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Business Plan - Many a mickle maks a muckle

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December 12th, 2002

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03:34 pm - Business Plan
An anonyfriend (anonymous except for the lower case of the f) just called me on hir mobile to say "Hello Chris, I'm a bit lost. I took an unexpected exit out of (named large building) and don't know how to get to (named venue). I've walked to (nearby named large building) - please would you go to http://www.streetmap.co.uk/ and guide me to (named venue)?" So I did. It was quite fun.

Now generalise this and you have a business. Rent a premium rate phone number such as 0901-I-AM-LOST. Then when people get lost, they ring you on their mobiles, describe their current locations and you direct them to wherever they need to get to in order to be unlost. 50p per minute, more from mobile phones. The more help they need, the longer they stay on the line, the more money you make.

Would require an intensive and expensive advertising campaign in the local media and some sort of agreement with the mapping company whose maps you would use, but I think it would work. Might not be profitable, but it would work.

Yes? No? No? No.... no.
Current Mood: Share and enjoy!

(5 comments | Leave a comment)


[User Picture]
Date:December 12th, 2002 07:48 am (UTC)
A quick check reveals that, in the US, (1-)800-IAM-LOST belongs to "Child Find of America", for parents reporting lost or abducted children. This seems a bit wrong. Perhaps they should have 800-IVE-LOST for parents to report lost or abducted children and 800-IAM-LOST for the lost or abducted children to report themselves.

Also not an inherent money maker.
[User Picture]
Date:December 12th, 2002 08:05 am (UTC)
Call 800-NOT-LOST and tell someone where you are, right now.

I'd pay a dollar to do that.

I'm so lonely.
[User Picture]
Date:December 12th, 2002 08:03 am (UTC)
I think this could be enormously profitable. You advertise in the vein of men who never want to pull over and ask for directions (e.g. me). Could've really used this service yesterday. Who wants to call ahead to where they're going and suffer the embarrassment of saying they're lost? I'm assuming of course that this sort of male egotism isn't a purely American trait.

"Hey ladies. Are you tired of your husbands getting lost on the way to the Jones' house? Tired of fighting because he won't pull over and ask for directions and now you'll get stuck with the really horny loser-guy as your Pictionary teammate? Not anymore. Now there's Jiggery's Pokery. Just call him up any time, any day and ask for directions from any named venue to any nearby named building. You'll be playing Scrabble with Mr. Jones in two shakes of a lamb's tail. Let him poke you in the right direction.... Offer not valid for unless all residences and buildings are named."

[User Picture]
Date:December 12th, 2002 08:48 am (UTC)
There are already a couple of places that do this. My cell phone company gives free driving directions, plus since I have the Wireless Web option I have access to Mapquest, et al from my phone. But, you're right, it does sound like a good idea.
[User Picture]
Date:December 12th, 2002 09:48 am (UTC)
It could work, albeit it might be more profitable in the UK than in the US. Many people in the US have 900 and 976 numbers (premium rate phone numbers) blocked on their phones due to the prices (sometimes as much as $5 a minute) and due to the sheer amount of fraud with those numbers.

But it is quite the interesting idea.

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