The Winklevoss strategy

The Winklevoss twins are my heroes.

They made a half-arsed attempt at a marginal business idea, which Mark Zuckerberg stole, improved, and actually implemented. At the end of the day they basically did nothing, spent a total of $400 (plus legal fees!), and wound up receiving $65 million.

In terms of return-on-effort we are talking six figures per hour! Legendary.

So here’s my new business strategy:

  1. Come up with a poorly-thought-out business idea.
  2. Find a talented developer/engineer and trick them into stealing it.
  3. Do nothing while they make the idea viable and put in the hundreds of hours needed to make it work.
  4. Sue them.

To wit: I think 3D printing is going to be huge – nearly any object that can be described can also be manufactured, with little or no human labour. Once 3D printers becomes ubiquitous and commoditized the main bottleneck will be on the design side.

So here’s the idea: set up a website where people can post their requirements for an object, and how much they’re willing to pay. Other people post 3D designs that implement the object. The best design wins the prize. Basically, the 99designs model applied to 3D objects.

It’ll be huge. Someone should totally do it.

(Dear lawyers: In terms of jurisdiction, this was written in Victoria, Australia; is hosted somewhere in the US; and is visible in every country that doesn’t block WordPress. Go figure.)



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