Ask HN: What’s your favorite bad startup idea?

12 points by cmogni1 a month ago

I like coming up with bad startup ideas: they sound like something that could be real or funded but are actually terrible. Here’s some of mine

* NapApp: AirBnB for naps. You don’t do anything with your bed during the day, so why not rent it out to strangers hourly to take naps. NapApp comes with a NapMap for you to find the nearest bed * Audiogram: a completely audio-based social network. No visual interface. You can only interact with it via your voice and post audio clips (apparently something like this already exists) * Service-as—a-service (not my idea): church service in an app

Got any that you like?

ian0 a month ago

Paranoia - the app. You download this dodgy looking app and it it alerts you if another user of the app is within 25m of you. Thats literally all it does.

sloaken a month ago

I worked for a company where the guy in charge had some vague notion of what he wanted. He made the famous statement 'I do not know what I want but I will know it when I see it'. Hard to develop to that requirement. Needless to say it failed.

meerita a month ago

Well, Yo app was an awful idea, funded with money even.

Several years ago, I've read in a newspaper in Barcelona about an european startups who rented private toilets ala airbnb so you can, well, you know what I mean. Toilets were rated by cleanness, location, etc. I lost track of that project.

adonnjohn a month ago

Smartphone handwarmer. The general idea is to overclock a phone until it frys, and utilize a key partnership with smart phone companies to generate revenue from the bump in device replacements.

  • ian0 a month ago

    I think someone already sold apple this idea for the more recent Macbook Pros, though they just fry the screen.

gesman a month ago

Let me generalize:

Typical "bad" or rather high-risk idea is when someone is coming up with "solution looking for a problem". It typically starts with: "Oh, I have this amazing idea about the great business... ". Countless millions lost this way.

On the opposite spectrum - typical high success rate idea is born via tight relationships where you already have customer with money ready to buy specific thing where you form startup to build it.

And then you retain ownership to rinse-repeat-resell.

ReD_CoDE a month ago

Your startup works mainly in Japan, as I read a couple of months ago, they rent cars to take a nap, instead of to drive to somewhere

However, you have to solve some obstacles, like "do people feel all right to let someone sleep in their bed? Or even maybe do sex with someone instead of just a nap?"

I think it's better to share nap cabins to users, some companies have started to build nap cabins which mostly use in hostels

quickthrower2 a month ago

An idea that kicks in my mind is citizens band on the internet. You sign up and pick a location in a fictional world and start off with 1w of power and a small antenna. Pay to upgrade your rig and get better antenna. Complete with squelch and everything!

quickthrower2 a month ago

So your idea is renting a bedroom out by the hour :-). Might be quite profitable.

AwesomeFaic a month ago

Gig economy for picking up dog poop on other people's property. At least two of these already exist, one of which was recently featured on Product Hunt. I can't wrap my head around it.

80mph a month ago

A dating/carpool app. Your first date is the carpool.

catacombs a month ago

Shazam, but for food.

staticautomatic a month ago

An app called "Guy in the Hood" that's a literal take on Daymond John's refrain from Shark Tank . It's like TaskRabbit but it only summons guys from the hood.