Three Types of Ideas

Paul Buchheit writes:

Product ideas can be divided into three categories:

1. Obviously good ideas that are very difficult to implement. Efficient cold-fusion, flying cars, and a lot of other sci-fi ideas fall into this group.
2. Obviously “good” ideas that seem possible but haven’t happened yet. Video phones and HDTV were in this category for a long time. I think this happens when people get excited about technology and overestimate the benefits (and possibly underestimate the cost). I just don’t care that much about having a video phone.
3. “Bad” ideas. Many of these ideas are truly bad, but some of them will in hindsight turn out to have been very good ideas. I put them in the same category because they are difficult to distinguish without the benefit of hindsight.

Here’s my point: The best product ideas are often found in the “bad ideas” category!

Danal and Mobile Payments

WSJ writes: “In South Korea, Danal’s popular service lets people charge such items, as well as tangible goods like books or cosmetics, directly to their mobile-phone bills using an authentication code they punch into their personal computer. They receive the code as a text message on their phone when they are ready to buy something online. There is no need to install special software on the phones. In heavily wired Korea, 70% of all digital content — valued at more than $1 billion last year — is charged directly to cellphone bills instead of traditional credit cards, the company says.”

In India, mchek, in which I have an investment, is also working in the mobile payments space.