Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Luxury at home

Link of the day - How PickyDomains.com Changed The Domain Game For Good


Scott and Melissa Coleman see profit in faded paint, nail holes, and rust stains. Their company, La Puerta Originals, turns antique and reclaimed wood and scrap metal into custom-made doors for high-end homes. More than 6,000 doors, collected from around the world, jostle for space on their four-acre property in Santa Fe, and each slab comes with its own provenance.

"The process for our customers is more involved than simply opening a catalog," says Scott, an architect by training. "I walk with them, take them to the wood, and tell them the story behind it."

A recent La Puerta project - an $8,000 hammered-tin door for a house in Santa Fe - features a metal disc stripped from an antique farming tool that the Colemans found while driving through Mexico's Sierra Nevada.

"The collecting of materials is a passion unto itself," says Scott, whose company pulls in annual revenue of $4.4 million. "There is no piece of wood too small."

P2P Camping

Profiting From Exotic Popcorn Flavors

Magic As Business

Weird Businesses - Lightning Photography

Demographic Winter: Decline of the Human Family

Friday, December 19, 2008

P2P Camping

Link of the day - Blind Spots: Why Smart People Do Dumb Things


Camping, an ancient form of holiday accommodation, is now going peer-to-peer: Single Spot Camping connects anyone who owns a suitably sized piece of land (‘even your garage entrance’, says the site) with those looking for a place to pitch their tent.

Like the more established concept of couch surfing, the Swedish startup aims to create travel experiences that are more unique and personal than staying at a regular camping ground. Additional benefits are the small stream of income created for hosts, and the fact that—unlike with couch surfing—both guests and hosts can maintain a sense of privacy.

As the site’s still very new, all listings made before 31 December 2008 will be displayed for a year free of charge. In 2009, listings will cost the landowner EUR 40 per year. Any plots of land sitting empty in Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Finland, Australia or the United States can currently be registered, with the site aiming to become popular with campers and site owners in Europe, North America and Australia. We’ve covered similar concepts for spare bedrooms and off-street parking spots—what’s next?

Young Millionaires - Sticks And Stones Success Story

Young Millionaires - Anne Pawsat-Dressler

How a pet project became a money-making business

Mom Turns Love For Making Brownies into $1 Million Dessert Gifts Company

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Profiting From Exotic Popcorn Flavors

Link of the day - Who Is Shawn Casey? Is He For Real?


After witnessing the makeover given to traditional foodstuffs like cupcakes and popsicles, it seems it's now popcorn's turn. 479° Popcorn is handmade, made-to-order popcorn in flavours such as Alderwood Smoked Sea Salt, Ginger Sesame Caramel and Black Truffle & White Cheddar.

Taking a leaf from the book of gourmet wine tasting establishments, 479° offers 'Samplers' and 'Collections', all linked by theme. Samplers' five boxes feed 2-4 people, and the Collections' three canisters are enough for 4-8. Prices range from USD 33 for the Purist Sampler to USD 52 for the Caramel Collection.

Aware that posh flavours and presentation aren't always enough to ensure premium status, 479° Popcorn stresses its green credentials. The majority of its organic fair trade ingredients are sourced from farms close to its San Francisco kitchen, with the popped corn packaged in 90% recycled paper canisters that are also sourced from local suppliers. 479° Popcorn--named for the ideal Fahrenheit temperature for popping corn--is currently available in select Californian stores and via its website for delivery throughout the US. One for boutique cinemas to partner with?

Peegly.Com - Share Your Feelings.

Service Lets Drivers Lock In Gas Prices

Here is a brilliant idea - clothing rentals for people who are losing weight

Put-In-Cups As A Business

How To Get Media Attention? Just Say ‘Green,’ ‘Sex,’ ‘Cancer,’ ‘Secret’ Or ‘Fat’

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Taxi Offers Unlimited Rides For 48 Euros Per Month

Link of the day - Blind Spots: Why Smart People Do Dumb Things


Gyms use it, broadband providers use it, DVD rental schemes use it, subways use it… Now it’s time for taxis to adopt a flat-rate charge. Swiss start-up Taxmobil is planning to offer unlimited taxi use for a EUR 48 monthly fee. Customers will be able to buy a Taxmobil card online or from sales points around the city, and can call for a car to pick them up at whatever time they choose, travelling to any destination in the city. If two strangers are travelling in the same direction, Taxmobil may combine their journeys.

The key to Taxmobil’s strategy is the fact that it doesn’t own the cars it uses. Instead, it buys the time of idle taxis that are already out and about, creating a service that’s affordable and convenient for customers, and could decrease congestion and parking problems if city dwellers trade in their cars for a Taxmobil card.

Böblingen in Southern Germany is likely to be the first town offering the service, starting early 2009, with other towns across Europe to follow. Travel is only permitted within a city, although members will be able to catch a taxi in other participating cities, too. As well as expanding the service’s reach, Taxmobil will soon be extending its package options by complementing its standard EUR 48 subscription with cards for businesses and families. Discounts and member benefits will be made possible with the cards in future, too.

While public transport and bicycles are usually pitched as the green alternative to car ownership, there’s something to be said for adding affordable taxis to the mix, offering people the option of individual door-to-door transport around the clock. How the system will work on rainy days, and whether EUR 48/month will leave any room for a profit, remains to be seen. One to watch!

Navigation By Mood

World’s Smallest Postal Service

A New Sport and a Startup

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Navigation By Mood

Link of the day - Blind Spots: Why Smart People Do Dumb Things


Guidebooks and recommendations are all very well, but there’s very little point in discovering a new activity, restaurant or shop if you’re not in the right headspace to enjoy it. Enter I Feel London (or Toronto, or New York as is appropriate), a site that lets users search for things to do based on their mood.

Currently in beta, the I Feel sites bring a new spin to Google Maps. There’s a map for each one of nine moods, covering such feelings as naughty, hungover, girly, sophisticated and broke. Andy Whitlock, I Feel’s London-based founder, has kick-started each map by populating it with a handful of activities, with future contributions to be made by anyone who requests an invite. We’re hoping each map won’t be bombarded with contributions, though: we like the limited, curated choice currently on offer.

Whitlock is tapping into the zeitgeist: map-based concepts are popping up everywhere. Why? As explained in trendwatching.com’s latest briefing (which covers mapmania and five other trends for 2009): “Geography is about everything that is (literally) close to consumers, and it's a universally familiar method of organizing, finding and tracking relevant information on objects, events and people. And now that superior geographical information is accessible on-the-go—from in-car navigation to iPhones—the sky is the limit.”


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