Like playing Skate or Die on a Commodore 64, redialing the modem to get connected to AOL’s perpetually busy servers, or writing a crappy RPG in QBasic, getting braces is a rite of passage in any young geek’s life.
I hated it at the time, but looking back I’m so incredibly grateful that my mom scraped together the money to pay for three years of orthodontic work. Man, those suckers are expensive! But expensive, one-time purchases, as I noted in yesterday’s post, have great potential to be a solid niche in which to build a lucrative online business.
Today’s idea is deceptively simple – a site where people can upload a picture of their teeth and get recommendations from local orthodontists on whether or not they need braces.
The key to this idea is that it is a win for both sides. People who think they may need braces get feedback from real professionals without having to leave the house. You could take a quick photo from your webcam or phone, throw it up on the site, and specify the type of insurance you have. Within minutes, you could be getting Emails or messages back directly from orthodontists that are covered under your health plan.
From the other end, orthodontists receive very well qualified leads from potential patients. Instead of a lead coming in as just an Email address or a click from an online ad, the orthodontist can tell at a glance whether or not the person in the photo is ready for braces along with the relative complexity of the situation.
Another niche idea – what do you guys think of these? To stay up-to-date on my ideas, you should follow me on Twitter at @astartupaday.