Monthly Archives: August 2015

The Time Traders

‘Bliive‘ is a Brazil-based website that brands itself as the world’s largest online time-exchange platform, based upon the concept of the sharing economy. Its users trade services, including guitar lessons, air conditioner repairs and tarot card readings, without any cash or credit card transactions. Instead, for each hour of service provided, the user receives Time Money, with which they can buy another service. Each person offers their help in one-hour chunks, and people who have “exchanged” Time Money can rate and review the quality of the service provided. The website has helped exchange more than £2m worth of services and all of this has occurred in a legally tax-free manner, as authorities cannot tax the barter economy.

There is a gap in the market for a website with similar foundations to ‘Bliive’ in UK today. While currently the website is free for regular users. I believe money could be made by anyone who wished to recreate a similar kind of bartering platform, by selling advertising or launching a paid service for corporate clients.

Beachcombing

Okay, this isn’t going to make you a fortune, but some people base their summer holidays around it.

The Bank Of England estimate that over £5 Million in currency is lost each year. The combination of sand and shorts means that a fair proportion of that is lost on beaches, particularly in summer. Experience beachcombers say they can make over £50 a day on a busy beach.

I can’t say it’s how I’d want to spend my spare time, but I don’t suppose keeping an eye to the ground hurts. And it does lead to a wider question – are there other situations in which people lose, waste or give away things that you could capitalise on?

When I was a kid I used to make money selling lost golf balls. I’ve heard of  businesses that make money by taking waste/rejected  food and turning it into soups and broth. And plenty of people make money selling stuff on eBay they got for free on freecycle or by raiding skips.

Hardly the top of the money making food chain today, but this might spark off an idea in someone.

Cage’s Comic

In 2011, actor Nicholas Cage sold an original Superman comic for a record £2.16 Million. It wasn’t something he’d had knocking around in the loft though. The comic was from 1938 and Cage had paid  $150,000 for it 14 years earlier. It does highlight how lucrative so-called alternative investments can be though, and in these days of ultra-low interest rates, many of these alternatives are going through the roof in value.

So what? Well I mentioned lofts earlier. What’s in yours? Maybe nothing of great value, but you don’t know until you look. The great thing today is that  you can very easily check the value of anything online. As anyone whose ever watched the antique road show will know, the most valuable items are often not immediately obvious.

And if you do find a $2 Million comic? Don’t worry, I only want 10%!

Breaking Up For Cowards

Breaking up with a partner is never easy – unless you’re Australian. Why? Because there’s a service there called ‘Sorry It’s Over’ who will do the dirty deed for you. Prices start at $5.50 for a simple text but then rise steeply to $66 if you want to soften the blow with a gift hamper.

I’m not sure I approve, but if you want to copy it here, that’s up to you. Thinking more widely though, it does highlight the fact that people will pay someone else to do their dirty work for them. Are there other difficult situations or confrontational situations that people would pay to outsource?

www.sorryitsover.com.au

The Mini-Drone

We’ve talked about drones here before, and some of the interesting potential business applications. But if you just want to have a play around to test some things out, the £300+ price tag can be a bit expensive. I’ve just read about a new venture though, which could put you in control of your own drone for a lot less.

The Micro Drone 3.0, made by ExtremeFliers,  weighs just 71g and fits in the palm of a hand. It has HD video capabilities and can even live-stream footage. It can be piloted from up to 50 feet via a smartphone app or 300 feet via remote control.

The Micro Drone 3.0 is currently crowdfunding on Indiegogo where it has already raised over $1 Million. Backers can pre-order the full package — which includes an HD camera module and virtual reality headset for just $150.

If you’ve been thinking about exploring the potential of drones, this could be a cost effective way to do it.