The 2-Minute Personalized News Digest

The traditional newspaper business may be dying, but that is creating opportunity for new business models.  It’s not that people have stopped consuming the news; it’s that they’ve stopped paying for it.  Reading the newspaper is time-consuming and costly, not to mention the information delay problems that come from printing and delivery time.

The majority of the news I don’t care about, and I would venture to guess most other people don’t care either.  Mitt Romney selected Paul Ryan as his running mate?  Great.  Does that impact my day at all?  Not in the least.

However, if Google rolled out a new advertising product, or Nike launched a new must-have sneaker, that’s something I might like to know.

But what if you could introduce an efficient and personalized news service worth paying for?

Curate content from different sources and email people a 2-minute daily digest on the topics they’re interested in.  Topics could be very granular.  Charge a monthly subscription fee.

People don’t want to be ignorant, but pertinent information needs to be delivered quickly in need-to-know chunks.

Google Alerts is the closest product to this I’m aware of.  It’s free, which is an advantage, but the results aren’t awesome.  I think there’s room for a premium model.

A million subscribers at $1 a month is a $12 million a year business.  It scales nicely, costs nearly nothing to procure and deliver.   Plus you’ll be developing email lists of people proven to have an interest in given topics, which lends itself well to advertising opportunities for additional revenue streams.

Could be a winner.  What do you think?

A SIMPLE Web Services Payment System

Subscriptions are a pain to pay for, yet they are an amazing source of repeat revenue for organizations. Things like ESPN Insider, a web host like dreamhost, NYT premium, etc.

Even though the steps involved for each one are almost the exact same, it’s a process I repeat over and over. It’s fragmented, and annoying.

There are services online that I WOULD pay for, if I didn’t have to setup another recurring profile somewhere. And if I knew is was drop dead simple to shut it off the minute it ceases to add value to my life.

The business idea? Build what built for donating to charities at Startup Weekend Amsterdam, but applied to web services. Apple proved that if you make it simple enough to pay for content or services you value, users will do it rather than hunt around for a free way to get the same content or service. The ease of use is worth money to many, including me.

And yes, I know there are a number of of payment systems. Such as MergePay. The length of this summary of MergePay on NextWeb tells me one thing. It’s too complex

Make the payment system simple.