The Antipreneur: So, I hear you have some good ideas for a Web 2.0 startup you want to run by me.
The StartupKid: Yep, I have some really good original ideas that I think could make me and you rich.
Antipreneur: Ok kid hit me with them, but I warn you I have a knack for raining on others parades. So, this might not be fun for you.
Startup Kid: I’m a big boy I can take it. So, the first idea I was thinking about was an internet based social referral service for babysitters.
Antipreneur: I’m listening….
Startupkid: See my parents are always making me babysit my kid brother when our regular sitter is not available. But what if there was a place online where you could go to find babysitters and refer them to people in your social network. I’m going to call it SitterBook and we will…..
Antipreneur: Ok, stop right there. Haven’t you heard of Urbansitter or Sittercity? There are probably at least five sites legitimately doing this already and trying to vet a network of sitters.
StartupKid: Ok, no problem. What about tutors? I can create…
Antipreneur: Tutorcloud, Tutorhub, or Tutorspree.
StartKid: Wow, three already?
Antipreneur: No, I named three, there are plenty more.
Startupkid: What about dog walking? I bet nobody has thought of that yet. My Dad hates walking the dog….
Antipreneur: Check out Dogwalker.com, Localdogwalker.com, Dogwalkercity.com, Friendlydogwalkers.com, and dogwalkerusa.com and then get back to me.
Startupkid: How is that possible? Why have I never heard of any of these? Are all these sites making money?
Antipreneur: Good questions kid. It is possible because everyone else was thinking just like you. And no I don’t think any of them are making money, but then again it doesn’t cost much to try so why not give it a shot.
Startupkid: Ok, forget big ideas. What about if I just create a social network for my neighborhood where all these things can be handled within smaller communities.
Antipreneur: Seriously? You haven’t heard of Nextdoor.com yet. What planet are you living on kid?
Startupkid: Geez, this really is frustrating. Maybe I should just get a side job while I am school and save up to invest in one of these companies. Oh, wait, there is an idea. How about a site where companies can rent services of students who need cash. I will call it rentastudent.com..
Antipreneur: Already exists.
Startupkid: Unreal. What is it called?
Antipreneur: No, I mean rentastudent.com already exists. It is called rentastudent.com.
Startupkid: You mean someone stole my idea.
Antipreneur: Lol. Stole? You just had it. Rentastudent.com has been around for at least a few months.
Startupkid: Ok, I need to rethink my approach. How about something more specialized. My sister is a model, and she is always complaining about how hard it is to network in her business. Why not create a social network for models, photographers, and makeup artists.
Antipreneur: Well, there is modelpocket.com, modelworldbook.com, hushcity.com, modelwirenetwork.com, and even something called fashioning that dabbles along these lines.
Startupkid: Ughh. What about a social network for gay people?
Antipreneur: Nah, that’s already been done and it didn’t really work. It was called Fab.com.
Startupkid: Hmm, what about if we take something that works like daily deals and marry it to a niche network idea. For example, instead of a gay social network, we make it a daily deal site for gay people where the products and deals will be tailored for the community.
Antipreneur: Strike two, been done and also didn’t really catch on. It was called Fab.com.
Startupkid: What about if I drop the whole gay thing and just focus on creating a flash buying site for beautiful designs. My best friend has impeccable taste, and people are always buying the stuff he buys. It’s like keeping up with the Joneses the movie except it’s a website. We’ll hire good editors and artists to make the site look slick and hip.
Antipreneur: Clever. That is not such a bad idea. But bad news kid, it has also been done. It is called Fab.com
Startupkid: What? How is that possible?
Antipreneur: Because they tried and tried till they found a variation that made sense. And this one made sense.
Startupkid: But does it work?
Antipreneur: Yes, it is very popular right now, and has spawned countless copycats.
Startupkid: Damn. Ok, what about sharing.
Antipreneur: I’m listening….
Startupkid: Like people have stuff, and they are not always using that stuff, right??
Antipreneur: Yes, stuff spends a lot of time sitting around.
Startupkid: Ok, so why not use the power of social to share stuff. I could rent my car out, my dormroom, my parents could rent my bedroom while I am away, and I could even split my Netflix bill with a friend.
Antipreneur: All been done, and probably copycatted multiple times already. And everyone involved is still trying to figure out how to turn a profit of all this sharing.
Startupkid: Ok, this is depressing. Maybe I should just invent a site that lets you share your parents.
Antipreneur: Hmm, now that’s an idea kid.
Startupkid: I was kidding.
Antipreneur: Well, you never know, and I have not heard of this one yet. I’ll give you the numbers of a couple investors that will give you some seed cash for this. You should be up and running in a few weeks. Good luck!
Startupkid: Don’t you want to invest?
Antipreneur: I don’t invest in startups kid. Come to me when you are turning a profit and I’ll tell you my secret.