I’d like to join myself in extending a very heartfelt congratulations to me for completing the Y Combinator Challenge. Coming up with 30 startup ideas over the course of 30 days (with one little break) was not easy, but what worthwhile things are? I had a blast working my way through the list and having a set of constraints to focus my random brainstorming efforts. Plus, with a little help from my new friends over on Hacker News, I finally got a few visits from someone outside of my gene pool. Not that it really matters, but it’s always fun to get some outside opinions in the mix to kick off a discussion around new ideas.
Also, I want to give credit where it’s due – the esteemed Mr. Paul Graham. This list of 30 app ideas was, for me, an amazing source of inspiration and I have a ton of respect for everything pg is doing to help young entrepreneurs in the Web 2.0 community.
To celebrate the end of the challenge, I’m going to try another contest. It’s pretty simple – I’m going tol list my five favorite ideas, and you vote on which one you like the best in the comments section. The winner will get a little something from a killer startup here in Seattle. I’ll choose the winner randomly from everyone who commented before midnight (PST) on Monday, Sept 29.
- New News – The basic idea of this one is pretty solid – recreate the fun and excitement of a real newsroom online. I think I’d actually use it, which is a good litmus test since I actually don’t use most of the new sites I read about on a daily basis.
- Dating – To be honest, I’m actually not that crazy about this idea. I just put it in here so I’d have an excuse to post this fake Chuck Norris profile again:
- Office Competitor – This idea got the most comments and traffic out of any of the posts. I like the focus on the specific college market, but it’s such a difficult market, I’m not sure it’s worth the effort to try and crack it. On the other hand, this market has a ton of upside potential – so if you’re going to swing for the fences, this isn’t a bad pitch to hit.
- Shopping Guides – OK, this was the only idea I posted over a weekend and it got almost no hits. Quick hint to anyone who reads this: sometimes if I think an idea really has potential, I’ll intentionally gloss over details or try to obscure the “secret sauce” of the idea as best I can. Is this one of those cases, or was I just messing around because I had nothing better to do on a Saturday morning than research Hollywood gossip sites? 🙂
- Easy Site Builder – This one is all about the execution. It would have to be incredibly easy-to-use and well-designed, or it would fall flat on its face. Also, I’m not convinced that there’s that big of a market between the simple site builders and a fully-featured WYSIWYG tool like Dreamweaver or Visual Studio. Still – I think it’s a unique idea and something that I really, really, really wish existed.
Vote now by posting your favorite site idea in the comments below. And if you don’t like any of these, write-in nominations are always welcome! Thank you all for taking part in the YC Challenge, and stay tuned for details about my next big project.