Writing by Peter Hilton

More inane start-up ideas

Yet more free ideas from the archives, 2018-2019 2020-07-28 #startups

Paolo Martini CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

  1. 2014 ideas
  2. 2015-2017 ideas
  3. 2018 app ideas
  4. 2018 development ideas
  5. 2018-2019 ideas ←
  6. 2020 ideas
  7. 2021 ideas
  8. 2022 ideas

I occasionally share stupid start-up company ideas, and have previously published collections:

This post presents the next batch.


Indestructible Champagne glasses - the killer application for the next miracle material.

Passenger aeroplane seat headrest covers with the actual seat number in giant letters, so fewer people sit in the wrong seat.

POS receipt printer Twitter client that prints one tweet per day, to replace old-school tear-off desk calendars.

Packs of anti-LED stickers for hotel rooms, to cover the blue LEDs.

Staged software error messages on public screens (a.k.a. @KevlinHenney screens) with advertising space next to it that people will photograph and share on social media.


No frills 10-point hotel rankings app. Define and share your own points system, such as the @Bodil scale: 1 point each for bedside power sockets, accessible HDMI socket on TV, no captive portal on Wi-Fi, ethernet socket, room service breakfast menu.

Presentation software that automatically selects slides to skip when you have too many slides for the available time.

Spreadsheets (and programming languages) that support ordinal numbers (first, second, third, …) as well as cardinals (1, 2, 3, …), so we don’t get confused about which ‘priority’ means ‘highest’, and stop mixing up collection indices and sizes.

Social media client that auto links quotations to their source, so it doesn’t matter if you ‘forget’ to do so manually.

Strict ("use strict") mode but for Excel, that prevents data entry changing a cell from a number to a date, and makes it easy to set the cell type for a whole column.

Office life

App for scanning and ‘trading’ business cards - earn badges for companies, industries, countries, job titles etc.

Calendar plugin that matches every meeting you accept by blocking the same amount of the time in the same week for a fake meeting, complete with fake title, attendees and agenda, so you can keep half your time for working by yourself.

Calendar plugin that auto-rejects meeting invitations that don’t specify the meeting purpose, agenda, and expected outcomes.

Calendar plugin that randomly disappears one meeting per week from your calendar, and automatically mails the meeting organiser shortly before the meeting to say that you sadly, tragically, can’t make it because reasons.

Software development

Television quiz show for programmers based on naming things… in the style of Countdown.

GitHub commits chart, but for acts of kindness and helping people to succeed.

Rewriting your error messages as a service.

Predictive analytics for Github and Jira issues to predict issue cycle time based issue description, comments and meta-data.

For more occasional start-up ideas, follow @PeterHilton on Twitter.

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