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View Poll Results: Does this idea interest you? Is it something you would engage in?
Yes 4 16.67%
No 16 66.67%
Maybe (please comment below) 4 16.67%
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  #21  
Old 14.10.2011, 13:25
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Re: Entrepreneurial Business Idea

Good post - I'm sure whatever you choose you'll make a good job of it given the quality of the writing and thought displayed

Aside from all the other comments about the actual idea - I have a comment on the process you followed. It sounds like you started with the product / concept and then worked backwards to justify how it could be used.

I suggest that you start with the area you are interested in - so for you could be retail, IT systems, food waste or fridges.....and then try to find the biggest problem in that area. Once you have the big problem - work on the solution.

If you start with the solution and then try to retrofit the problem - you'll find you come to a sub-optimal solution - hence the comments here.

Hope that helps a bit
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  #22  
Old 14.10.2011, 13:40
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Re: Entrepreneurial Business Idea

I do this already with pieces of paper stuck to the front of the fridge and freezer. But if you had an app for it that could also be used for cupboards, I'd certainly consider it. Have you thought of using the camera on the iphone (does the ipad have one?) as a barcode scanner, rather than selling something extra, which would raise costs? There are digital library things that do this for books so you can keep track of what you've lent and to whom. I think it could be a big hit if it involved no hardware but merely downloading a cheap app (like Angry Birds - virtually free but has made a lot of money for the creators).

Best of luck, keep us posted!
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  #23  
Old 14.10.2011, 16:04
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Re: Entrepreneurial Business Idea

several good points made already, and if you are indeed going beyond class assignment and into the real life, i would suggest to consider the aging population i.e. the fact that this kind of data would be especially useful to another person helping the elderly, to know what to bring along. but then we're back to the "how much milk is left in the carton" and "for how long was it left outside the fridge"... in any case, good luck working on it!
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  #24  
Old 14.10.2011, 16:16
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Re: Entrepreneurial Business Idea

Strolls, don't take it the wrong way, but

(a) your idea solves a problem that does not exist
(b) it doesn't solve the problem that it aims to solve

Specifically, the "fridge management" routine is neither time consuming, complicated nor frustrating enough to justify a technological solution to it. Additionally, as clever as RFID idea is, it is not exactly practical, because typically people would want to buy milk and eggs not when they are out of them, but a day before that. And RFIDs cannot tell when there's just one egg left in a box.

As others have said, you did it backwards - cooked up a product and then tried understanding how it could be used. Try forwards For example,

(1) You are grocery shopping and you have that vague recollection that you are out of X. How about letting you connect to the fridge from your smartphone and get a list of RFID'd products inside of it, and the dates when they were first placed in it, etc. Throw in some basic AI to track how long it typically takes for you to finish 1L of milk and you'll get an approximation of when the current carton will get finished.

Then develop the idea, taking it forwards and backwards.

(2) Try and build a program for produce manufacturers of explicit RFID-ization of their products. "This is just milk, and that is a milk that a fridge can see." Why buy former, when you can buy latter.

(3) In a scope of (2) - work with grocery shops to allow for an "instant checkout" when their cart contains only RFID'd items. No need to scan items individually, just roll the cart past RFID scanner and it will get the whole list. The speed of the checkout is a known pain point for the grocery shops. Lots and lots of effort is being put into increasing it.

...

HTH and good luck.
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  #25  
Old 14.10.2011, 16:27
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Re: Entrepreneurial Business Idea

First of all, this is already a long-existing concept, so don't think you came up with something new.

Secondly, I have never seen it in practice.
Maybe because it means that all possible consumer products that go in a fridge need to be made part of the system (as they obviously all need RFID tags). Practically some producers will participate, but I think it has to be well embedded into the fridge and food packaging market so that producers see a benefit in it.
At the end, every single package will be more expensive to produce.

It is like the Senseo coffee machine, the coffee pad producers must see a huge benefit (like the money it brings) to produce these pads, which are obviously more expensive to produce than normal coffee solutions. They still make them though because nearly everyone has a Senseo, so they will sell a lot.

I think RFID solutions for fridge inventory management will only be successful if marketed right and when it has a clear (economical) benefit for the producers of the food packaging. It is a nice RFID application, but market-wise I don't think it is feasible on the short term.
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  #26  
Old 17.10.2011, 11:23
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Re: Entrepreneurial Business Idea

I think the idea is intrinsically good. With so much data being consumed daily by the average individual, the is ONE area which could be 'outsourced' to technology. Perhaps it's a bit early as -- reading the posts -- people do not seem quite ready to yield. But then that's the crux of innovation. isn't it? Getting started, and getting someone to go first.

Further, there are some small caveats which will have to be resolved -- such as leftovers (e.g. could this be hand-coded?), partially consumed items (i.e. already mentioned: cartons of milk, juice, etc.), and expiration dates; etc.

I like having the needed items automatically added to a shopping list, but this needn't necessarily be linked to a particular shop. Having a ready-made electronic list already created would be invaluable!
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