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Ideas

Somewhere to publicly write the ideas I get. If you have any feedback, if you feel we can work together to make any of these happen, or if you have an idea you think we can build together, let鈥檚 talk!

馃鈥嶐煄 ISA Student Loans for Disadvantaged Youth

Idea started Oct 2022. Added to site April 23rd, 2024

This was the company I was going to build right after selling Finco, but the macro environment just wasn鈥檛 favorable due to extremely high interest rates.

In Latin America and developing countries in general, many promising young people from disadvantaged backgrounds never achieve their true potential due to factors external to them. Compared to their more affluent peers, their mothers had worse nutrition during pregnancy, they had a worse diet themselves, they have less stimulation growing up, and have a higher chance of dropping out of school for many different factors.. More importantly, many young people who do reach the end of high school still don鈥檛 go to the next step in their educational path because of economic, societal or other problems.

What if you could find the students who managed to beat the odds, and who not only finished high school but excelled above their peers? What if you could give them a chance to study a high-earning-potential career and find them a corresponding high-paying job? you would be changing not only their lives but that of their families and future offspring as well. True social mobility would be achieved, their potential not lost to inequality but rather realized thanks to grit and perseverance. Something like Makers with a more social focus.

I think you could offer these students an opportunity to study these careers through an Income-Share-Agreement loan. You would have every incentive to help them get the best possible career and job offer to maximize gains on the loan, while they would have every incentive to keep excelling to change their lives.

It would be important to also aid in adjusting to an alien academic setting, mental health, living costs and other important factors that may determine their chances of realizing their dream. Also, programs wouldn鈥檛 necessarily need to be 4 year long programs. Why not 1 or 2-year-long courses on current demanded skills in the tech economy? This would lower costs, lower time to graduation, lower time to revenue, and lower drop-out rates.

This has been my dream company for a couple of years now. Maybe soon I鈥檒l get it done.

馃攦 Repitis.com

Added April 23rd, 2024

Together with my wife, we bought the domain www.repitis.com a couple of years ago. We totally suffer from domain-name shopping addiction. Another one of our other great acquisitions was www.bigassants.com (to sell this Colombian delicacy).

鈥漅epitis鈥 means 鈥渢o repeat something soon or immediately鈥 in Colombian parlance. Typically used when doing something fun like a board game or pleasurable like sweet food, or more commonly, sex. Our initial idea since we just had the babies was to put up a circular economy website for baby clothing and items that get discarded as the kids grow out of them.

We quickly realized that was kind of a logistical nightmare (baby items get dangerously close to biohazard waste status 鈽o笍), but the domain name is so fucking good we just need to use it on something.

We thought about a board game import company, but the margins were too low to make it lucrative and we would compete vs. Amazon delivery. Now, we just don鈥檛 know what to use it for! My latest ideas hover towards a dedicated place to sell old videogames and consoles.

Do you have some idea of what we might use repitis.com for? Let me know!

馃摎 No-bullshit Book Publisher

Added April 23rd, 2024

In a recent chat with a colleague at R5, he opened my eyes to an undeniable truth: Most instructional books could tell you all you need to know and be over in 50 pages or less. The rest of the content is just fluff.

Now, I鈥檝e been reading a lot lately and I couldn鈥檛 agree more. I loved Atomic Habits but James Clear really goes overboard with the examples. He even has a 1-page summary of the book which could replace the whole thing easily.

Maybe you could build a publisher that admonishes and embraces this fact, and instead of going for length, values conciseness. You could even sell 鈥渃ompilations鈥 of several books, which together make up the typical length of a more typical, bullshit-fluff-literary piece.

鈴 Express Video Interviews

Added March 5th, 2024

In my experience, the most bothersome part of recruiting someone new into your team is the first round of disqualifications. You go, make a nice post on LinkedIn, and suddenly you have 20+ applicants you want to interview. Now, talking to all of them will take at least 30 mins each or 20 hours total, so in practice, you end up shortlisting only 5 or so and hope for the best.

What if you could lower that initial time from 30 minutes to only 5? The idea is to make a small service that lets you input a set of screening questions to be answered in less than 1 minute each. Candidates would record themselves answering them on the website and whatever came out, came out. No second takes!

Bonus function: have Whisper make a transcript of the answers and then automatically use GPT-4鈥檚 API to rate candidates based on your expected answers.

馃憲馃暥锔 Boutique Brand Marketplace

Added March 5th, 2024

Colombia and Latin America have a ton of cool boutique consumer-goods brands that could sell for a good margin in the US and Europe while maintaining a decent margin due to the lowish cost of manufacturing in LatAm.

Because of how the economics work out, these brands sell for what would be considered a premium price in their local market, limiting their market reach. Many of these are also bootstrapped businesses with low financing available, with founding teams that are not knowledgeable on how to scale up a good product or how to reach international markets.

You could group a bunch of these businesses under the same website/storefront, advertising them to US and EU customers as zany, Latino-owned, up-and-coming brands. This already happens physically in Colombia to some success as there are a ton of 鈥渕ulti-brand local entrepreneur stores鈥 all around. The idea would be to take that concept, amp it up to 11 and bring it to a larger, more affluent market.

馃懛鈥嶁檪锔 Mid-sized Mall Renovation

Added March 5th, 2024

There are 2 malls very near to my place in Bogot谩, which is located in a reasonably affluent part of the city. One has the most expensive square-meter-rent-price in the country. The other is just ~2 blocks away but has 1/10th the rent price because of how run down it is.

The second one is also extremely well located. It鈥檚 at the intersection of 2 main roads, the sunday Ciclovia passes right in front of it and has several restaurants and bars nearby. It simply wasn鈥檛 maintained over time and now is an eyesore in an otherwise great zone.

The idea would be to buy this place, renovate it and rent the commercial space out for somewhere around 5 to 8 times the current price, leveling it to the zone average.

I LOVE this idea. The only bad part is that mortgage interest rates have skyrocketed in Colombia (currently around ~13% yearly) so the lease would probably be too expensive at the moment. Maybe there is some other way to finance the project that is less vulnerable to interest rates鈥