Monthly Archives: November 2006

Pondi’s Book of Business Ideas: Idea 2 –

In my extended family and my friends circle, I have the dubious distinction of being the ‘Bhaand’. So besides being expected to dance away at every potential moment (which honestly, is something I quite enjoy), another something which my bhaailog expect from me is to have the right music for a party. Unfortunately, practically all of my music collection these days is a combination of Alt Rock and Hindi Film music, and at any rate not enough of the fare you would need to have a dance party. So, second in the PBBI series is a idea which I thought of when last contacted by my cousin brother for arranging the music for his house party.

Product Name
: (The domain name by the way is unavailable, owned by someone in Mumbai)

Jab Bhi, Kuchh Bhi

Description: Q: Which is the one thing that house parties always seem to not have enough of, or of the right kind? A: Music. would be your Broadband DJ – a music streaming site specifically catering to people organising a house party, but in no mood and with no money to hire a real DJ.

Product Logo: Maybe the O can look like a drum, and the j like a martini glass. (Too banal?)

Details: The way it would work is this. Bajao’s servers host all the latest and greatest dance tracks on it’s servers. You have a party, you logon to, create a playlist with the tracks you want played, and have the music stream over your broadband connection during the party – making it a rocking success and you a perfect host. The Bajao technology also enables numerous DJing effects like crossfading, scratch, mixing etc. Integral to would be a social networking element where people not only can create and share playlists but also share stuff like cocktail recipes, food ideas and the like. Additionally it could have special playlists created and the music recorded by celebrity DJs bringing the Elevate experience to your own house.

Show me the money: a) Since there would an obvious cost of music acquisition, and possibly major copyright issues (will get to that later), one way to make money could be to charge a small fee for each hour of music played. This would seem justified because to get that music otherwise you either paid money to get it from the store (you’d say but I own what I buy from the store – will get to that as well) , or spent a fair amount of time acquiring it from your friends. b) Another obvious route (though, from what I hear, unproven as yet in India) would be online advertising – it will not compromise user experience, because of kind the service that if offers, allows it. c) One can buy a custom CD/Tracks from an online music store from his playlist. There could be a revenue share element between Bajao and the online store/custom CD maker. (You would say then why would I use Bajao again, if I already have the music? It might work, because you don’t have a party everyday, plus dance music is quite shortlived – there isn’t really a concept of ‘classics’ the way it it with other music styles.)

Pros: a) Since a party is a one-time affair, ownership is not necessary an issue. I am fine dancing to Jamelia’s Superstar at a party but I may not necessarily want to own it. It is inefficient for me to go and buy it. If I have a broadband connection and Bajao – bingo! I have it when I want it the way I want it b) Social Networking features – which party organiser would not want premade and well rated playlists with cocktail recipes to boot?

Cons/Bottlenecks: a) The obvious one firstBandwidth – which seems to practically non existent in India, and bandwidth is VERY important. I can’t stream music over 64kbps, because the bad quality would sound even worse on a high volume deck. Also, imagine the track stopping in between because of insufficient buffering – complete disaster. b) Copyright issues – as is always the case with music, plus the rhetoric around the whole issue has subconsciously affected all of us. It could jeopardise the custom CD part of the business. But the core service IS like radio so it should be feasible in some manner (though Internet radio, at least in the US, is governed by different laws than terrestrial radio, as a result of which they have to pay higher royalties compared to normal terrestrial radio) c) Does it address a broad enough market or is it a mere subset? Internet radio companies might see it as an addon for example.

Competition: Satellite radio companies could be a big ones, and they have no Bandwidth issues. Although it lacks the interactivity of the web as of today. (Worldspace by the way does not count – as it plays the same music over and over again, at least on all channels I hear). It’s quite possible that such a service exists, but I havent googled this idea as yet (a cardinal sin) – updates as and when.

Damn, I don’t have a quote to go for this one. Nevermind, shall add later.


Introducing Pondi’s Book of Business Ideas : Idea 1 – Discobus

After a point in life you realise that one thing is in very very short supply. It is not money, not power(excuse me for using the banal trio), not sex(this one does fight for the top spot), it is something which overrides all of these – Time. The scarcity of time is worse for someone like me who wants to do everything in one life.

One of the things which the lack of time prevents me from doing is following up on several ideas which come to me from time to time. Some of these are very far fetched, some too commonplace, some really ripe. Point is, irrespective of what the idea is, I am far too engrossed in giving shape and soul to another great idea right now – my current business itasveer, and until that reaches some sort of epoch – no deviations.

So I have a new blog category which I will call ‘Pondi’s Book of Business Ideas’, which takes after one of my college nicknames. Here I will freely uchchalo my ideas – try to give them some sort of outline and definition to whatever extent I can. I am hoping that by bringing that idea into this world, even though as a mere blog entry, there might be a chance that someone somewhere might take it up. I will constantly update these entries if I come across someone already working on some manifestation of this idea. If it predates my blog entry – I can say ‘I thought of it too’, if it postdates it I can go on an ego trip and say ‘I said so’.

So first in this series is one of the oldest and weirdest, which me and Rishi came up with a couple of years back, when in college.
Product Name: Discobus (Name partly inspired from some content on IIT LAN – but none of that stuff supposed to go on here)
Description: A bus with a discotheque inside.
Tagline: Too Much Boom Boom (Tagline inspired from Prashant Hegde’s shooting skills)
Logo: (will appear when I have time to make one): can be in the Superman font (The perspective 3D text) in green and pink !
Details: A bus with a discotheque inside complete with a bar, DJ, disco lights, one-way vision glass on the outside, soundproof. The discobus makes multiple stops, rides all over Delhi (you could be partying with the Qutab Minar or India Gate in view!) – for 3 hours (or whatever the party hours are) and then drops everyone back home.
Alternately, it could be an add-on service to an existing disc (maybe a big budget one like Elevate) – In that case new tagline: “Step Out. Start Partying”
Advantages and USPs: 1. Low investment compared to renting a place. 2. Easy turnaround time – the interiors can have a new theme every few months 3. Can be easily rented for a small party 4. Greater chances of ‘bumping’ into people without getting slapped – all can be attributed to Delhi roads. This in turn increases the chances of striking up a conversation. 5. Can ply a different route as and when – thus even if it becomes boring at one route as most discs/pubs do after a point, it can start serving a new audience. 6. Bus Route can be tracked online and thus you can pick where to board the bus from.
Issues: 1. Can one get a license to serve liquor on a bus? 2. What happens if I want to leave ‘the party’ early – I cannot use my own transport to get back. 3. Can serve a limited audience because of size, plus variable location – thus I can never quite plan to go there like I would to that a new disc in Gurgaon (offset to some extent by route tracking) 4. Limited area – wherein one needs to hold – at least a dance floor, DJ, bar, some sort of lounge/seating area.

“What kind of idea are you? Are you the kind that compromises, does deals, accomodates itself to society, aims to find a niche, to survive; or are you the cussed, bloody-minded, ramrod-backed type of damnfool notion that would rather break than sway with the breeze? – The kind that will almost certainly, ninety-nine times out of hundred, be smashed to bits; but, the hundredth time, will change the world.” from The Satanic Verses by Salman Rushdie