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.

Sunday, 25 May 2008

Startup Idea #64: Media 2.0 for remote medical care

This is another idea on how to reduce healthcare costs using 2.0. One current issue in healthcare is

providing quality medical care for all citizens, even those living in small towns and rural areas. Currently, access to sophisticated healthcare is often restricted to those in major conurbations and people in sparsely populated areas are usually required to seek healthcare some distance from their homes. "These trips can require hours of travel time for a relatively short examination, and thus are neither convenient nor an efficient use of the patient's time," says the team. Conversely, having healthcare workers with specialist knowledge travel to remote areas is equally wasteful of resources at various levels.

Through the use of video conferencing as well as the uploading of vital signs data, doctors can provide medical advice without having to travel to remote areas. To democratise this process further, we also need reputation or verification systems to properly connect patients with healthcare workers. Youtube + verification for healthcare, anyone?

Saturday, 24 May 2008

Startup Idea #63: Web based immunization schedules For missed childhood Vaccinations

What a cool and important idea waiting for a 2.0 makeover.

  • A new downloadable software tool will help pediatricians, parents and other health care professionals determine how to adjust complex childhood immunization schedules when one or more vaccine doses aren't received at the proper time.

What we can further add on is maybe a network to connect the children who need the vaccines to local clinics or hospitals. Another angel is to make it predictive by forecasting users who are likely to miss their vaccination through Amazon-alike type of system i.e. people who are this type tend to miss vaccinations et al.

Friday, 23 May 2008

Startup Idea #62: Networks for group purchase

I have been picking up this idea from various blogs that the next step for social networks (and a possible revenue model) is to organise group economic behaviour such as purchases. See:
With gasoline prices eating holes in the wallets of the world’s most vulnerable consumers – young people and single women – EnergyTechStocks.com anticipates that each of these social networking sites will be utilized in what will coalesce over time into a gigantic national (or even international) Internet-based carpooling network.imagine what could happen if the targeting gets a helluva lot better & we start using the same social sharing / viral distribution techniques to discover cool stuff on the open web... ... and then buy it together at substantial group discounts, like a pack of electronic wolves bringing down a very big & tasty e-caribou

What would be much more in keeping with the peer ethos would be to enable friends to get together to buy cooperatively. General Motors really, really wants to spend more ad $$$ online because the young car buyer is getting so hard to reach in other media. Say 1,000 Facebook users, all of whom wanted a new car, agreed on a specific model so they could bulk order and get a discount?

So, if the above observations are true, then what are the startup opportunities? How about:
  • easy-to-use apps to coordinate behavior. the apps would use implicit data to establish whether a person will be keen to group purchase a particular item;
  • marketplace to coordinate the buyers and seller
The most interesting however is that such group behavior enables different strategies to be built.

Thursday, 22 May 2008

Startup Idea #61: Markets for climate risk

I have mentioned in this post that creating new forms of market exchanges are huge opportunities.

Given the recent disasters that we see happening in China and Mynmar, why is there no strong interest from startups to solve this type of problems? Problems that are affecting lives and causing series grief to real people.

Climate risk is going to get bigger and bigger. There should be a market where such risks can be mitigated and managed. WeatherBill is one such company but how do you take it down to a personal level?

Creating such markets can yield many benefits. One of which is prediction. If we take it that the market can better predict forth coming disasters, we can then use the information and feed into a simple disaster management system, such as an alert application on a phone. Such things are worth doing and although it will be tough, i will welcome any suggestions, feedback, resources you might have encountered on making markets in climate risk.

Tuesday, 20 May 2008

Startup Idea #60: Network to create free consumer electronics

Continuing from the previous idea generation post about free consumer electronics, this startup idea is about forming a network for linking cheap electronic manufacturers in China to advertisers willing to sponsor free consumer electronics. This, I think, is one type of non-evil branding that BubbleGen talks about.

Free consumer electronics is not like spam. They are bringing something useful to consumers and they are also optional i.e. you are not forced to get it if you don't want it. Hence, sponsoring electronics for consumers is one way of investing in them.

Advertisers, by sponsoring electronics, not only builds a brand that invests in their users but for a cheap price, is getting exclusive 'screen' space. Consider the case that if banks sponsor a location device for users. The banks gain both the branding recall due to the device and the invaluable information about users, including where and what types of services/products they are seeking at what time. All these will enable banks to better tailor their products/services to match users' needs. Of course, banks can also regularly 'spam' their users but that is evil unless done in a way that provides really useful services.

As costs of components continue to slide to zero, it is plausible to take the idea of offering consumers free web applications to physical devices.

Sunday, 18 May 2008

Idea generation #29: Free consumer electronics

A thought provoking article on using consumer electronics as marketing tools:

you can outsource everything about hardware. You can make sexy consumer electronics. And you can do it very, very cheaply.

The fact that hardware can now be a sales tool implies that it has a very, very low price of entry. Low enough that banks could design their own consumer electronics to support the customer experience, if they wanted. You can imagine the situation: you choose your bank because its gadgets are the most desirable.

With prices of electronic components getting cheaper all the time, I am sure there will be unexpected uses. As Kevin Kelly said, free fosters greater innovation as the cost of experimenting drops tremendously. If consumer electronics become cheap enough, what other uses can we expect, beyond the marketing tool mentioned?

Saturday, 17 May 2008

Idea generation #28 (Part II): Mobile opportunities

Continuing from the previous post on mobile opportunities.

The Churchill Club's annual Top 10 Trend dinner also highlight a number of mobile opportunities. In particular, I thought the following are all relevant trends:

  1. From Vinod Knosla: The mobile phone will be a mainstream personal computer. With built in projector. Authentication. Credit. Khosla says he keeps pictures of his passport electronically on his phone. He says people will be less likely to carry their laptops. Come near a computer, and physical hard drive will be yours, including half-sent email message you left at home. Lose the phone, and all the information is on the network. Imagine what you want to do, and it should be available anytime. Projectors in cell phones in next two years. More than one camera per cell phone; high priority for Texas Instruments. Critical ingredient is high speed networks, which we will have in next 2-3 years. cards on SIM cards. ID cards, passports, drivers licenses. Any information you need.
  2. From Roger McNamee: Betting on smart phones: The mobile device migration to smart phones from features phones will produce even greater disruption than PC industry moving from character mode to graphical interface. Used to be just Palm and Research in Motion. (Note that McNamee’s firm is a large investor in Palm.) What you are really doing, is put in real software environments, with applications layer that separates network from physical device. Phones far more pervasive than PCs. Will take out Motorola. One of LG, Samsung or Sony Ericsson as well. Will be intensely disruptive. And it will hurt Microsoft. You can not make a great consumer product with unbundled operating system. It will be incredibly disrupted. In five years, half of what we think of as phones will do something far more profound than what we think of a phone as doing. Design centers will fragment. An Amazon Kindle is a smartphone, with 3G network behind it. A life changer for people who use it. Will turn billion unit a year industry on its head. Assume Nokia, Apple, RIMM will do really well. (And Palm will do great, he says.)
  3. McNamee: Within 5 years, everything that matters to you will be available to you on a device that fits on your belt or in your purse. Massive shift in Internet traffic from PCs to smaller devices. You should all get a Kindle, and study this thing, Roger says. Apple has it in the long run, wrong. Won’t be about watching created content, it will be about creating content. Within 10 years, more Internet traffic from your person than all other locations put together. Maybe actually more transaction, as opposed to bits, he corrects, given HD video traffic over the Internet at home. Khosla thinks the trend is already here. He does agree that the device will be transformative. McNamee says he is astonished how surprised people were by the iPhone and the Kindle. “Imagine all the other stuff you aren’t thinking about,” he says.
  4. Schoendorf: 80% of the world population will carry mobile Internet devices within 5-10 years. Dial-tone is going to be gone. By next year, people will put micro cells in your house. China Mobile has 500 million billable lines. Within 5-10 years will hit 5 billion global wireless phones. Jurvetson thinks 80% is simply too high; he noes that a quarter of the world’s population has no electricity. They will concentrate in the richest nations, Jurvetson says.

Thursday, 15 May 2008

Idea generation #28: Mobile opportunities

Saw this ppt a couple of years ago. Still find it aspiring. Plenty of opportunities here. Merge this with Bubblegen's 2.0 models and the mind explodes at the kind of things a startup can do.

Tuesday, 13 May 2008

Idea generation #27: Opportunities in new communication platform

The communication market is expanding. Users now have the option to use anything from s Text Messaging, Instant Messaging, Skyping et al (synchronous communication) to Blogs, Twitter et al (asynchronous public communication) to email, private comments on blog et al (asynchronous private communication).

As we line up each of these communication tools, we can see that many of them will evolve beyond their communication purposes. Foundry Group Blog, for example, talks about email and says how it can evolved to social networks and know management. Personally, I have also used Twitter as a news aggregator by reading the links of those I followed, although I do not have a Twitter account.

As these different purposes evolve, I believe there will be opportunities for startups to build applications that integrate with these communication platforms. Xobni for example has a great product revealing your email's social network to the user.

So what I have done below is to map out the communications platforms vs the different purposes they can evolve to. This is a work in progress. I will trying to fill the names in the coming weeks to see if there are any more opportunities left!

Social Graphs
Media Aggregation
Collaboration Tools
Document Storage
Contact Management

Social networks

Instant messaging

Text messaging




Monday, 12 May 2008

Startup Idea #59: Small idea-Coordination machine linking to-do list to globe

Coordination plays are a big part of what the web is all about. Enabling resources to be coordinated via simple mechanisms, rather than through firms is one way to gain strategic advantage.

A simple idea (inspiration here:article ) is to build an application that links a user's to-do list to the global marketplaces that have spring up so that he/she can outsource her/his personal tasks.
The value proposition is simple: rather than going to the different marketplaces, it is attention efficient for a user to list her tasks and wait for the appropriate response.

Sunday, 11 May 2008

Idea generation #26: Personal carbon trading

Next big market, IMHO. Once sufficient liquidity has been reached, we will see innovations in this market, not unlike what the financial sector has gone through. All sorts of risk management innovations will come, and along with that, a bunch of new winners in the startup game.

Better yet, use 2.0 to create new forms of startups in this game: the Covestor, the Wesabe, the Instant Information of this new market.

Saturday, 10 May 2008

Startup Idea #58: Open marketplace for advertiser sponsored widgets

The problem of 'evil' ads is getting out of hand. Somebody should really be doing something. Hey, it is not like there is no obvious solution. Bubblegen has already highlighted one: make an open ad platform where brands can sponsor widgets that add value to their customers.

This idea should be very implementable. Focus on one industry first: see for example how Nike created useful widgets for its sports community. There are plenty of other industries where widgets can add value; how about the eco-industry? create a platform where eco brands can sponsor widgets that e.g. help users track their carbon footprint, visualise their electricity usage, recommend relevant eco products et al. So many possibilities....

Such a platform is the inverse of what Bubblegen has called a 'evil' platform. By choosing to be open and focus on value adding widgets, it will avoid the adverse selection problem like what Facebook is facing now.

Somebody pls do this. I can't stand ads!

Friday, 9 May 2008

Startup Idea #57: Network to reduce deaths from car accidents

I have been having goose bumps reading articles talking about the power of being good (this and this). The sheer power of the ideas being articled is nothing less than tectonic.

One idea I have after reading an article about Larry Page saying the same things is to reduce deaths from car accidents. Singapore has one of the highest deaths in per capital terms. Many of these deaths occur in highways. Why is that so? Well, because the training and lessons we receive never teach us the dangers of highways. So, the idea here is built a network that connects people who want to teach highway safety to new drivers. Simple but value adding.

Of course, we can use all the rich media like video and such to show how highway accidents occur, how to prevent it, how to spot danger et al. However, the most important thing to develop mechanisms that connect people who really want to help to people who need that. So things like reputation mechanisms, recommendation engines, location search et al become important. When all these is up, we can be open and allow out developers to put useful applications that fit the theme of network.

I am beginning to see the huge untapped market potential that BubbleGen was talking about: using the 'being good' perspective lets you see different opportunities. Do the same and you can see the potential for yourself!

Wednesday, 7 May 2008

Idea generation #25: Spreadsheet 2.0?

Dave Winer had a interesting idea back in 07: spreadsheet calls over the Internet. Together with this platform enabling mashups to be created via importing web data directly into your desktop excel, this idea has the potential to create many interesting applications, or even business.

One application, first articulated here, is a automatically updated contact spreadsheet. The idea is to maintain a database in your excel and have the contact data pulled from social networks such as LinkedIn.

More ideas in the next post..

Monday, 5 May 2008

Idea generation #23 (Part II): Product conversations: new form of social mediation

See the first post here and related startup idea here.

A useful article that highlights the value of product twittering and lists some examples. This article deepens my understanding of the value of product twittering: it is beyond mindless broadcasting of information. Rather it is about:

agents that circulate food for thought, that “speak on” matters from an altogether different point of view, that lend a Thing-y perspective on micro and macro social, cultural, political and personal matters

Hence, things will get more interesting when twitterbots goes beyond their one directional boardcast and allows for meaningful conversations.

Startup Idea #56: Small idea-Platform enabling feedback from micro blogging services

As micro blogging services such as Twitter becomes more mainstream and influential, there will be a need for businesses to engage their customers in this new area. As highlighted by Micro Persuasion, forward looking companies such as JetBlue are already using Twitter as the frontline for their customer service. The opportunity here is for a new type of customer service support company that makes it easy for the rest of the companies to do the same.

The bundled services this new company can provide include:
  1. Design of template: preferably through a network of designers
  2. Automated search for company evangelists from services such as GetSatisfaction. This person or group of people will become the customer service support for the company's micro blog. Companies can of course assigned their internal people to manage the blog.
  3. Dashboard and data metrics for the company to monitor the activities on the blog, highlighting any potential concerns, similar to how SNMP works
With scalability built into the system through a network approach, this idea can potentially become the dominant design for customer support 2.o : )

Saturday, 3 May 2008

Startup Idea #55: Aggregation services for Covestor

Related to my last post, there is another startup opportunity: re imagining the type of successful blog aggregation services such as TechMeme, Technorati, Outside.In et al for other democratizing platforms.

For Covestor, if everyone can now be a fund manager, there is value in finding the best fund managers from the rest pf the pool. Of course, this is something I believe Covestor will do itself. However there is always value in chaining the blogs of these different fund managers, like what TechMeme is doing. The interface however could be stock driven, rather than news driven. For example, under the Google stock, we can see which fund managers are blogging about it.

Manipulating the tags associated with the Covestor platform is also potentially another game changer. If we can massively distribute these tags to other blogs outside of Covestor, the unlocked value can be huge. For instance, a blogger on Wordpress can tag his blog post about Google with the Covestor Google tag. The tag will then draw in the relevant info from Covestor such as number of fund managers buying this stock, its movement for the past week et al. Using this simple methodology, we can create the Technorati equivalent for Covestor tags.

Wonder if they have an API?

Idea generation #24: Platforms for democratizing professional services

I always thought that blogging platforms are the end all and be all of democratization. However, coming across this article about Covestor really blew my mind away on the opportunities to build platforms that democratized different types of professional services.

What Covestor does is building a platform that allows the average Joe to become a fund manager. The fund management industry is paid with fat margins with no corresponding relationship with efficiency: an industry waiting to be disrupted by platforms such as Covestor.

So, the next question is to ask what other industries have a similar structure: fat margins, dependent on a selected 'professional' and relatively inefficient? We have seen journalism being democratized by blogging platforms, and now fund management by Covestor platform, what else is next? How about HR recruitments? Or research firms? or credit rating agencies?