Monthly Archives: March 2008

Google Stole My Idea!

blackgoogle.jpgLast year I posted an idea called “Screen Save the Planet” and made up some stats about how if Google changed their homepage background from white to black, it would save something like 40 trillion gallons of oil or something like that.  Well, looks like someone at the big G is finally listening to me – check out Google’s all-black homepage today!  It’s in support of “Earth Hour“, which encourages everyone to turn off your lights tonight for one hour.

 Of course, the irony of this whole thing (which an astute reader pointed out in the comments of my original post) is that modern computer screens use the same amount of energy regardless of the background color.  Still, it’s a great cause, and big props to Google for using their enormous influence to draw attention to a worthy cause.

One Year Blogoversary (and a confession)

asaw_logo4_small.jpgCan you believe it’s been one year since I started this thing?  Wow, time flies.  Well, I started off with a goal of posting a new startup idea every single day.  365 days later and there are 116 ideas posted.  Sooooo…not quite every day, but all in all I’m kinda surprised I didn’t just give up after the first week.  :)

All right, so I have a confession to make.  I sort of had an ulterior motive for starting this blog.  Back in early ’07, I hit upon one of those nagging little ideas that I just couldn’t shake.  The idea was to do an online video show, where each week we would start on Monday morning with a new idea for a startup, and we’d have until the end of the week to turn that vision into reality.  The show would be called “A Startup A Week”, and it would be a way to capture the excitement, fun, and drama of what really takes place during the whole startup creation process.

After a few weeks of having this idea churning in my head, I decided to pitch this idea to my manager here at Microsoft to get his thoughts.  He got it right away, and while I still had a ton of things on my plate to finish up for the year, he gave me the go-ahead to give it a shot and see what happens.  I knew it might be a while before I got a chance to actually get this thing off the ground, so in the meantime I decided to do a mini version of that idea – A Startup A Day.  One year ago I launched this blog, and I’m happy to announce that starting next week we’re going to launch the real thing, an online video show called A Startup A Week

We’re starting small with just one pilot episode, and who knows, it could be a complete fail and never even see the light of day.  But we’ve got an amazing developer and designer lined up to help out, along with my good buddy Kyle who graciously agreed to give up a majority of his week to help host, and our ultra-dedicated producer Stephen who cut short his European vacation to join us on this crazy project.  So at the very, very least – it’s going to be a heck of a lot of fun.

We’ve propped up a site at www.astartupaweek.com where we’ll be (hopefully) blogging about the project in real time, along with posting the completed videos.  Please swing by and check it out next week, I definitely would love to hear what you guys think.  Also, for some of you guys who have been reading this over the past year – thank you.  Thanks for all the support and comments and for keeping me motivated to post on days when I probably would have rather been watching TV.  You guys rock.

Startup #116 – My Retirement Day

I’m watching “The Constant” episode of Lost.  For the third time.  This time through I caught that the call numbers on the back of the helicopter are 842.  Obsession?  Yeah, maybe just a bit…

Anyway, today’s idea is a retirement planning site with a bit of a twist.  Most retirement calculators ask for some basic information about your current salary, savings, and expected retirement income to provide a rough estimate of when you might be able to retire.  My idea takes this a bit further – you have the option to enter in your exact details for your salary, 401(k), IRA, etc., and also your target retirement income.  The site would crunch the numbers and give you an exact date that you would be able to retire.  

Over time, you could update your numbers to get a new retirement date.  Also, the site would provide suggestions to move your retirement date forward.  For example, by converting to a new CD or switching to a lower-rate credit card, you could change your retirement date from May 2nd, 2029 to November 18th, 2028.  By making your retirement more concrete, it would encourage people to be more pragmatic with their retirement choices.