TV/Radio Notifications for My Favorite Sports Teams

I was just watching the Georgia – Vanderbilt foot ball game on CBS. I randomly decided to browse to see what other football games were on, and on NBC, I found the Seattle Sounders FC game against Dallas in the 25th minute.

Awesome! I just watched the rest of the game, as I’m not much of a college football fan anyway. The Sounders lost and didn’t clinch a play-off spot, so that was a bit of a downer.

Where am I going with this?

A drop dead sports app idea came to mind.

An app that sends me notifications when the sports teams I actually care about (Sounders, Seahawks, Mariners) are on TV or the radio.

What did I want today? A simple push notification that said “Seattle Sounders starting in 5 minutes on NBC.”

The app would need to know what type of tv service I subscribe to (the answer is basic, basic cable), so as to not send me notifications for games on premium stations I don’t have access to.

Does it exist? If not, build it and I’ll be the first beta tester.

The Ultimate Resource for Local Happy Hours

Who doesn’t love happy hour? I think we can all agree that leaving work early to grab some cheap food and drink with friends is pretty great.

And I think we can also all agree that reliable information on local happy hours is hard to find. There is no central resource or database for happy hour locations, times, and specials.

Which is why it would make a great business.  This is something that can start locally and expand to new geographic areas like Yelp did.  And, like Yelp, much of the content can be crowdsourced.

In real life, we’re most likely to hear about a great happy hour from friends through word of mouth. This business (a website and mobile app) simply takes that experience online and scales it.

I’ll even give you the name. How about Happy Hour Hero?


Once you have the userbase and eyeballs, restaurants and bars will be happy to pay you to get in front of these new customers.

But like any operation, it’s crucial to nail the user experience first. Reach out to influencers and connectors and see if you can’t begin to gain some critical mass.

Restaurants and bars can also be a great source of information, and should be invited to submit their happy hour details on the site as well. A smart proprietor or franchisee will recognize the low barrier to entry into this new platform and jump at the opportunity to pitch his business in another new avenue.

What do you think? Let’s discuss over drinks at happy hour!

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?

Create the Next Big Game App

By now you’ve probably heard that the makers of Draw Something, an iPhone/iPad version of Pictionary, sold their hit game to Zynga for $200 million.

From obscurity to millionaires in a matter of weeks.

With one simple idea.

So why not raid the old board game closet and find what’s next?  Words with Friends and Draw Something didn’t invent some crazy new game like Angry Birds did.  They just adapted old favorites to a new medium.

Here are some games to get your wheels turning.

  1. Sorry!
  2. Clue
  3. Monopoly
  4. Life
  5. Chess
  6. Risk
  7. Connect Four
  8. Yahtzee
  9. Boggle
  10. Apples to Apples

Could any of these be adapted for iPhone play and go viral with popularity?  Games where each player takes a turn seem to work best, but it doesn’t seem to matter whether the gameplay is competitive (Words) or cooperative (Draw).


Smartphone games typically make money in 3 ways:

  1. Advertising.  The free version of the game is supported by advertising, so you can collect revenue in this way.
  2. App sales. Sell a premium ad-free version and make 70% on every sale (Apple takes a 30% cut for running the app store).
  3. In-game sales.  Many games create a virtual currency that can be used in the app to buy additional features or bonuses.

Don’t know how to code an iPhone app?  Neither do I.  But hundreds of freelancers on Elance and oDesk do, and they’re just waiting for your idea and leadership.