowers, flowing water and birds. This will be on a large plat of land that has forest, water elements, meadows and through it all a trail system so that artists can go out and be inspired or to exercise. I want it to be in the suburbs so that people can get to it, but still feel like they are getting away from the distractors in their lives. People could have a membership to use any of the facilities or it could be a rent by the hour type deal. Primarily, this is a place for people to get away and play, but lessons would be taught there and rooms could be rented out for events.

Someplace or another I have a sketch I drew of this about 10 years ago. I am not sure where it is now. If I find it, I will add it.
Hey there,

I offered this idea to my broke nephews, but they didn't want to do it.

We come to your house to list only your good stuff on eBay or Amazon so you don't have to bring it to a store. You could have a portable photo studio in the van so the product never leaves the premises until they have cash in hand after the sale. Charge a commission and have college students working for you.

Best regards,

Dave Munson
Saddleback Leather Co.
Unique cleaning business. Have your housecleaners bring samples of the delicious down home cooked meals that you can bring to them. Usually if someone is too busy to clean their house, they're too busy to cook too. What if they had a complete meal brought to the home. You could eventually build up the meals to be 5 days a week. The word would spread. You could target busy people. By word of mouth, your cleaning business would grow. Clean everything. Windows, cars, gutters, dogs, furniture, fireplaces, chimneys etc.

Best regards,

Dave Munson
Saddleback Leather Co.
Order fulfillment/seconds repair company. Start an order fulfillment company that takes in returns, repairs them, photographs them professionally and packages them as seconds for sale in the customers online stores. This is a tough area. Maybe someone already does this.

Good luck,

Dave Munson
Saddleback Leather Co.
Most people order only one or two different things each time they go to the same restaurant. They only do that because they haven't tried the other ones and know that they like the plate they got last time How about a restaurant that only has 7 dishes. But, each one of those dishes is the best stinking (not literally) dish you have ever tasted in that category. Nothing in the restaurant is just okay. After the waiter takes their order, and before the food is served, he could bring them a sample of the food that they didn't order. Then, after the bill is delivered, the waiter can say, "So, you tried # 4, but it's nothing compared to #6. See your tomorrow".

Best regards,

Dave Munson
Saddleback Leather Co.
A chips and salsa restaurant restaurant across the street from universities. Serve only the 5 most addictive salsas known to mankind (not just any salsa). Offer corn or flour tortilla chips, two kinds of meat and one kind of cheese. Then, after the first plate, bottomless chips and salsa (meat and cheese not included). Make it fairly cheap so college students can go regularly, but make the money on drinks. Chips and salsa are super cheap to make and it doesn't go bad. So you know, I have a salsa recipe that everyone who tries says is the best that they have ever tried. Serious. I don't know anyone who hasn't said it. No onions and easy to make.

Best regards,

Dave Munson
Saddleback Leather Co.
I posted this idea on the twitter storm-now to elaborate.

A website in each major metro area- Louisville, KY where I live is in desperate need of this.

The website would have several purposes:

1) To help developers and even metro planning agencies to realize how built out areas are before they allow new developments.

2) To help builders, realtors, buyers and developers maintain an idea of current supply and demand for new lots.

3) To assist buyers in finding out the information that is so hard to find like: deed restrictions, lot sizes, plot plans, local schools, utility contacts and lot prices.

This site would be comprehensive and be updated via two way communication between developers, builders, realtors and the creator/ maintainer of the site. This could become THE resource for all new construction and a good way to measure the supply side of the market.

I see the glut of spec homes and vacant lots as a huge problem. Also this would help to turn development focus back toward urban areas and cut back on sprawl. I'm a conservative libertarian but this makes complete sense to me. The people are not there to buy the homes and lots, yet developers and banks keep forging new deals and breaking new ground. Meanwhile there is ample new and existing housing on the market. This could also help identify opportunities for infill building.

I would think this could scale easily and monetize easily. This type of comprehensive resource does not exist because the building industry can be a very disorganized industry. How else could they overbuild in such a massive way? Regardless of the lending issues and mortgage meltdown, most areas were highly overbuilt. Someone needs to help rescue this industry. Zero percent interest rates won't do it, I believe it will take some serious ingenuity.

Thanks for letting me share. I have a million ideas floating in my head and many in implementation but this one has been in my head for over two years now.

To connect:
A qualified person could launch a personal chaplain service to households. Think of the multitude of people who do not belong to a religious group, but need spiritual/emotional/relational care! The care could be given via internet resources, e-mail, telephone, and in person when necessary. This service could be invaluable to many people.
A singer/song-writer could offer to write, record, and perform personalized songs for people's special occassions (anniversaries, birthdays, holidays, or just because). Many would love to have the ability to write, record, and perform an original song for a special someone, but they just don't have what it takes musically. Then, there are those of us who do have the ability. We could spend an hour over the phone with clients getting a feel for what they want the song to say, what genre of music they want. The song would be written lyrically, then submitted to the client to make sure it communicates well lyrically. Finally, the personalized piece would be recorded professionally, burned onto a CD with a personalized label, then delivered/performed for the customer. How powerful to have your unique message communicated by song in just the right way to just the right person/people!


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