Billion Dollar Business Idea

by rafsco
4 replies
I don't know if this has been already done, but I will try to explain.
It is a little lengthy, please bear with me, I feel this has the potential to be a billion dollar industry.
You all know what PPC is.
You all know how roku works.
I would like to build a website for businesses, to upload their commercial videos, much like youtube. Then, they will see all available locations (will explain later), and place a bid to air their ads in the location they choose.
Locations will be owned by small business owners that have the room to install a big tv screen or a huge digital billboard. The screen will be connected to the internet with a roku type device or with a computer, and will show the streaming from the website server.
The screen owner makes some of the money, the website makes some of the money, as it is for PPC, but instead of providing webpages, the small owners provides a screen in front of people.
Imagine the potential. A screen installed in a gym place, or in a practice waiting room. Super targeted. Or a taxi in NY could install a wireless billboard (already exists) that would be streaming a pizza place in Manhattan and a restaurant in the Bronx.
I really see huge potential.
The reason I am not doing it myself is because I don't really have the funding to get started and the people to work with.
I talked to a guy here in silicon Valley but he didn't get too excited...he said it would take me 2 million only to get started.
Any thought?
Sorry for my English, it is my second language...
#billion #business #dollar #idea
  • Profile picture of the author OnlineStoreHelp
    Well here is my thoughts. First, I wouldn't even build a website for them to upload, instead I would license the technology from Vimeo or Blip.TV since they have the technology in place already. Your website would act as a bidding system and then have them link to video.

    My second question is upfront hardware costs. Are you going to make the venues buy the equipment or agree to show a set number of ads to cover that cost? Who pays for mobile bandwidth for the taxi cab?

    Three, is there anyway for ad sellers to track conversions? Will the hardware be touch screen to learn more? How would the cost compare to radio, tv, print and other video mediums?

    Fourth, you will have to review every ad that comes in. Can you imagine inappropriate content showing or are you going to give the venue provider the ability to screen. The more work the venue does, the less apt they are to do anything.

    If you drill deeper, figure out where it will work and the costs, then you can reach out to potential clients to test drive the system. For example, I could see it working well with cabs (NYC, Chicago and Las Vegas to start) since you have a captive audience and cab companies are always looking for ways to offset the medallion costs.

    I would test it by going and buying the hardware for just one taxi cab, a mobile hotspot, then approach 5 bars for a free trial of in cab advertising. Make the videos for them, and test it out with a vimeo plus or pro account, test to see how it works. Even better would be a touch screen where cab riders can add an email address or even better, a cell number for a coupon txtd to them. Test it with five bars to give something like a free drink or free cover. Tell the cab company you will pay them 20 dollars a night to test it in one cab.

    Once you have tested it, you have proof of concept to get someone excited, right now it is just an idea...
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  • Profile picture of the author GforceSage
    Similiar video ad boards exist in various types. Not with roku, but with different content such as prerecoded clips, ads, local news, special interest videos. etc.

    My gym has a video board that gives workout tips with various advertising spliced throughout the days presentation. Other things that are on there are schedules of sports teams, upcoming movie releases, and static ads. McDonalds in my area stopped showing ESPN and started showing canned promos for ABC shows as well as other advertisers. I was approached years ago about contacting markets to place video ad screens up so that the captive audience in line would ( Be exposed to ) have something to watch while they waited to check out. I did not like the pay arrangement offered me and did not work with them.
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  • Profile picture of the author kebertt
    There's a better way to attack it locally with a lower budget.

    This thread, which was created late last year discusses a very similar method in terms of offline video marketing.
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  • Profile picture of the author DaniMc
    There is a reason your silicon valley friend didn't get excited. I mentor tech startups regularly and am in that circle. We see billion dollar ideas every day. Truly mind-bending, world changing ideas that are launching as startups. The problem is, they are ideas.

    90% of people cannot or will not execute correctly.

    Ideas are worthless. Only execution counts. I personally know TWO different brilliant startups right now who have created software that writes it's own code. They do it quickly, accurately and without human intervention. The algorithms evolve into new and unanticipated solutions. It is truly revolutionary and has the potential to change the world. Will it ever get to market and have the chance? I don't know.

    So, while you may feel you have a good idea, you must realize that right now your idea is completely worthless. Only execution counts.

    So, if you want to make this happen, and you are starting from square one, there is really only one way you can do it - unless you have several million dollars available.

    Your path to success does not lie in building this company yourself. You simply do not have the experience, connections, resources, or network to pull it off. And, you will not be able to raise enough VC money for a project this size.

    Your path to success lies in creating the prototype technology, and selling it or licensing it to a large company with the resources to roll it out. Think of CBS, NBC, Microsoft, Comcast, Google, and Clear Channel type company's as your targets for acquisition.

    All of these large companies have a venture fund and make investments to develop new tech they might be able to use. I have been in meetings with people pitching to Comcast because they have a venture branch here.

    Comcast Ventures | Investment Focus

    Anyway - Here is what your next two years will look like. You might be able to do this - but it wont happen easily and is not guaranteed. I've seen it happen dozens of times both ways.

    1. Figure out what your Minimum Viable Product (MVP) is. What is the most simple form of this product that someone would pay you for? Forget bells and whistles and 18 features. Find ONE THING that you can sell and focus like a laser on that only.

    2. Begin putting together a prototype and a very simple plan to sell it. This means establishing simple targets and an idea of what you will need to accomplish it.

    3. Founders round of investment - This means the founder invests every cent into the startup and dedicates himself to doing it. Get your self to simple prototype version .1 beta. This means it works in theory. You have the solution 85% worked out.

    4. Friends, Family, & Fools Investment round - You put your idea into a pitch and begin asking every single person you know for money. You also begin asking everyone you find. These are not sophisticated investors. A sophisticated investor will not touch you with a 10 foot pole at this stage. Not even an Angel investor will jump in yet. That ended over 10 years ago. Think surgeons, independently wealthy people, politicians - people with a lot of cash but no real business experience. These are the folks you will be able to take cash from. This round of funding is to complete your prototype and begin to sell the service on a small scale.

    5. Angel investment round - Today's angels will only invest in certain kinds of companies. What are they looking for? 1. Other people have already invested. 2. The company has revenue. 3. Possibility of 10x return on investment in the next 5 years. So, after the friends and family round, you get your company in that position BEFORE you ever approach an angel. Once you pitch and they say no, they will never see you again so don't blow it. The investment here will take you to a new level and allow you room to grow some. But these angels will ride you like a donkey. This is where your stress level and your growth as an entrepreneur goes through the roof.

    6. VC Investment round - Now you have good strong revenue. You have proven that you can reach the market and make money. You have a company. You are probably selling more than $1 million per year but your personal salary is still peanuts. This is where you approach the venture groups like the Comcast folks linked above. You are looking for them to either:

    a. Make a large investment and take 40-60% equity stake in the company. It is likely if this happens, they will buy you out and replace you with a new CEO.

    b. Make a smaller investment - and then become your largest customer. This is the more favorable deal for you because they will take less equity and you will retain major ownership while they license your tech and roll it out big-time in a way you could never achieve.

    I'm not trying to discourage you at all. But I play in this world. That is a realistic idea of how this will go for you. If you try to "do it myself" or make your own way or just don't want to listen to people like me telling you this process - you will fade into oblivion and your idea will never make it. There are many businesses you can start and grow by your own rules but a large tech company is not one of them.

    THAT is why your friend did not get excited. Everyone, every day, underestimates just how difficult it will be and therefore does not go into it with a clear head. People fall in love with their ideas and forget that selling and execution are the only thing that matters. You can't love ideas, you must only love revenue.

    If you really want to make it happen - get yourself plugged into a tech incubator and find some mentors. Most importantly - DO WHAT THE MENTORS ARE TELLING YOU.
    Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.
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