Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Catching the Next Wave

A criminal is a person with predatory instincts who has not sufficient capital to form a corporation. ~Howard Scott

There's talk about another technology boom. Possibly this is coming from all those experts who lost their butts when the last one busted and are now looking for suckers to tap to make up for it. However, I think that there may be some truth in this talk, and I'm trying to figure out how to cash in on it.
Historically, I am not a person who catches trends very well. I was in college during the Sexual Revolution but remained a noncombatant (dammit!). All those fitness trends that have come along regularly for years? Managed to miss every one and have the proportions to prove it. When mutual funds were hot, all I had was a CD (and some tapes and records). As for the last technology boom, well, the best I got out of that was a job offer from an outfit that went out of business while I was thinking about accepting it.
Well, by golly, this time I'm going to figure out how to get my hands on some of that Internet filthy lucre. Trouble is, I have no idea how.
I've been keeping an eye out for what's hot, and, with my usual incredible acumen, I have no idea what I'm looking at. Were I a technology columnist, this would pose no difficulty, since some of them are still waiting for the “year of ISDN” and “ATM on the desktop” to get here. If you don't know what those are about, don't be concerned; they're dead letters. I can be that prescient.
None of that, however, is getting me any richer. There are a few things out there that everyone seems to know about, but one has to have a fresh take on these things to get above the crowd. So here's a few things I'm thinking about. Be warned. I have copyrights, patents, and various other nefarious legal gizzies at my disposal should any of my two or three readers try to steal one of these gems.
IP over string – Sure, everybody in the burbs has high-speed access, but what about us out here in the boonies? Satellite Internet access costs more per month than filling up an SUV. I can't get the local telco to run anything out here, but I'm sure even the cheap so-and-so's at the phone company would be willing to run string to my house. I admit I'm a little fuzzy on the details, but if you can run IP across copper wire and even glass fiber strands, surely it can be done over string.
Porn over VOIP – Yes, I know they can dial up 900 numbers on VOIP, but how about providing a service that tells VOIP users where all those overseas numbers are? You know, the ones I mean. These are the ones that promise cheap calls, then sock you with whopper telco charges for dialing Pago-Pago. Oh, you don't know. Well, I don't either, but I think there's a pile to make here.
Cheapie Internet divorces - With all those lonely-hearts web sites out there, there are going to be a lot of people wondering whatever they could have been thinking. It strikes me that there might be a little embroidery going on when folks fill out those surveys. When you find out that your new mate really didn't win the Nobel Peace Prize, I could be there with the online equivalent of Reno.
DRM's R Us – Apple has theirs, Microsoft has theirs, Sony had theirs (oopsie). Everyone has their own Digital Rights Management scheme to ensure that all you pirates out there can't listen to your music except on their terms. Well, how about a site with RIAA-approved DRM schemes for anyone who wants one, but doesn't have time to do it right? Sony would be the first to sign up.
DRM Breakers R Us – Well, how are people going to listen to their music if someone doesn't give them a way to break all that DRM crap someone is peddling?
I'm not sure which I'll be trying out first, but I do have a lot of string lying around. I'll be sure to post when I'm ready to issue my first IPO.

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