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  • Writer's pictureConnar Stratton

Startup idea #10: Virtual helper for consumers

Updated: Dec 21, 2022

Idea: TaskRabbit, but for virtual tasks such as changing your flight, getting insurance to reimburse you, or cancelling your phone plane. Think Amazon Mechanical Turk, but for your personal life. You can post the job, and people can complete your jobs for a certain amount of credits.

Problem: People waste hours everyday talking to banks, insurance companies, and airlines to complete simple tasks that have yet to be put online.

Insight: The reason that FinTech, InsureTech and TravelTech are growing so fast is because the existing infrastructure for incumbents is horrific. You can spend hours talking to the bank just to get a credit card statement from two years ago. On the supply side, the gig economy is expected to grow at a 15% CAGR. More freelancers are looking for jobs where they can decide the hours, and rate.

Validation method: Given that this is a two-sided market place, you'll need to choose a side to validate first. Starting with the demand is easiest, because you can fake the supply. Post an ad on Facebook with text "Putting off that call to the bank? We got you." Once you get enough traffic, hire out your own time at $10/hour. On the supply side, probably easiest to target university-aged students, conduct some marketing and interviews to understand their appetite too.

Notes: The economics of this business are probably the hardest part. A simple call to the bank could turn into a two hour call ending with the bank rejecting your request. Then you'd be stuck paying $20 to someone for nothing. You'd also need to figure out what your niche is. How? Survey a few of your contacts, and see what tasks they are most not looking forward to this year.

Why am I doing this? I’m an innovation consultant who helps businesses build new products, and ventures. And I want people to see how easy it is to build, and validate an initial business idea. Hopefully inspiring them to start their own business.

Am I worried that people will take the ideas? I hope they do. These ideas will hopefully make the world a better place. Just remember, “Ideas are cheap. Execution is everything”. What’s most likely is that within a month of testing the idea, the idea would have completely pivoted, but this is a starting point.


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