For one fleeting moment, I envisioned myself as the next Mark Zuckerberg (Facebook) or at the very least Richard Hendriks (Pied Piper) -as I had come up with an idea that I thought was revolutionary. So, I had this brilliant idea-to be revealed in the following paragraphs-but I needed to see if I could possibly make it viable enough to garner some funding from an angel investor. Before I put a down payment on a house in Malibu, California, I needed to slow my roll and think my idea through.
I researched the internet to see if there was anything like it currently available on the web. I conducted my research using Google, searching words/phrases for my idea; I also looked at the web sites that I currently used to see if they had something that was similar to my ground breaking idea. The results were that I did not find anything on the web that was very close to my idea, thus, I started to get goose bumps as I was already rounding third and heading home-unfortunately, in reality, I had just completed the first inning, or at least the top half of the first inning.
The next step was to try to protect my idea and research non-disclosure agreement (NDA). Again, I used Google-no, this is not product placement, but it happens to be the search engine I happen to use- to research how difficult it would be to draft one and it turns out not very difficult as there are forms available on the web. I felt that I could now pitch my idea, if I needed to, with the confidence of having the NDA available to me when that time came.
Time for the rubber to meet the road: I created a beta version of my revolutionary website. I am the domain owner of MexicoRaiders.com as well as UKRaiders.com, and since I wasn’t using the former, I created a beta version on that site. My idea, drum roll, was to create a site so that an individual could go to their webpage that had grouped, by icons, all the sites they frequented; i.e., a grouping for mortgage/rent/loans, credit cards, sports sites, news sites, etc. Thus, I created a version on MexicoRaiders.com; I liked the functionality in my proposed website. It linked to the homepage of these various sites and through my research I understood that this was the most legal means to do so and it would avoid creating links that were too specific to update regularly. I am still in the bottom of the first, but, I have one out and two to go.
I had to conduct market research to see if there truly was a need or if this idea was just pie in the sky. Since my budget was limited-very limited- I asked people I knew: How do you pay your bills? How do you access a web page? Would you use a website that had all the links to the pages you viewed? I found that most people go to the website directly by typing the words in the URL or using a search engine. Although, there are Bookmarks on the web browser, they are not as user friendly as they should be and not an intuitive place to access the web. Ugh! It was time to withdraw that offer on the Malibu home, where I had envisioned throwing some great summer bashes that would be attended by all the Hollywood elite- that’s Hollywood, California, not Hollywood, Florida.
Since the goal is to make money, ultimately, and not be a unicorn, the next idea was to how to monetize it. I determined that it would be best to sell advertisement on the right side of the page; discreteness is the key to web advertisement. All the major banks have the ability to pay directly, thus to charge for being a conduit to their website would have probably been illegal and would have been grounds to remove the icon from my website, which defeats the purpose of my website. We all want to click on an icon link, not an URL link-it’s the reason that Microsoft uses Windows and not DOS- which is what Apple realized long before Microsoft did. An aside, according to Wikipedia, the graphic icon traces its history from “Doug Engelbart’s Augmentation of Human Intellect Project” at SRI International in Menlo Park, California, to Xerox PARC to Xerox Alto and Xerox Star, to the Apple Macintosh.
Although my idea was a good one and I have many more good ideas (contact me if you like), it ultimately suffered because to truly work it would have to be part of a larger established platform, such as Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram, etc. Thus, the game was called after 1/2 an inning. To be successful on the internet, be it social (Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, etc.), or otherwise, one needs to garner followers. It’s all about the number of eyeballs you have on your product that would make it viable/worthwhile for advertisers or to be a pay site directly. I could have created a webpage to be used individually, as I did in my beta website, but it would have been a labor of love. I do think my idea has a lot of merit and ultimately, there will probably be such a website, however, it would need to be part of larger platform to be truly successful.