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  • Writer's pictureConnar Stratton

Startup idea #4: Customisable furniture

Updated: Dec 21, 2022

Idea: Customisable furniture, and design that reflects the season, and your mood. Level 1 could be using smart lighting built into furniture or frames to customise mood lighting. Level 2 could be using E-ink displays to replace paintings. Level 3 could be using a colour changing paint on a facade. either electroluminscent e.g. Lumilor or thermochronic e.g. ChromaFlair.

Problem: People want their spaces to represent themselves as they change and grow, but furniture is too expensive, and cumbersome to update on a monthly or even annual basis.


Insight: The reason that fast fashion is such a big thing is people like to visually represent themselves. And that visual facade can change on a daily basis.


Validation method: Take an advertisement from HipVan or Ikea, and photoshop it to have smart lighting, and seasonally changing colours. List it for a 20% premium price. “You aren’t the same person you were yesterday, neither is your couch.” If you get enough traction, then work with a designer to put something on Kickstarter.


Notes: This is a reasonably superficial and silly idea. But affordable mass customisation is becoming more desirable. The smart lighting has already hit the mass market, but there are several angles here, combining the smart lighting with reversible throws, or e-ink picture frames, or smart TVs. Would require some IoT knowledge (without unified standards, this is a such as mess), and interior design knowledge. The level 3 ideas are not financially, or technically feasible yet, so they would require some ingenuity.


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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