Another Smart Business Idea that Got Away

by ETF Base on May 24, 2011

Over the years, seemingly great ideas have come and gone, but alas, I never actually got into the execution phase and did anything with them.  Several years ago when I started seeing advertising popping up everywhere from stadiums to the names of bowl games, I had an epiphany.  I figured since cars are so visible and there are millions of them out there, how cool would it be to set up a company slapping advertising on cars?  I could partner up with large companies and sell off ad space no different than a newspaper or Google.  Of course, I was in college and had no time, connections or inclination to do anything with my idea and within a few years, I started to see auto-wrapping companies popping up.  I’ve also had a few web ideas that eventually became mainstream.

The one business I thought about starting more recently was a video editing business which morphed over time.  Initially, I had been doing home videos for my kids on the computer, then I did a wedding video for the in-laws.  People were pretty impressed with the music overlays, the transitions, etc and started to suggest I should set up a side business taking people’s old VCR tapes and digital video tapes and making movies for them.  I thought about it for a bit, but then I recalled how much grueling time and effort it was to capture all the video, pick and choose top content, and then put it all together, getting the music to fit right.  It was way too time consuming and more importantly – it wasn’t scalable.

That’s when my idea took another turn.  Turning old VCR tapes and other recorded video and having it just burnt to DVD for people.  My mom had it done by some local guy for like $15 a tape or something and it seemed like a total ripoff.  A DVD is a few cents and there’s equipment where you can set it and forget it.  So, I thought about setting up a website to process this sort of thing in high volume.  I figured if I could clear a couple bucks per tape and automate all the shipping and invoicing and stuff (and eventually outsource even the recordings), it would be a pretty good business model.  Well, I never got around to doing it, but now there are some pretty efficient, popular firms doing it.  It’s all about the execution!  Right now, there’s a Scan Cafe Coupon out there to save 10% off services rather than paying full price.

What Are Your Business Ideas That Got Away?

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