300 disruptive ideas

This post collects all of my #10ideasaday notes from 2015.

Some of these ideas are completely crazy, some are practical, and most sit somewhere in-between; i.e. focusing heavily on “undisruptable” airport retail was announced by Westfield this week as a key plank in their new corporate strategy.

I’ve pulled out three of the ideas on each topic below (the original post with all 300ish ideas was nearly 10k words). On each of the topics you can click through to read the full post on Tumblr if you’re interested.

– Steve

10 ideas for WeWork corporate mashups

WeWork was recently valued at $10bn with over 25,000 members – The company is set to be a big disrupter in the commercial property market over the next 10 years. Here’s 10 corporate mashups to generate some new business models and ideas for brand extensions:

1. Meriton – For a workforce who’s increasingly freelance, the opportunity to rent a home based office / desk in the apartment building is attractive. It’s a study / library that starts by reimagining the old hotel business centre – that’s also revenue generating for Meriton on an ongoing basis

2. Myer – Myer is already benefiting from moving to a concession model. But the next step is the store actually becomes a reseller and incubator for emerging fashion brands. Can resell logistics support, manufacturing facilities, websites and then even floor space to people trying to start up in the retail space. Myer has all the fixed cost investments, and then the brand founders go out and hustle for the marketing. Could even stack this up with an X-factor style model on top with a supporting TV series and equity stakes (say 40%) in performance of the brand if you’re featured in Myer main stores.

3. Chandler Macleod – There’s big disincentives for small businesses in entering the property market, you’re working with much bigger partners, it takes just as long to negotiate 10 floors as one floor, and you’re up for big fixed costs like fitout. There’s a lot of similarities to the grad recruiting market – advertising, assessment centres, resume processing etc. So Chandler Macleod could aggregate / bundle companies together and run the grad recruiting program for a large array of medium sized businesses that couldn’t otherwise afford to participate in the space.

read more…

10 new business that could generate $1m+ for Melb Airport

1. The airport is the least disruptable retail space that exists. It simply can’t be disrupted by online. As a result – the Airport mall could grow 10x bigger over the next 10 years. And any retail investor or operator should be paying super premium yields for the privilege. It should be the essential location for flagship stores. Thinking about the right retail model here, it’s more department store than Westfield. You don’t want people sitting down, you want them moving through a whole series of different product zones. Maybe there’s a department store or mall operator JV where there’s a co-investment in retail property floorspace development in return for a 10 year limited lease.

2. Capture B2B email addresses. There’s more B2B prospects pass through the airport than anywhere else. Capturing each email address for opt in marketing is worth at least $10. Capture 100,000 email addresses = $1m. Free wifi (asking for the industry seems the logical way to do this). Probably the best way to do this is align to industry specific publications – so there’s a real incentive to opt in (get a free issue of [x] by entering your email address). You then have remarketing consent as well as a very specific and targeted industry profile.

3. Partner with Uber for a special pick up zone. It’s worth at least $10m in revenue to Uber each year – so there has to be the potential to pull $1m out from this.

read more…

10 ideas for printer innovation

Some ideas for @HP @XeroxCorp @EpsonAmerica etc.

1. Snapchat ink. Got a confidential meeting? Don’t want clients sharing documents around? This organic ink decays in 1 hour, 1 day or 1 week. When a shredder just won’t cut it for confidentiality. Bankers and politicians would LOVE this.
3. Unified protocols for wireless printing. It’s such a pain. A universal printer driver would be a major time and pain saver.
10. On site, incorporated recycling. From some printers, I can scratch off laser toner with my fingernail. So why not an eco print setting, where the laser is laid on lightly. Then the machine can scrape the surface of the paper and lay down a new print. Road resurfacing in the office. Say 10x uses per piece of A4. And you incorporate the scanner to make sure that the paper is clean before it’s reprinted.

read more…

10 ideas on ways to fix Channel 10 (without more capital)

4. Cut costs, relentlessly. The only people who value the quality of TV production are TV executives. The rise of self produced content demonstrates this. ALL production budgets get halved. We don’t differentiate on better production – it’s being funnier, more cutting edge, better ideas. But not better production.
6. Can’t afford sports. So hijack them. Own the celebrities within the game. Real life realityTV around current sports stars. Have them generate newsflow that gets pushed out across other media.
8. Stop covering the news and start creating the news. More aggressive around recruiting serious fringe driven (both left and right) journalists who are willing to say things that others aren’t. And you have to be viewing these people as mini-celebs – brands in their own right. A lot of the monetisation will come through books, speaking, events, etc.

read more…

10 ideas for brand extensions: Grill’d (@GrilldBurgers)

What would happen if you crossed Grill’d with…

  1. Coles – Pre-packed burgers. I’d prefer buy a pre packed Grilled burger than Heston. Really attractive recipes that can then also drive traffic back to store.
  2. Coopers – beer. A Grill’d house brew could work very well and be very aligned to brand. Also the potential to resell in sixpacks for the take home market. Branding it as a semi-premium beer in bottle shops may be a loss leader in that it allows more margin when sold on tap in store
  3. Heinz – Condiments. In the same way Nandos has done very successfully.

read more…

10 ideas for world changing cost reductions (10x cost reductions)

10 products/services where a 10x cost reduction (holding quality constant) would open huge market/social opportunities.

  1. Tunnels – 10x reduction in tunnels would completely alter how we think about urban infrastructure. So many opportunities to deploy tunnels across the developed world
  2. Car rental – 10x cost reduction basically eliminates the necessity to own a car for anything other than a luxury item
  3. Childcare – 10x cost reduction drives huge increases in workforce, productivity

read more…

10 ideas for brand extensions – @Crumpler

  1. Nike – Sporting bags are generally so crap. Not for backpacking, but weekly annual sporting gear. Specifically designing rugged, durable sporting bags would be a big opportunity. I’d love a crumpler bag for all my ski gear. And I think about how many baseball bags I went through over the years that would just fall apart
  2. Havianas – Havianas exploded when they started printing the national flags on the filp-flop. Nationally branded/designed bags could be attractive for backpackers.
  3. Hugh Jackman – This could be the brand endorsement that really cracks the US market.

read more…

10 ideas for new @Virgin / @richardbranson brand extensions

All largely from an Australian perspective

  1. Superannuation. Brand recognition here would dominate unbranded players in young markets. Real potential to generate multi-billion FUM.
  2. Godaddy. A Virgin version of Godaddy in non US markets could work very well. Builds on all of the entrepreneurial zeal of Virgin, and has all the same brand strength that Godaddy has in the US.
  3. Tax returns. This is the unsexiest, most painful product going round, and leads into a whole lot of great business in wealth advisory, etc. Yet it’s mandatory every year. With some UX redesign and automation easy to see this turning into a $20-50m+ business and with great lead gen

read more…

10 ideas to increase Melbourne’s public transport capacity 10x

After system capacity increases, not necessarily occupancy

1. Double the length of trams and trains. Deal with station length by only having certain carriages available for certain stations.
6. Privatise train and tram development. Very clear and transparent conditions for government funding of private PT infrastructure. Make real estate PT investment part of one bigger game where developers of PT infrastructure have unrestricted heights and rezoning approvals within 500m of stations.
9. Use e-tags to understand at depth travel patterns cross city. Use these to build business case for new PT investment

read more…

10 ideas to increase alumni donations at @unimelb

2. Make prominent the impact of significant donors on campus. Plaques, statues etc. Needs to be prominent and inescapable how much the institution was shaped by donors
6. Do whatever it takes to get blockbuster donations (and to boost the headline numbers on these donations). Outsized impact through media presence.
8. Schwag – Do whatever it takes to get more t-shirts, hoodies, tracksuits etc into all alumni’s wardrobes. I have a theory that campus branded clothing is a 20 year leading indicator for donations (ownership and identification). The more they see the logo, the more ownership and identification. Wardrobe ownership is hugely effective branding (ask every american school). Give it away for free-specific to faculties/degrees. Reunions have to be a great place to get this distribution done.

read more…

10 ideas for ending Aboriginal disadvantage

1. Aboriginal future fund. Policies funded and decided by statutory body that has guaranteed long term funding – but also has opportunities for highly paid employment for aboriginal graduates
3. All Aboriginal policies that pass parliament must be quarantined for 10 years. No funding amendments for 10 year period.
10. Subsidise school excursions to disadvantaged communities in exactly the same way they are to Canberra. Should be mandatory for all school children to see a disadvantaged Aboriginal community.

read more…

10 ideas to build cheaper infrastructure

1. Don’t serve where the population is today, serve where they will be after you’ve built the infrastructure (Greenfields development is 10x cheaper than brownfields)
5. Smaller tender documents – more discretion for the market to determine best methods of delivery
6. Make above ground delivery architecturally attractive (above ground c.5x cheaper than underground)
read more…

10 ideas on sectors/products you could “Cotton-on”

Using vertical integration to dramatically cut price points, of on-trend products

6. Flowers – Flowers seem like they could benefit from the strong marketing that an aggregated player could provide. Plenty more opportunities to make this an impulse purchase than happens today
8. Fragrance – Cross Aesop (all house brand) with Sephora. Dramatically reduce the pricepoint for smelling great.
9. Cleaning products – Cross between Method and Aldi for cleaning. High quality. Probably only sold through a direct channel
read more…

10 ideas for differentiating features in new apartment buildings

1. Work at home facilities – study/library
3. Exclusive lift access
9. Integrated cleaner – Body corporate includes a cleaner through apartment once a week

read more…

10 ideas for low capex function centres

1. Rural town halls
2. Bankrupt wineries
3. Rural airport hangers

read more…

10 ideas for restaurant marketing

2. Rotating menus with time pressure – limited menus every time you go, with a preview of what’s coming up next week on the menu.
6. Partner with car brands aligned to lifestyle. Great perk for dealerships – get access to chef’s table dinners when you buy a new car.
8. Kitchen tours offered to all guests. Walk through offered to all guests – builds brand relationship, makes them feel like they’ve got a special relationship with the restaurant

read more…

10 ideas for new retail combinations

6. Headphones / Sunglasses – neither needs all the floorspace. Easy to see how they align
8. Banks / Officeworks – Such strong alignment
9. Banks / serviced offices – banks do not need the floorspace, but they need the small business leadgen

read more…

10 ideas for consumer credit products #fintech

1. Retail finance for online vendors. Buy now – interest free model for online vendors. Build as a straight integration to Shopify / Big Commerce.
2. App development loans – up to c.$20k (effectively a personal loan)
6. Private school loans

read more…

10 ideas for alternative real estate investments

2. Aggregate 1960s apartments around universities. These have to start falling down soon – and they’re on fantastic land. Buying options to participate in redevelopment and resale
3. Title separation. Buy retail properties on yield, separate off the air rights, and then resell to market on the same yield.
8. Park contra deals with councils. Taking small locations in the corner of existing poorly maintained parks, in exchange for maintenance and upkeep. Everyone’s incentivised to have a much better, well looked after park
read more…

10 ideas for long tail products (think go-pro)

Products that could win competing on one competitive axis only (like go-pro):

3. Running shoes – just lightweight
8. Pens – just writing comfort
10. Luggage – just laptop access
read more…

10 ideas for new ways to sell art

4. Pop up shows in apartment building foyers – appropriate price points for the building.
8. Masstige art following the fashion model. (ie. Stella / Target). Limited edition art prints sold at Target
10. Home enhancing art. It’s easy to sell a painting for $20k if it increases the value of a house by $100k. Unique pieces direct onto wall by prestige artists

read more…

10 ideas to dramatically drop the cost of military spending

4. Productivity linked contracts mean that every employee and every manager feels the impact of cost overruns. The primary contractor, employees and the government equally share the impact of cost overruns. Making everyone very aligned in projects being adequately spec’d and delivered
5. Open process for entrepreneurs to enter defence industry with small, innovation driven contracts that reward order of magnitude improvements in spending efficiency
9. Take 10% of forecast spending and invest into dramatically different tech. Drones, etc. Build niche specialties that we can export. This signficantly offsets costs.

read more…

10 ideas to build Australian consumer confidence

Ways to get Aussies to talk about how good things are (rather than whinging).

1. Advertising/PR focused on entrepreneurs. Elon Musk style individuals that people can buy into. Focus on the struggle and the success. Focus on Australia as a country of notoriously hard workers, who persist against all odds.
3. Military service. More notion of sacrifice for the country. Forced growth and development, builds can do attitude, camaraderie. More international awareness and global thinking. Travel grants made to everyone who finishes military service ($5000 / travel expenses / must be used internationally)
7. Driving secondary investment from successful entrepreneurs. It’s doubling down once you’ve made 100,200 million that generates huge economic value and jobs. These are the people we really need to encourage to innovate.

read more…

10 ideas on lessons for life from investing

1. Fundamentals are important. Fundamentals will always win out, but they can take much, much longer to win out than you might expect. Fundamental improvements take years longer than you anticipate. Lesson: don’t just think about long term individual goals. Fundamentals and momentum are more closely tied that most of us would like to believe
6. Never sell a rising stock. Just tighten the stop. Lesson: When things are getting better rapidly, don’t walk away (but if uncomfortable tighten the reasons where you will)
10. News flow is everything. Lack of news flow kills momentum. Lesson: Over communicate. Stay on message

read more…

10 ideas on how to get more urban parks

2. Linear parks (by making streets one way, and turning the other side into park). You could do this in most inner city suburbs. Remove majority of car access from large, wide streets. Cycleway and park. If no rear access then underground carparks installed at corners. Paid for by selling off multistory sites within the park (street) for med rise development.
9. Floating playgrounds / parks. If you could make these work and mass produce surely there’s a huge range of places they could be deployed. Need to be modular (i.e. 5 barge park or 10 barge park).
10. Replacing at grade carparks with high rise carparks. Turn saved landspace into park. Roof of carpark also park. Ground level can be urban park. Rolling developments to keep costs down.

read more…

10 ideas for subscription boxes

1. Art prints – 10 every month
3. Flip flops – a different colour and style every month
8. Restaurant vouchers – becomes lead gen for the restaurant in the same way Groupon was when it first started
read more…

10 ideas on ways to fix @woolworths

6. Discount club stores – Convert all of the Masters stores to a Costco format. Huge advantage because the store locations already exist. Australians are loving Costco. Huge chance to leapfrog Wesfarmers and Costco.
7. Incentivise staff based on localised performance. Corbett made sure everyone knew what the share price was. Take this down a level and make sure everyone has the ability to earn up to thousands based on annual outperformance of the location.
8. Post offices in store. You can’t put pharmacies in store. But is there any reason you can’t put post offices in store? Free rent for Auspost, which they’d love. You get huge amounts of regular traffic. And then you can start managing parcel logistics for Auspost as well

read more…

10 ideas for differentiating features in new apartment buildings

1. Work at home facilities – study/library
3. Exclusive lift access
9. Integrated cleaner – Body corporate includes a cleaner through apartment once a week

read more…

10 ideas for low capex function centres

1. Rural town halls
2. Bankrupt wineries
3. Rural airport hangers

read more…

10 ideas for @qantas to make money from their captive audience on planes

1. Sports betting. Enable it on seatback devices, but only through certain providers. That has to be worth $50m a year. Special on plane deals. Appropriate child safety lockouts.
6. Partner with itunes – Selling any electronic content. Books, games, movies etc.  Can watch on IFE or take home or watch on screen. Ability to buy whole season etc, could be a good money spinner. I think it’s easy to see people upgrading to get whole seasons at same pricing as on itunes.
9. Sell ‘app’ placement on the seatbacks to corporates. One of which could be an REA app – so people can discover local real estate sales and property prices. Doing property research. Could also be sponsored by mortgage brokers. Seek jobsearch is also ideal. $3-5 million a year for exclusive app access.

read more…

Share your thoughts. Be kind & play nice.