Create a Product or Service to Sell on Fiverr

Do you know about  It’s a fun and useful marketplace where everything is just $5.  I’ve used it for some graphic design work, article writing, and even bought a bracelet made out of baseball seams.

You can find a ton of stuff on there, ranging from helpful to hilarious.  The question is, why not sell your own product or service?


Although some people are selling physical products, I believe the bigger opportunity is with digital products like software, ebooks, or video guides.  Because you only collect $4 (Fiverr takes a $1 cut on every sale), a digital product works best because it has a zero cost-of-goods-sold and can be delivered for free electronically.

What are you an expert in? Could you create an awesome video tutorial on how to more effectively manage your time at the gym?  How about a guide on how to earn thousands of free frequent flyer miles?  Or how to crate-train a stubborn dog?  The possibilities are endless.


I’m less enthusiastic about selling services, because they will usually involve your time, and I’m somewhat opposed to trading hours for dollars — especially such small dollars.

Some examples of services you’ll find beyond the article writing and graphics work mentioned above might be marketing consultations, software debugging, resume editing, foreign language practice via skype, and more.

The opportunity I see in selling services is as a creative lead-generation tool for other areas of your business.  For example, if you’re a travel agent, you could offer some insider tips on where to stay in Tokyo.  Then, explain how you can save your Fiverr client money if they decide to book through you.

The best thing about Fiverr is that the marketplace and the customers are already in place.  If you can carve out some shelf space and deliver a great product or service, you’ve got a nice little side business.

The Smart Crowdsourced Caller ID App

I don’t know about you but when I get an unexpected call from an unrecognized number, I usually don’t pick up.  If it’s important, I reason to myself, they’ll leave a message and I can call them back.  Nine times out of ten they don’t leave a message and I know to keep ignoring future calls from the same number.

But curiosity often gets the best of me and I sometimes  google the phone number to try and find out who’s calling me.  There are several websites where users can input the identity of mystery callers.

Why not remove that step and build it into a smartphone app?  You could start with an initial database of known numbers and accept IDs from users to improve accuracy and expand the list.

Among my mystery callers lately:

  • The University of Washington Alumni Association
  • Dell Technical Support
  • Go Daddy
  • The American Red Cross
  • Livermore Ford
  • XM Radio
  • Verizon Customer Support
  • Google

It would be cool to have a Caller ID App that lets you know who’s calling as they’re calling so you can decide on the spot whether or not to take the call.

The app could be sold for a small fee, or made available for free and supported by ads.  For example, if the app knows Go Daddy is calling me, they could show me relevant ads for domain renewals, hosting, or other offers.

What do you think? Is such an app technically feasible?  Would you like to have it on your phone?

The Perfect Hostel

Ever since I started traveling in 2005, I’ve long thought about starting a hostel. Or even a chain of hostels.


Simple. There are so many horrible horrible hostels, and I know I can create a better hostel.

I view hostels the same as I view running a bar; if you have a decent location and can’t run a successful bar, you’re an idiot. Okay, that’s a bit extreme. But you get the point. The same thing applies to hostels.

Why it’s appealing opportunity:

  • Good margins – I think. Keep the hostel close to capacity, and you’ll make a killing.
  • Great lifestyle – Live where you want, and hang out with awesome travelers all day. Listen to great music and socialize. What more could you want?

In my mind, here’s what’s included in the perfect hostel:

  • Comfy common area with a couple couches
  • A table or two with chairs
  • A decent location. Sure, a great location would be awesome – but not entirely necessary
  • Chill music
  • Character – surfboards, cool artwork, a guitar, etc
  • Bar
  • Awesome staff – this is probably the most important item on the list
  • Local directions, events, and info
  • Common kitchen with a refrigerator to leave leftovers
  • WIFI throughout
  • Organized events (pub crawls, walking tours, dinners) at least every 3 days
  • Great happy hour specials
  • Snacks/food available until at least 2 am
  • Comfortable mattresses with warm comforter (for a cold weather area)
  • Metal storage lockers that hold a regular sized backpack (not a big one), latch, and can accommodate a small lock.

What would your perfect hostel include?