I’m into crazy business ideas. Maybe it’s because I know I’ll never have to actually put any of them into practice, or maybe I’m just watching too much “Shark Tank.” The point is, I’m a pretty good judge of what constitutes an awesome idea for a business. I’m also pretty good at knowing if a business will be successful or not, based on its general premise. Luckily for me, all of these ideas are equally cool and totally impossible to pull off.
1. A dating site for poor people.
MillionaireMatch.com has gotten a lot of press in the last few years for its services. It basically lets rich men flaunt the male equivalent of great tits: wealth. That’s all well and good for the members of the one percent and all, but I wasn’t aware that rich people were having any trouble finding dates. Their process for actual verification requires you to show proof of ID, as well as tax documents proving income. This new site can do the same, except that the requirement is that you don’t make more than a certain amount per year. The fact is, it’s hard to start dating someone without knowing beforehand what his or her expectation for a baseline standard of living is. Sure, people date out of their income brackets all the time, but it’s certainly nice to start seeing someone knowing that he or she is fine with not being able to afford going out all the time, or going to nice restaurants, or basically doing anything that requires money. When you start with knowing that a lot of Netflix dates are happening in your future, you’ll both enjoy each other’s company and it’ll be a lot easier to move forward.
Why it will never make money: Poor people can’t afford monthly fees or anything that’s advertised to them.
2. Any gimmicky bar idea.
Pretty much any time friends brainstorm an idea for a bar, it’s something crazy and over the top. No one gets together and says, “You know what we should do? Open a bar in a quiet neighborhood with a few nice flatscreen TVs that people can watch sports on while they eat reasonably priced appetizers and drink mediocre beer.” I’ve written about the bar my friends and I are going to open. There’s a fountain out front featuring a sculpture of a knight vomiting water into his helmet. We only serve two beverages: whiskey and beer. The whiskey is in blank bottles, and the beer is from a white tap–no labels on either. If you ask what kind of beer or whiskey we’re serving, you get kicked out. Every hour or so, a guy in a suit of armor comes out and violently knocks someone’s drink out of his or her hands, which means that person gets free drinks for the next hour. It’s all silly and ridiculous. We’re going to call it Sir Osis. Yes, like the liver disease. That’s the joke. Every random person’s bar idea is like that. A bar where there are bumper cars instead of tables, and the goal is to not spill your drink! A bar that moves locations every night, and the main attraction is the list of clues people have to follow just to find out where it is that night. A bar that’s in an old church, and is only open on Sunday mornings, so that everyone who doesn’t want to go to church can go drink instead. All of these ideas are awesome.
Why it will never make money: Bars make money from service, location, and business sense, not dumb, aesthetic ideas.
3. Netflix for prostitutes.
The “Netflix for [fill in thing people like]” has become a phenomenon unto itself. Netflix for toys. Netflix for razor blades. Netflix for books, which, in my day, was called a FUCKING LIBRARY. You get the idea. So here’s what I’m saying. Hooking up with a prostitute is still wildly behind the rest of the business world, technology-wise. How is it that I can swipe left or right on some girl I’d like to date, order a pizza with two taps of my thumb, or Clash my Clans, but any website purporting to be affiliated with the sex trade looks like it was designed in 1997 by a guy named Rick, who was probably paid in the form of sex vouchers for his work. Let’s give this thing a makeover. I want smooth looking UI. I want clear pictures. User reviews. Algorithmic recommendations based on my previous ratings. Frequent customer benefits. Detailed lists of skills, strengths, and weaknesses. Get with the 21st century, pimps!
Why it will never make money: According to my most recent research, prostitution is still illegal.
4. Uber for private jets.
Sometimes people just want to feel fancy. Sure, you might not be able to afford to go in on an actual jet with your friends or be able to charter one for your trip, but what if you could just get a seat on one? It’s like first class, first class. People pay more for Uber cars because they want to give off the the illusion that they’re rolling around in style. If anyone needs to get somewhere for as cheap as possible, they’ll walk or call a taxi. So the way that Uber gives the feeling of being upper class to the middle class, Uber4Jetz will give the upper class the feeling of being the upper, upper class. Class jumps–that’s what the luxury consumer service industry is all about.
Why it will never make money: Because it’s stupid. They already tried it. It didn’t work.