7 Short Miles, 7 New Ideas
As part of my training for a 25k trail race I’ll be doing later next month, I ran 7 miles this evening around Lady Bird Lake (Austin, TX). And while I typically listen to inspiring music to keep myself motivated, this time I elected to change things up a bit to see where my creative juices would take me; specifically, I decided to see if I could come up with 7 ideas for new businesses – or 1 new idea per mile. Keep in mind, this gave me between 8-9 minutes to come up with a new concept…all while become more and more fatigued. And if you’re asking yourself what this has to do with “A Family’s Journey of Entrepreneurism,” I would tell you that you always need to be thinking of fresh, new ideas. (Photo courtesy of The Trail Foundation)
1. Spouse Mouse – For those people who are married (especially those who have children) it is not uncommon for our significant other to wonder when we’ll be coming home. With Spouse Mouse, they’ll receive automatic updates via an app that indicates approximately how long until we’re done with our run and our estimated arrival time.
2. Power Shower – For anyone who has come off a run in the hot Texas weather, you know what it’s like to be sweaty and smelly. And for most of us, we need to hop in a car to get back home. This can create a real mess for your vehicle. I think it would be a great idea to have some sort of central shower facility at Lady Bird Lake, even if meant taking a shower in your running gear. They could rent towels for $1 and provide you with a pair of recyclable sandals so can walk to your car without having to put your running shoes back on.
3. Ice Breaker – Sometime during the middle of my run, two young gentleman began running near me and were carrying on a very good conversation about a new product their company was launching. While I didn’t intend to listen in on them, they elected to run just within earshot and I couldn’t help but hear what they were saying. Wouldn’t it be interesting if you could post a topic you’d like to discuss and other runners with similar interests could join you for your run?
4. Yumballs – I like to chew gum while I’m running because it seems to help me establish a rhythm with my pace. (At least that’s what I tell myself.) And with Whole Foods’ Global Headquarters just a block or two away, I thought of the idea of an organic gumball. Is it already available? I don’t know. Is it possible? I don’t know. Is it a good idea? I don’t know.
5. CrashBusters – There were several bikers on the trail tonight and a few of them were riding quite aggressively. One of the gentleman had a bell on his bike and continued to ring it – as a warning – as he rapidly approached a runner. While I applaud him for trying to alert the runners, I had an incident a few years ago where I was listening to music and did not hear a cyclist coming up behind me. His response was very aggressive as he pulled up next to me and began yelling about my lack of yielding to him. My response was that I never heard a thing and that he needed to yield to runners and walkers. It seems like there’s an opportunity for a product here because I’m sure this happens all the time.
6. Motivational Runner – As I began to near the end of my run, I felt myself starting to get a little fatigued. I thought to myself it would be great if I had a companion or coach to cheer me to a strong finish. After all, I had been running for nearly an hour and I wanted to end on a good note. Wouldn’t it be great if you could pick up a motivational runner (sort of like a motivational speaker) for the last mile of your run to ensure you had a great finish?
7. Mr. Mister – One of my favorite things to do at the water stations along the course (yes, a local running store puts out ice-cold water at several places along the trail) is to pour a cup of it over my head. It truly is rejuvenating. In fact, I even enjoy running in a light sprinkle as it keeps me cool, especially during a hot run. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if you could somehow create a hat with a built in misting device?
Which idea is the best? Which idea is the worst? Could any of them make it to market?