Monthly Archives: May 2008

My New Blog!

I’ve started up a new blog!  You can check it out at www.tchblg.com.  The name is a tribute to one of my favorite bloggers, Peter Rojas, and his new-school record label named www.rcrdlbl.com.  If Peter is leading a strike against vowels, then I’m going to stand up there with him.  

I’ll still be posting some ideas here, but TchBlg is going to be more of a regular outlet for my general thoughts about technology and some of the stuff that’s going on our there on the blogosphere.  If you’re reading this, chances are that you’d probably be a good addition to the conversation over on www.tchblg.com.  Hope to see you guys over there soon.  :)

Pizza Hut to Adopt Model from “Startup Idea #3: Food Me”

I always did love this idea…

From my third-ever startup idea from this blog (and one of my all-time favorites, truth be told…)

There are lots of local restaurant sites out there. How to stand out? Simplify! Imagine a desktop widget that loops a series of tasty-looking pictures from nearby restaurants’ menus. The widget would show three things – the food, the price, and a “Food Me” button. If you see something that looks good, just click the button and the food will be delivered right to your office, home, dorm room, etc..

The set-up would be similar to Amazon’s one-click feature, where you enter your address and billing information, provide information about the type of food you generally like, etc.. Local restaurants would pay for the ability to market their food directly to “Food Me” users and work with a “Food Me” account manager to set everything up (menus, pictures, workflow for the restaurant to deliver food).

And here’s an interesting article from cnn.com that describes Pizza Hut’s new approach to online pizza deliver:

Pizza Hut, the nation’s biggest pizza chain, also allows customers to order via text messaging and mobile Web. The unit of Yum Brands Inc. soon will unveil a new method for ordering pizzas, dubbed “Pizza Hut Shortcut,” that it says will be the fastest in the industry. Customers will be able to download a “widget” onto their computers that will let them place their favorite pizza orders with just one click.

Startup #119 – Ridiculously Simple Web Services

twitterlolcatsAight, hope y’all enjoyed the video series – now back to your regularly scheduled blathering.

Given the recent explosion of web-based social apps and widgets, there are a handful of companies who are making it easier to build and host your apps.  Sites like Sprout and KickApps have Flash-based IDE’s to let you easily build lightweight apps, and the big guys like Google are building out full stacks to support larger-scale efforts.  However, one big piece of the puzzle that I haven’t seen is the ability to create a very simple hosted web service that allows developers to create a basic CRUD (Create/Read/Update/Delete) interface to a data store

Here are a few key features that a service like this would need to succeed:

  • It must be ridiculously easy to set up. Users could just paste a SQL “create” statement, or could use a simple interface to define the columns.
  • It must be scalable.  S3 on the back-end for the basic package, with maybe some faster local storage options available for premium packages.
  • Pricing must be competitive.  Again, S3.
  • It must be easy to load existing data into the store.  Several options like CSV files or even Excel exports.

Other interesting features?  A set of open source or shared read web services that could be created or used by anyone.  This could be as simple as basic options to fill a drop down list (i.e. standard set of countries, states, cities) or something more complex like IP-to-location mappings.

What do you guys think?  Is there something like this already out there?  Any other features you’d like to see?