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Bath bombs for hot drinks, co-working 2.0, and fantasy stock betting...

Recap of all the startup ideas from My First Million podcast episode #124


Wes Kimbell

Nov 01 2020

5 mins read


Welcome to another edition of Everyday Startup, a newsletter all about startup ideas aimed at solopreneurs, DYI experts, and indie makers. We bring together ideas and strategies from all over the internet including My First Million podcast.

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On episode 124 of My First Million podcast, host Shaan Puri spoke with Elaine Zelby about a bunch of startup ideas she has. Elaine has worked at Slack and now part of a VC group. She messaged Shaan about a bunch of startup ideas so Shaan invited her on the podcast to talk about them. Here’s a recap with time stamps and links. Enjoy!


Milk Bombs. Photos by Elaine Zelby

3:45 Co-working 2.0: the Starbucks model of co-working

  • Have a co-working space where you are working amongst people who are not your actual co-workers
  • Companies would pay their employee to work at these different co-working 2.0 communities
  • That way you still get the social aspect and community and not not have to hop around to different co-working places
  • How would you approach this to build it out?
    • Currently leases are really low due to COVID pandemic. So lock in a low rate on office space
    • Then go to those companies you bought the lease from and other companies in area to pay to have their employees there
    • Hire staff to do all stuff, security, office manager, etc
    • Sell enterprise contracts to companies to put their employees here
    • Holds 30-50 people, not hundreds or thousands
  • Would work best in high density cities
  • Thousands retail bank branches going out of business in suburbs. Would be great for a co-working space for the suburbs?

9:15 Under-utilized real estate

  • In Indonesia Shaan saw massive hotel and apartment buildings. The first floor of these were night clubs
  • These clubs were not open during the day
  • One group was going to nightclub owners and asking to take over night club when the night club wasn’t using the space (mon-fri 6am to 1pm)
  • Then they would turn it into a fitness studio; dance floor became workout floor
  • Without owning any real estate got access to these nightclub for pennies on the dollar

12:25 Credit cards for fans. [I wrote more about this here.]

  • Gen Z does not care for traditional rewards
  • Gen Z does not want credit cards and only wants debit cards?
  • Instead of traditional rewards, you can earn rewards from your favorite creator for things like t-shirts, getting an online shoutout, doing a one-on-one experience with the creator, access to a concert, etc
  • Astro Card is trying to do this. Read more here.

20:30 Continuous cortisol monitoring (aka stress hormone) [like the glucose idea]

  • Too much stress (cortisol) is a major contributor to negative health
  • Could help parents understand their kids and if they need medical/emotional help, etc
  • Shaan and Elaine were not sure how cortisol could be monitored continuously. I think it may be possible to infer a cortisol level using a heart rate monitor which can be done on the Apple Watch.

26:20 Fantasy stock betting

  • Huge influx of retail investors on platforms like Robinhood
  • Can you combine the best of sports betting with fantasy sports (picking your team) with public trading?
  • Attempt was made by Shape Shift based on crypto (called Prism). You could pick a portfolio of tokens and allocate a percent based on your allocation. It’s public so people could follow you and made it social.
  • Shaan says if he we're to try to build a fun social product, this would be at the top of his list
  • You could create a social group, pick a game mode (monthly/weekly/daily bet) and get $1K, and whoever gets the most money at end of the month wins
  • Users could build statuses and followers
  • Think about a big casino. Tons of people are just watching others play the game (think craps).

32:50 “Bath bomb” for hot drinks

  • Would be a healthy/functional milk for your coffee or tea…similar to adding nootropics, CBD, etc to products now which is super popular
  • You would drop a “functional milk” bomb in your coffee or tea and get health benefits like CBD, nootropics for brain function, etc
  • huge explosive categories nootropics, CBD, etc
  • These are primed for subscription purchases because drinking coffee and tea is something people do everyday
  • Spherification kits are used to easily make these

40:10 Streamline/Automating the re-zoning and permitting processes for real estate

  • Currently the process to get a permit for construction of anything, house, barn, fence, gate, shed is ridiculous cumbersome and time consuming
  • Consists of two aspects: Paperwork and humans involvement
  • Easy to automate the paper work aspect
  • The human part is more complicated but now with COVID everyone is getting stuff done online
  • This would be either for the consumer or to the permit granters (the city or HOA)
  • Someone in the MFM group is trying this for DMV offices, making very good money doing this according to Shaan.
  • Maybe you could model this after the DMV model
  • International visas are another possible target to automate
  • Clear for airport security is another example of how this was done successfully

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