the mashup game

Experiment with what can be mashed up using the ingredients below. Consider which ones compliment each other in a single dish. Or don't, and mash 'em up anyway. Which is probably not too far from the methodology of some start-ups and co-evolution:

3D virtual world
Social networking
Cellular communication
Audio recording
Voice activation
Chat room
Bluetooth file transfer
Authoring tools/software programs
Video playing (for watching TV shows and films)
Music playing (for listening to music)
Online gaming
Online community
Short message service (SMS)
Multimedia messaging service (MMS)
Memory/data storage
Open source
Camera (photography)
Camera (film)
Cut, copy, and paste
Presence applications
Tagging (social bookmarking, geotagging, etc.)
Linkbacks (linkbacks, pingbacks, refbacks, etc.)
User generated
Data aggregation (of news, tags, etc.)
Multi-media sharing (of images, video, podcasts, games, etc.)
Language translation
Hair dryer
Washing machine
Nail filer

Existing examples:
- 3D virtual world + social networking + online community + media sharing = Kaneva
- 3D virtual world + wiki + data aggregation + text transfer (e.g. using SMS, MMS, IM, Email) = SL wikipedia ring
- most of the ingredients above = iPhone

Other possibilities:
- voice activation + language translation = a tourist's dream
- a tourists’ dream + GPS + WiFi + camera (photography) + camera (film) + wiki + hyperlocality = a tourist's fantasy
- concept-mapping software + citation manager + tagging = the possibility of adding concepts to an evolving concept map and citing them simply in the act of making notes in the margins
- hyperlinked list of people to call, text, email on a much-more-than-a-phone thingie = performing the list of communication items without having to go back and forth between the list and the items

*Note: ingredients above are not necessarily mutually exclusive (where does one end and another begin?) or presented in their smallest units (there are sub-ingredients within cellular communication).

mixed-world therapy

Use a world other than this one for expressing your anger. Keep both worlds separate until your anger has diffused, then remove the boundary between them. And call me in the morning.


farmers, fisherwomen, and financial analysts

Investors increasingly seek data on the fiscal impacts of environmental factors. And unlike many environmental scientists, environmentally-concerned investors don’t have epistemological hang-ups. I.e. they don’t care how the knowledge is known as long as it works. The day Generation Investment Management LLP hires farmers and fisherwomen and ‘Traditional Ecological Knowledge’ becomes a valuable asset will be a very interesting one.

make your own wine...label

In the vein of allowing customers do the work (and pay for it), à la O’Reilly’s Web 2.0 design pattern of users adding value, give drinkers the chance to design wine labels. Make a label that's a blank stamped postcard, addressed back to the wine distributor. That is, a label that's blank until the best design wins. Call it a label competition, post all submissions online, and let the customers vote. Then throw in some free wine for the finalists and shower winners with fame. Depending upon how much is left in the bottle when the labels are 'designed,' postcards sent back will be at least entertaining, if not label-worthy.

pimp my rental car

Music is already piped into venues with captive audiences, like hold buttons and elevators. What prime real estate for music promotion. Imagine: leaving you on hold forever could become something customer service reps don't need to apologize for, and muzak could become a non-derogatory term.

And how about rental cars? Sure, you bring music wherever you go. But you also like finding new music and getting a flavor of the local music when you travel. So if the car you rented on your vacation in Rio de Janeiro had a surprise in the CD player that was carefully selected to suit your fancy based on everything that had been internet-stalked about you, you might listen. And given the opportunity, you might go to an upcoming concert, make a purchase, tra la la.

The point being: people on hold, in waiting rooms, on elevators, in rental cars, etc. are generally available to listen, which is a potentially exploitable situation.

shabbat take-out

For the young Jewish mom who wants freshly-baked Challah and a different Kugel recipe, but doesn’t have the time or live-in help to make them. It could even come with the Torah portion of the week, ideas for sermons (or if she prefers, "dialogues"), and transliterated Shabbat songs. I’m thinking Manhattan. (Oh and Greg, I Love that we both independently came up with this idea but your name for it is infinitely more awesome: the Shabbox.)

deploy massage

The reasons we end up lying on our backs on a table in a dark room with someone else's hands manipulating our naked bodies are either very very malignant or very very benign. E.g. to be massaged or to be tortured. So why not just deploy massage?