Ideas and Validation January 17, 2020

Brutally Honest feedback on these ideas!

Ryan Shumway @ryanshumzilla

Hey IndieHackers! I have another few ideas and I want to get your brutally honest feedback. Tear these ideas apart or give me advice how I can move them forward!

  1. A Sleep tutor / helper for parents who have kids from Newborns to 6 years old. (Details: Kids are really hard to train to go to sleep by a certain time, and when you're a new parent, remembering how long they've been asleep and tracking when you put them down.. and when the kid is 18 months old and starts sleep regression (when they start reverting back to newborn sleep patterns) parents have to retrain kids to sleep habitually... it's a huge pain for parents.

  2. Curly Hair is very sensitive. It's also much drier than straight hair due to things in it beyond my understanding.. but I know since I have curly hair that getting frizzy hair is very common and very annoying. One thing that sets it off right away is a normal towel. The fibers of a normal towel friz the curls up and ruin the hair right out of the shower. So, why not have a towel that is made of 100% shirt materials. Smooth, no texture. There do exist two companies I found that do this now, but are heavily targeted towards women. I think I could improve this product to be more gender neutral and improve the product itself.

  3. I was going to ring the bell this week (hit up Taco Bell), and I pulled out my credit card... and it fell between the seat and the middle thing, which means, it's gone forever, or I would have had to get out and move the seat and search blindly for it. Luckily I had a second card in my wallet and paid for the food. Later I searched like Cortez for the fountain of Youth and eventually got my card. Super annoying. Solution: A sort of net / cloth that goes between the seat and the middle console that catches anything that might slip out of your hands so you don't have this hidden treasure trove under your chair.

Those are my latest ideas & pains. I'd love your thoughts on what I can do!

  1. 3

    The second one sounds interesting just because it's a niche market. I would put up a landing page to validate the idea.

    1. 1

      I should do that. Thanks. I put it here to get feedback on it initially.

  2. 2

    #1 - I would not use (even as a foster mom to infants).

    #2 - Black women use special caps just for this reason. Go to local beauty supplies in ethnic areas to see what is available and maybe improve upon what's out there.

    #3 - already invented. I actually have something like that in my car now. Have had for 8 years.

  3. 1

    Re #1, we hired a maternity consultant when our son was around 6 weeks old. A big part of what she did was set us up with sleep patterns. She wasn’t cheap so definitely not accessible to most new parents. But very effective. So can imagine there’s something in your idea.

  4. 1

    #3 was on shark tank a few years back....

    1. 1

      Oh was it? Thanks for the heads up. I didn't know that.

  5. 1
    1. I have curly hair as well and was looking for tips on maintenance and products. I found a lot of products to dry hair effectively and I see a lot of people are using just old t-shirts (for both drying and hair ploping). You'd need to have a really good selling point. Also don't underestimate the knock-off issue as one other commenter mentioned as well.
  6. 1

    The Sleep tutor idea sounds interesting if you can figure out how to make it work. I'm a parent of 3 boys and I remember the pains of newborns very well. However, in my experience every child is so different and things that work for one child won't work for the next. I think you'll have a lot of parents that want something like that, but will it actually work? Hard to validate.

    I don't have Curly Hair™ but I think your idea is a nice niche. It's worth validating to see if it has legs. The thing that scares me is selling non-digital products. Something I know nothing about.

    The last idea is probably too specific to work. Your Taco Bell experience will probably only happen to you once in a lifetime and there's other ways to solve that problem. I would start using Google Pay on my phone instead of relying on an old school credit card ;) Or just throw any old towel over the gap. My point is, very few people would even go looking for a product like that.

    That said, I think you're on the right track coming up with ideas from your own problems. Don't let the responses here stop you from coming up with more. Lots of ideas, even bad ones, is a good thing.

    1. 1

      Yeah #1 is a big pain. I'm in the age group where my friends are having kids or have 1ish year olds, and they're telling horrible sleep experiences. I'll have to figure out a way that this app / software could help a wide range of parents with something.

      I don't know how to sell physical products myself. I thought that it would be interesting to pursue since it's a pain I have. I need to validate with a landing page and trying to capture emails.

      You're probably right with #1. Not a very common problem, even though when once in a blue moon it does happen, it's incredibly annoying.

      Thanks for the feedback!

  7. 1
    1. AFAIK there is a big trend with sleep assists services, but it sounds like it's more psychology being a friend and telling them stuff...

    Not that it's much information missing but more a feeling

    Like being tough with their beloved baby and letting it cry and such..

    1. 1

      What does AKAIK mean?

      It seems like there is a lack of resources (besides books and hiring a tutor) to help you get your baby and your life into a system where you can get your sleep back from the kids.

      1. 1

        Misspell, AFAIK, as far as I know.

        I don't have kids, as far as I hear, it's just people not listening to what is written and/or common advice even given from close friends and/or relatives, people who had the issue and fixed it or avoided it from the start.

        Test listening to that same advice coming from a paid sleep expert

        I get that it's emotionally complicated part

        It's not like it's anything that didn't exist for like all known history or something and the market isn't missing parenting books...

        I don't think most people are after a tracking system, just that switch in their head on the approche.

        But I'm just 3rd party hear say

  8. 1
    1. We bought something for this for 10$ offline store ... It's a plastic that fits there and slides in and out comes in a 2 pack..

    Something like this

    Ours sits lower inside, not visible much if not looking for it

    1. 1

      Thanks for sharing that.

  9. 1

    I personally shy away from hardware these days because you have a 3 month window, at best, before knock offs appear for almost no money. There are already towels on AliExpress and it'd take them 2 seconds to change the title to something similar to yours and target your customers.

    Hope that helps,

    1. 1

      Okay.. so you're saying that the window to be the unique Curly Hair Men's towel is very small / short? Even if / when the knockoffs come by, does that mean I should avoid the potential opportunity altogether? Thoughts?

      1. 1

        My opinion is that the window for the towel and the car net are both very small as they are easily copied. I know a lot of entrepreneurs get upset when their IP is stolen and/or hardware is copied on the cheap. If you are OK with that then you should certainly follow your passion, I'm not sure that's the route to sustainable business though. If you have a product line planned or new features to add to an existing product to stay ahead of competition/knockoffs then there is a remote chance of a sustainable business. Again, just my opinion.

        I do think there is value in sleep tools for young children. I bet if you want to parents and asked "what do you know now that you wish you knew then" you'd get a flood of ideas. Then you could build that into an app that collects sleep data (either manual entry or device in bed) and provide recommendations and next steps as a child sleeps better or worse.

        In the early stages when proving the concept it wouldn't be too hard to be the human behind the curtains that takes the data and provides next steps and recommendations. Once the concept is proven it'd be easy enough to start building AI/ML to automate the process.