[Stupid Idea Series] Taking the Palm to the Cleaners

Gregory Alan Bolcer (gbolcer@endTECH.com)
Thu, 21 Oct 1999 08:38:39 -0700

Okay, here's my stupid idea for the day.
You ever spend 2 hours looking for a shirt that you all of a sudden
remember you took to the cleaners? Also, you ever forget to pick up
your 5 best shirts and slacks until 4 weeks later, lost your receipt,
and tried haggling with attendant because you ran out of checks, but
you have a meeting in less than 45 minutes?

Here's my solution, put every dry cleaner outlet online so that
you can track, get the status, payonline, and assess exactly what
you have at the cleaners, how much you owe, and when you can pick it up.

Sell a package deal to each and every 400,000 dry cleaner shops
around the country for $150k each that simply replaces their paper tags
and their unique ids with estamps-like technology. At each station
in the dry cleaning process, the worker simply waves the tag over the
scanner before they press it, put it in the laundry, tear holes in
it, excessively bleach it--whatever it is the hell they do there. The
events get sent back to the edry.com or 1800drycleaners.com (or whatever the hell it's called)
portal site that also actually provides really nifty ticket tracking
for all sorts of wireless devices and a nice XML interface such that
calendaring, scheduling, and whatever else portals can programmatically
pickup and schedule your whole friggin life around the dry cleaners.

Driving home from work and you want to know if your laundry's done
without stopping and waiting in line? Simply go to your portal
on your Nokia and get an instant answer. Better yet, they could
have a promotion and give away free PalmVx's or other proprietary
hardware and and embed the cost in the dry cleaning.

You can put the whole thing together for about a couple of hundred thousand
going towards setting up the site and hiring 3-4 sales people. Even better,
you can make a markup selling the tags to the cleaners and the Palms with
customized banners to the customers and finally get advertising revenue.

Start the whole thing with about $600k, have the software done in 5 weeks,
and then all of a sudden you have a $100M market cap.

Greg Bolcer
email: gbolcer@endtech.com
web: http://www.endtech.com
work: 714.505.4970
cell: 714.928.5476
fax: 603.994.0516