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Ideas you can run with🏃‍♂️

Listen Up! IH - Episode 22


"The most exciting business Ideas fit on the back of an airplane napkin" - Carmine Gallo

👆 That is the spirit with which every successful Indie Hacker business starts.

Chris Justin and Eathan Janney understand this.

They are the hosts of the "Run With It" podcast.

On the weekly show, they discuss interesting business ideas with successful entrepreneurs. Ideas that have not been executed yet, but should be.

Back in May 2021, Chris and Eathan appeared on the Indie Hackers podcast hosted by Courtland Allen.

They discussed new business ideas that Indie Hackers can run with🏃‍♂️

Ideas include - Flying cars, expert matching platforms, and blockchain-based businesses for Indie Hackers.

Let's Go👇


Flying Cars

Within the next 10 years, everyone reading this post will have an opportunity to ride a flying car.

The technical term for Flying Cars is EVTOL - Electric vertical takeoff and landing aircraft.

There are 2 reasons why the EVTOL industry is booming right now -

  1. Financial reason - A flush of money going into EVTOL companies in the last year or so.

    These companies are going public via the unconventional SPAC approach - Special Purpose Acquisition Company.

    SPACs a more convenient way for companies to raise money than IPOs.

    SPACs have risen in popularity over the last few years and will continue to do so with risky businesses such as flying cars and space exploration.

    Famously Richard Branson's Virgin Galactic went public via the SPAC route couple of years ago.

  2. Technological reason - Batteries are getting better. EVTOLs are battery powered.

    With Tesla's effort in improving battery technology, we are going to see a significant improvement in battery cost as well as performance over the next 5 years.

So much so that, an EVTOL ride from JFK airport to Manhattan will cost $70 and will take 10 minutes.

For context, the same ride in a cab costs around $60 and takes about an hour.

EVTOLs are going to be like cheap helicopters, which are much quieter and better for the environment.

What can Indie Hackers do?

Its not viable for Indie Hackers to start flying car companies. Leave that up to venture backed startups.

But the EVTOL space is going to blow up every soon.

The simplest thing solopreneurs can do is to start a content business around flying cars.

Bring out inside scoops and intel on the industry.

A newsletter that investors and enthusiasts would like to pay to read.

A website that advertisers in the industry would like to sponsor.

evtol.com is a great example of this.


Expert Matching

We live in a world with an abundance of information but a scarcity of insight.

Companies and investors entering a new field will pay a huge sum just to be able to get advice from proven domain experts.

That's the business model of expert matching platforms like AlphaSights and Clarity.fm

2 reasons for this -

  1. Even though almost every piece of information is a Google search away, only niche experts know which information is valuable and which isn't.
  2. When an investor is investing a million dollars in a new domain, they don't mind spending $500-$1000 an hour for a consulting call from a proven expert in the field.

Courtland himself got paid $1000/hour for a consulting call through AlphaSights

What can Indie Hackers do?

  1. Indie Hackers can set up their own niche matchmaking platform. They need to have an existing network in the niche to seed the platform with initial set of experts.

  2. Indie Hackers can be experts. Running a bootstrapped company means gaining exposure to a variety of different problems and solutions. Indie Hackers end up becoming experts in the niche they are trying to serve.

    They can leverage their insights on the side while they work on their startups.

    Entrepreneur Harish Garg does this with GPT-3 consulting.


There are a number of applications of the Blockchain that are interesting to Indie Hackers.

Bitclout

Bitclout is a decentralized social network built on the blockchain.

It's a social network that's not meant to be owned by anybody.

Such a network runs on creator coins.

Creator coins - Social crypto tokens than can be minted by anyone on the Bitclout platform. And people can buy or sell these tokens like stocks.

So when someone buys my token, they are investing in me as a person, not in any one of my projects. And over time, if I do well, more people invest in me, and the value of my token rises.

Creators can make rules and provide special access to the people who invest in them.

By definition, such a social network solves 2 problems -

  1. Ads - It monetizes through creator coins, no need for Ads like Facebook
  2. Free speech - Since nobody owns it, so nobody can ban anyone like on Twitter.

Problems with Bitclout -

  1. All the Bitcoin that people have invested into the platform has gone to a single wallet - Bitclout's own.
  2. And there is no way for creators to withdraw the the Bitcoin valuations assigned to their avatars right now.

That's not very decentralized.

Bitclout lives in the suspicion of being a scam operation unless they solve these problems.

This AMA from Indie Hackers Mubashar Iqbal is quite enlightening about Bitclout, he had great things to say about the platform and invested his personal $1000 into it.

What can Indie Hackers do?

Indie Hackers can build peripheral applications around Bitclout.

Mubashar built BitcloutFollow which is just a simple search engine to discover Bitclout Creators.

He also created a Bitclout account for himself and as his project.

You can buy the BitcloutFollow coin for $119.

And you can Mubashar Iqbal's coin for $662.

Nori

Nori is a carbon removal marketplace.

Corporations can buy tokens on Nori that offset their carbon emissions for the year.

That money then goes to farmers who implement sustainable farming practices.

2 Ways that Nori creates value -

  1. A large chunk of money from carbon offsets goes into overheads - legal, accounting, compliance. By consolidating these transactions on a blockchain Nori makes them way cheaper
  2. As they live on the Blockchain, these transactions are transparent, which adds an element of trust to the whole process. Most old-fashioned socially conscious businesses run into trust issues because their transactions are opaque.

What can Indie Hackers do?

There will always be value in building socially conscious businesses.

People have always had an appetite to donate money for charitable causes, and will keep doing so in the future.

If Indie Hackers can get their marketing and messaging right, and leverage transparency, there is value to be created in socially conscious projects.

GiveWell is a great example of that.

They review charities from around the world and rate them based on the most improved lives per dollar.

And they are radically transparent, they even have a long mistakes page on their site.

Transparency leads to trust.


Links
New Business Ideas for 2021 - The podcast that inspired this post

Social Tokens Trends Report 62

Mubashar Iqbal AMA about Bitclout


Thank You for Reading🙏

Every week, I share the most actionable insights and inspiring tips from Indie Hackers FOR Indie Hackers

Ideas + Insights + Inspiration for building profitable internet businesses💪

Subscribe to Listen Up! IH and join 1100+ spirited Indie Hackers who read this newsletter every week👇

Thanks to Seth King for editing this post.

Photo credit Per Lööv from Unsplash

Cheers,
Ayush

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