Welcome to aaron chua make money blog

Hi, welcome to my blog. In this part of my world, I talked about how to achieve financial freedom by learning how to make money online through creating sites and earning from them.

Below are some current and past make money projects that details my learning journey.

My current experiment in making 50 amazon site niches. If you have not been following this challenge, best place to start is this resource page for the amazon challenge, that lists all the articles that I have written so far.

My experiment in making 1000 a month through adsense in 9 months.

If you came here looking for low cost startup ideas, here are 140 startup ideas that you can browse through.

Tuesday, 24 April 2007

Startup idea #4: Platform for developing location based games

I have been spending the past week touring the west coast of US and meeting some interesting companies and VCs. As non-disclosure agreements, I of course cannot discuss anything about them in public. However, they have stimulated more ideas which I will be putting them here in the coming days.

Location based games are coming more and more prominent. The issue is that they are usually one off event. The idea here is to develop a game development platform where users can easily create their very own location based games using simple rules and markers. The game, when completed, can then be sent to their friends for playing. Advertisers or advertising agencies can also use this platform to easily develop their games to promote their products or brands.

I foresee the platform to have an interface that is similar to google maps. Instead of tagging information, the tools will be used for developing the game. There will be a mobile engine that will take the the finished game to the mobile devices.

Updated 23 Nov 2007:
What is missing here are the microchunk elements. How to make the platform such that it allows microchunking to happen? Is it to share codes? character designs? music? If i can figure the microchunk elements for a game platform, I think the potential for exploitation is huge.

Updated: 5th Nov
I just know of a platform called 'where' which allows location based applications to be built on top of it. I wonder if this platform can be used for the game engine I mentioned earlier this year.

Saturday, 21 April 2007

Idea Generation #2: Startup Ideas from other blogs

Found some startup ideas today while browsing the web Throught I put it here for refernce. (original post link)

There are way too many Web 2.0 companies out there. Some provide useful services, like Flickr or YouTube, but some are simply copycats, badly executed unoriginal ideas. The Web 2.0 bubble seems to be, thankfully, deflating now, with some companies already going out of business as they realise that Web 2.0 is not magic and if you just offer free services, then, well, there’s no money in that.

Here’s a list of Web 2.0 business ideas. Five of them. Hopefully these will inspire people to try something new and interesting and maybe some of these will turn out to be viable business ideas.

#1. Shortn

If you’re like me, then you read Digg and Slashdot, you surf del.icio.us and reddit and a whole bunch of blogs. Each Digg story is basically a link to some longer story somewhere and a quick introduction meant to draw the reader in. Do stories like this look familiar?

Joystiq takes the Inquirer to task over their recent article about the PS3 being “slow and broken.”

Okay, so, what’s wrong with the introduction and how can we improve it? If you’re interested in that article, then what do you want from it? Facts, right? Quick access to the list of facts presented by Joystiq in support of the PS3. Shortn would, in essence, be a community-edited article distillation service. Goes something like this:

Someone submits an URL.
Someone submits an informative “executive summary” of the article behind the URL.
Competing summaries are voted on by the community.
The best summary for any URL is made available through the Shortn API and on the Shortn website.
We are living in all kinds of noise and people who write 2000-word articles to hide a 2-sentence point in a pile of smart-sounding fluff are simply evil. There are dozens of articles each day that we’d like to read, but don’t have the time for. A community that creates informative summaries of each article would be a great timesaver.

#2. MetaSwarm

Do you like early rockabilly music? What about squid? Ever eaten any? Everyone knows the films of Darren Aronofsky, but ever seen anything by Mikael Håfström? There’s a lot we would probably like if we were exposed to it.

And there are a lot of things out there looking for an audience.

MetaSwarm would essentially be a meta-Web 2.0 community. People sign up and get to betatest new Web 2.0 services still half way in development. Web 2.0 service builders get betatesters and early content producers. With, perhaps, awards for most useful bug reports and such.

#3. AcidR

We have picture-sharing communities, video-sharing communities, football-experience-sharing communities, car-experience-sharing communities, and so on…

How about also sharing drug experiences? Describe your wildest trips. Post pictures of yourself high on all substances known to man. Rate your experiences with different drugs. Have others rate your trip stories. Had a bad trip? Share it with everyone else! At the end of the day, we can produce charts showing which drugs are the most popular and which produce the best experiences. Yay!

#4. Jizzr

Let’s face it. Most community-driven Web 2.0 services utilising AJAX and XML and whatever the fuck is hot right now are simply old classics like ratemypoo in new clothing. You have an “attention economy”. A good example is DeviantArt. Look at some work of art and add it to your list of favourites. Then, 90% of the time, the artist will look at your profile and your art, and leave you a comment saying “thanks for the fav!”

Web 2.0 services shouldn’t be some high-brow elitist movement. Stuff like ratemypoo needs AJAX too. You need to enable the community and stuff. Besides, consider if a jizz rating community becomes popular enough. “Honey, this splat here is shaped like Australia! Don’t move, I’ll get my camera!”

Bah, noone appreciates genius these days

#5. MetaCompany

Back to serious business now.

MetaCompany is an online community website that lets your build your business right there on the web. TopCoder and eLance already provide employment services. You can find professionals willing to do stuff for you on there. Now, combine this with the possibilities of online project management and collaboration environments like Basecamp. Then consider this scenario.

You need a quick website made for whatever purpose.
You log on to MetaCompany.
On MetaCompany you write a short description of the website and use it to hire a programmer and a designer.
You write the text that will be the content of the resulting website.
The programmer you hired uses the MetaCompany versioning server to store the code and to generate daily or weekly reports.
When you’re done with the web page, you can hire a sysadmin via MetaCompany to set the site up or you can do it yourself by finding a hosting company via MetaCompany.
Project finished!
MetaCompany is all about bringing people and companies together to provide a one-stop source for entrepreneurs.

Need a poster designed for an event? Hire a freelance designer via MetaCompany. Want to make a game and later sell it to a publisher? Find freelance coders, artists, and sound people on MetaCompany, manage everything online. Want peformers for a concert? Find bands in your area and listen to their CC-licensed tracks online.

It’s all about enabling people.

Thursday, 19 April 2007

Startup Idea #3: Community driven ads

Updated: 30 Nov 2007

The previous idea of user generated ads is replaced with this more thought out piece. Basically, the entire idea is stolen from here. But hey, since nobody I know is doing anything about it (except maybe for the Youtube-adsense integration thing). Why not try something?

What I would like to add is this: rather than just releasing ads onto a server as suggested in the post, I would built a Getsatisfaction model. This means communities can be built around particular brands or companies, rather than just asking users to produce ads without a anchor point to build network effects from.

Wednesday, 18 April 2007

Idea Generation #1: Future of Social Networks

As I was writing this blog, I realise some of my thoughts are not even ideas, but grounds for future ideas to germinate. Hence, I am decided to create a new cateogry called idea generation where I collect materials from the web and post them here. The aim is to stimulate further thoughts on the subject. Ultimately, this should lead to more innovative ideas.

Startup idea #2: Search applications

This idea was inspired by an Business 2.0 article I read a few months backon search applications (read article here). While the article highlights the opportunites in improving search without coming up with a better algorithm, it tiggers something related in my mind.

There are now hundreds of search engines as well as search functions with all sites including ebay and amazon. What applications can be built on top of these results queries? In my mind, there may be a market for a new Nielson. What Nielson has done for traditional media, this new company should provide in the new media space. How is your product doing in Ebay? What prices are being transacted? Did it get positive mentions in Digg? Was the product site heavily tagged in De.Lic.Ous? How many sites have mentioned your product as determined by Google?

These are all questions waiting to be answered. It needs only somebody with a hell of engineering skill to link it all up andprofit from it.

Tuesday, 17 April 2007

Startup Idea #1: Asean Facebook - Opportunities and Issues

Facebook clones are a dime a dozen. Yet, the concept is too compelling for me to resist taking a crack at differentiating the product.

While there are many facebook clones in some countries, I have not seen the Facebook concept being applied across different cultures with different languages.

The aims of this post is to document my thoughts on how to differentiate the current Facebook model and features with Asean context. The opportunity here, to me, is to provide a compelling feature that takes into account the fact the Asean countries, excluding Singapore, are generally poor with limited career opportunities for graduating students. If students in these countries can be tied with opportunities in Singapore via the site, there is an angel there that I think can be exploit.


Resources: Current Facebook Clones
-Germany: http://www.studivz.net/
-Australia: http://www.studentface.com.au/auth

Updates: 18 April 2007

Upon further thinking, I think there are 2 potential projects embedded with this idea.

The first project is to be a http://www.match.com/ or http://www.jobster.com/ that specialises in matching students from ASEAN to companies in Singapore that requires their services. The Singapore companies might view them as cheaper labor or they might require them for overseas expansion.

Value added services for this will then include things like linking successful overseas applicants with quick and easy clearance of legal requirements such as permits et al. The features should have things that current job listing sites lack. A social networking feature can also be integrated to help overseas students adjust to Singapore culture.

The revenue will not be based solely on successful matching. The travel commission the site can earn is a good potential cash cow.

The second project will be more similar to facebook. The new feature will be a multi-language translator that allows students from different parts of ASEAN to network. A Thai student for instance will input as Thai but a Malaysian will see the output as Malaysian. All these automated via IP addresses.

Introduction to my startup ideas

This blog is started to track my thoughts on startup ideas.

I believe that ideas, when first conceived, are not the best candidates for startups. However, over time, I discover that through refinement and continuous integration of new thoughts, ideas become more viable and in the worse scenarios, become complete duds.

So, this blog serves as a mechanism to help myself refine ideas. Comments are welcome.