The dumbest thing that could possibly work

I just listened to a hanselminutes episode where he interviewed John-Daniel Trask (a kiwi!)(yay kiwis!) from mindscape, makers of (yes that raygun, beloved of my arch-nemesis, that chief amongst villains, Troy Hunt)

I recommend you give it a listen, and at 1.5 times playback speed it only took 20 minutes of my finite lifespan.

I like the idea of making a product out of doing some very thin slither of a particular 'vertical' -- in this case raygun is a very deliberately tiny part of what application companies need.

Another example would be octopus deploy by my personal hero Paul Stovell (and a growing team of geniuses).

Revision control companies and bug tracking companies are also examples, but they tend to have business models that are all about moving beyond their initial niche. Maybe they're just a bit more evolved.

So what's the tiniest possibly slither of a well known vertical? For example in the bushwalking world: you always put your shoes on before you go for a walk, and part of that is doing up your laces. So you could have a specialty company that ships a fresh pair of ethical artisanal hand-woven opinionated boot-laces to serious bushwalkers, once a month. Focus on something narrow enough that you can be indisputably the best. The best by a mile. Not just pretty good.

(aside: JDT pointed out that since doesn't try to do everything they need to offer integration points. They have plugins e.g. for github, trello, slack (slack... which I need to look into more).)

I guess twitter is an early company doing this same thing.... just the "current status" feature of an instant messaging app, and nothing else.... and "yo" would be the latest example of honing messaging down to the least features possible.

This got me thinking about potential business ideas when the age old question occurred to me: "What's the dumbest thing that could possibly work? No, even dumber than that."

And this is what I came up with for today:

"We bill you."

It's basically a SaaS where you choose among 3 great plans:

The free plan
has no features, and we don't bill you. This is only available for a limited time.

The beginner plan
$35 per month.
For that you get one bill per month, for $35.

The expert plan
$100 per month.
You still get one bill per month, but this time you get billed for $100.

We also offer "Enterprise" level.
Prices for this are not available on the website. Talk to us, and we'll see what we can arrange. For example we might bill you extra some months, and at times, not bill you at all. Overall, we would still guarantee to bill you as much as you can psychologically withstand before breaking down completely. And we get your car.

Crazy enough that it just might work?

All of these lucrative domains are available if you want to get in on the ground floor for equity and just a one time cash investment plus ongoing hours for development, support, data entry, foot rubs etc.

and as a bonus this domain is also available:

It would need good stock art of course and i'll need an upfront investment to cover that too.

Wait a second. ''? 'go pash cash dot com...?' What was i thinking? that's too good to share.

Getting back to the idea of niches within niches: what great and useful little ideas have you got to share?

(One serious little idea I've got for a niche within a niche: a wrapper for chocolatey that makes it work inside the enterprise. I have given it no more thought than that. I picture a chocolate. And it is wrapped up. It is a chocolatey wrapper. And you are inside the enterprise. And it just works.)


My book "Choose Your First Product" is available now.

It gives you 4 easy steps to find and validate a humble product idea.

Learn more.

(By the way, I read every comment and often respond.)

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