Lost Glove. One Cold Hand.


At least 18 people felt bad today. I counted.

I waited for the bus to pick me up and transport me back to work. I noticed a single glove in the middle of the sidewalk where people get on and off the transit. It appeared not stepped on, stirring me to assume it was recently dropped. Perhaps from someone who loaded on the bus moments before I arrived at the station. Not sure what to do with it, I watched it and noticed something peculiar.

Every person who walked past the glove looked at it, stared at it just long enough to think something like “well, that sucks for someone. I wonder if they figured out they lost it yet.”

Similarly, no one knew what to do with it. They just left it there.

It surprised me to find that Jennifer Gooch tried finding a solution to this problem with onecoldhand.com. The hyperlink goes to a shout out at Carnegie Mellon University (where she attended) and not the actual website because the website no longer exists. (You can see what the website looked like by using the Internet Archive Wayback Machine.)

To keep this post short, I’ll keep my argument short.

Jennifer Gooch had the business plan backward.

Today, one person lost one glove. I then watched 18 people empathize until the 19th person actually stepped on the glove, picked it up and handed it to the bus driver. The bus driver shrugged his shoulders and tossed it on the council, certainly to stay there until he decides whether it’s better off being tossed or brought to the transit’s lost and found office. (More likely the former.)

In Pittsburgh, Gooch focused on finding the owner of the one glove, only sometimes relieving it’s owner of the minimal stress of having lost it. Both her and my own’s take is to satisfy one person is, well, satisfying. However, not remarkable.

To satisfy 18+ people in one swoop is remarkable. Instead of creating OneColdHand to meet a demand that isn’t much of a demand (most don’t think, how can I find my glove. They think, when can I go buy a new pair), Gooch could have created OneColdHandTwoWarmOnes – pairing one lost left-handed glove with one lost right-handed glove, then giving them to someone without any.

A reason so many businesses flop when trying to find a niche market is that they go after the wrong long tail. Yes, there are people who use spinoff OneColdHand websites, but there is no profitability in something that is (rarely) at most, satisfying.

Consider when you’re trying to define who you want your audience to be, that although there are people wanting to reunite with their lost glove, there are far more people who have none. The question every entrepreneur or freelancer needs to ask is “who cares more?”

Ask that question enough and you’ll have your target audience. (A profitable one.)


Stay Positive & If Mixmatching Socks Is A Thing, Why Not Gloves?

Garth E. Beyer

Photo credit

The 6 Questions Every Business Needs To Answer Before Startup

1. What problem does your business solve?

If there isn’t a problem your business will solve, than it will be the problem and be dissolved. Elaborate on paper what your product/service is meant to help, improve or assist. The more important attribute to the question is understanding that you need to solve what is causing the problem, not just solve the problem. While many will make money by solving a problem, companies can make even more by preventing the problem because they will always need to be kept stable in order to keep the problem from occurring. If you are only trying to solve the problems as they arrive, you will go extinct when the source of the problem does.

2. Is the problem ready to be solved?

For years the advancements made in technology were held back because the human race wasn’t capable of making that big of a jump. Is it too early for your business? Are people searching for answers to their problem, or did you find the answer before they want it? For example, in a classroom setting, a teacher can teach a 4th grader trigonometry, but they don’t need it for another seven years. Evaluate your niche audience to ensure that the size reaches the tipping point in which they want their problem to be solved.

3. How is your solution unique?

Despite the emphasis on making businesses which offer unique ways to solve problems, the world of entrepreneurs are still falling short on making their signature solution. Being different from any other competitor or being a new problem solver is not acceptable. How are you taking it further and creating something full of passion and character that is still different from other options. Don’t just be different, be better.

4. How will your solution be profitable?

Every business seeks profit. Although, different business creators have different definitions for “profit”. Define your profit, whether it is simply customer satisfaction, personal achievement, monetary amounts or something entirely different. Develope insight into how your “profit” will continue to grow and what will need to be done in order to meet the goals you set.

5. How will your solution be sustainable?

People spend countless amounts of dollars to maintain their hobbies. The same is done with people and their business’s. Coincidentally, it is the group of hobbyists and entrepreneurs who create a hobby or business that becomes self sustaining which introduces the largest of profits and becomes subject to the longest life span. What are you going to do to implement longevity into your business? (If creating a business selling crystal balls, you can skip this step)

6. Are you passionate about the idea?

Are you?


Stay Positive & Turn Your Answers Into Actions

Garth E. Beyer

2 Business Ideas Seeking Feedback

In this age of abnormal business ideas, if followed through correctly can attract the most attention (and revenue). Recently I have had a couple wild ideas for both a hotel business and a restaurant business. I would love to get your feedback. Let’s jump right into it.

Business Idea Number 1: Creating a new string of Hotels that will beat all competitors within 5 years

There are quite a few areas of business that are nearly impossible to create a start-up in because the competition is too completely monopolized. The hotel industry being one of them. As far back as I can recall, there are only about 5 different hotels that completely dominate. Now tell me if this idea will not raise that number to 6.

To begin, open up a few hotels whose prices would nearly consider them to be non-profit while providing the best service. While other hotels succeed by incorporating one of the three factors of a successful business: lowest price, best quality, best service, these hotels would incorporate the two easiest, cheapest and most significant of the factors. After all, you can’t complain about quality if the service is the greatest you have ever experienced in an inexpensive hotel business.

Back on subject, with the two factors of low cost and best service being incorporated from the beginning, the hotels would quickly gain attention and a reputation which leads to increased revenue. Also from the start of the business, every customer would be told to keep their key cards which they can show at any other hotel and pay the same price that they originally paid for. Every year, a new key card would be given as the price increases. This is sending the message that there will be expansion and improvements in the near future that will lead to increased prices. The focus is to hit the 3rd factor of business success – quality. As you know, quality costs more money.By notifying customers that the price will go up within a year, it motivates them to visit and pay the minimum amount while they can. This instant increase in customers would provide the money to increase the quality and price for the next year.

Imagine a single room originally cost $45 a night. By the 3rd year of business, it has now increased to $75 dollars. Those who stayed a night at the hotel during the first year of business and kept their card would still only pay $45 dollars a night. All the while, the new customers who have to pay $75 a night will be able to redeem their card next time they stay for the same price. By the fifth year of business, we could be charging the average hotel amount, if not more, for a one night stay.

The difference in revenue with other hotels would be that they have a constant value they can calculate. At this particular hotel, the profit could be within a $100 dollar range. Regardless, I guarantee by using this technique the year-end profit would be much more than a competing hotel.

What do you think?

The Second Business Idea: The Take Home Restaurant

I am sure you can connect with my hatred for taking home food from restaurants. It is never good warmed up. It either tastes different, doesn’t warm up properly or get’s all soggy by the time you warm it up. The majority of take home meals just get thrown away. So what if there was a restaurant that was specialized and based solely on providing food that when taken home can be reheated and taste just the same.

But it doesn’t just stop there.

We all know buying in bulk is cheaper. At this restaurant, any plate you order, I would guarantee you could not finish. Of course, the meal would be free if you could. Being able to buy in bulk would mean that the food could be sold cheaper to the customer as well.

What do you think of this simple restaurant idea that would only serve food that could be taken home, reheated and taste great?


Stay Positive and Criticize Please

Garth E. Beyer