Salary Source

“So, how much do you make?” is a question no one in their right mind would ask their coworker (unless you’re related to them, or you were in each others’ weddings… and even then, approach with caution). But it is on everyone’s mind. With employees in high supply in an economy of low demand, there are lots of new hires out there wondering if they are being taken advantage of in their moment of desperation.

Even in a strong economy, women wonder if they haven fallen victim to the (self-imposed?) “glass ceiling”, people wonder whether they’re making as much in their current workplace as the one next door, and everyone thinks about which of their coworkers’ earnings is above or below theirs.

So, I propose a website ( which allows individuals to log in and anonymously post their current and past employment statistics:
– workplace
– salary
– geographic location
– years of experience
– degrees
– responsibility

That way, others can log in and check out any number of self-reported employment statistics. This would be great to know if you’re moving to a new city and need to know your market’s earning average. It could also help you find out if you might have a better opportunity at another workplace in the same city OR if you should ask for a raise since you are earning below average at your current job!

There are lots of salary comparison sites already out there (like salary.comĀ ) but you can’t see individual reports or the name of the actual companies. It is more of an overall average based on qualifications and geography. My proposal would allow for a more visual comparison on any number of parameters to better highlight where you stand in relation to your peers. Think it sounds good? Steal it!

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Many people have seen the awesome new technology allowing you to translate a sign by pointing your smartphone in its general direction (as seen in the above video). This app recognizes the shapes of the letters, converts it to what it thinks is being printed, and changes it right on the screen.

We were thinking, why not use it to recognize not just the shapes of words, but the shapes of buildings? Landmarker would use the same technology to recognize the outline of a building, reference it to the shapes of buildings near your GPS coordinates as seen by Google Street View, and show you if there’s anything interesting out on the net about it. Since it recognizes shapes, you could also find out the story behind a statue, find out all the details before you take a car for a test drive, or find your way around campus on your first day.

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I’ll wait for you!

How much would you pay someone to wait in line for you to get tickets to your favorite band’s concert? To be the first to get your hands on new technology products? For entrance into a popular restaurant or club?

While at the University of Texas, J and I used to wait in line for hours in between classes just to get into the lottery to secure tickets to the big football games. But sometimes, we’d wait so long that we’d have to abandon our place just to go to class, and we’d loose our chance at the lottery seat!

We think it would be great to create a website or app ( that allows people to connect with others who are willing to market their patience. You would be able to find someone who is willing to hold your spot in line if you have something important to take care of for a moment, or even do all the waiting and buying FOR you (at a price, of course). It would work great for people who want tickets to out-of-town events that you have to stand in line for AND for people who have a little extra time on their hands and can use it to make a few extra bucks.

It would also cut down on the number of people committing one of the greatest of social annoyances: line-cutting!

What do you think? Any web developers out there who want to make it happen?

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Travel Improvements

J and I have a trip to Ireland coming up, which got us thinking about ways to make travel more convenient and fun.

The worst part about travel is arguably the “getting there” part. Long flights are mostly uncomfortable and inconvenient unless you pay a premium for non-stop flights or 1st class seats. So, here are a couple small changes that could make it better:

1. A small fee for a “QuickBags” option when checking luggage. Pay an extra $30-$40, and have your baggage unloaded first. I have missed a couple connecting flights because I had to pick up baggage that came off the plane late (or in one case, got lost completely). With QuickBags, you could make tighter connections or simply start your vacation sooner or get to bed earlier when you’re getting to your destination late in the evening.

2. Suggested seat partners. We could call this option “FlightConnection”. We thought about how when you start University and choose to live in a dormitory, many times you are asked to fill out a personality/study habits survey to determine who would be your ideal roommate candidate. On long flights, an airline could have an option upon check-in to fill out a quick e-survey about themselves to find their ideal seat partner. Some people are not chatty on planes and get annoyed when people next to them want to gab it up, while others enjoy meeting new people on flights. This system would enhance the in-flight experience for all patrons by putting them next to people they are compatible with. Readers beside readers, chatters beside chatters, professionals by potential networking opportunities, etc.

I’d love to see some airlines adopt these options. What’s your opinion?

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Crowdsourced Groceries

We had another smartphone app that we’ve been trying to get just right before putting it up. I don’t know that it’s there yet, but hopefully someone can pick it up and run with it:

Crowdsourced Groceries would let you create a grocery list on your phone, just like many other apps. This one, though, would know your home address and the address of your local grocery store, as well as your route to get there. With that knowledge, it would tell you what others along your route and close to your home want to get from the store and how much they would pay someone to bring it to them. When you say you’ll pick up their groceries, their list will be taken down from the public domain and they’ll get a email telling them who will be bringing their groceries. Of course, if no one offers to pick them up, they can always claim their list and maybe some others to earn a little extra from a normal trip to the store.

Primary targets:

1. The elderly and disabled generally have a difficult time going shopping, but spend much of their time at home. This would make it easy for them to crowdsource the shopping and be available when the groceries arrive on their doorstep.
2. People who are too busy to get to the store before it closes and just need a few things until they can make their next trip.
3. The food deserts that are the focus of American health initiatives could be irrigated by people within these communities who can take the time to go to the nearest store and bring back fresh foods for their neighbors.

Secondary targets:
1. Students looking to make a few extra dollars on the side.
2. People who want to help the elderly or disabled in their communities but don’t have time to volunteer for programs like Meals on Wheels.

We haven’t submitted this one anywhere because we can still see a few problems with it: 1) What if the person isn’t home to receive the groceries? 2) How do you ensure the safety of the recipient? 3) Are these even issues that need to be addressed by the app? We think this could be a great way to help build camaraderie in a community and serve a public need when it comes to the elderly and bringing fresh foods to neighborhoods without a lot of grocery stores. If you can make it happen, please cite us and steal it!

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PaceBeats workout app

Our very first idea post! Hopefully this will be the beginning of a habit of relatively frequent updates about our most recent hairbrained (and maybe some not-so-hairbrained) ideas.

Anyway, this is an idea for a smartphone app called PaceBeats. Here’s how it works:

PaceBeats compiles songs based on tempo for people who listen to music during workouts. After downloading PaceBeats, the first thing you do is “set your pace” by tapping the screen at a certain tempo for 120 seconds. The app would calculate the average beats per minute, and then put together a list of songs from your iTunes that are most similar to that tempo. It could also suggest new songs from the iTunes store that have similar tempos. After selecting the songs you want to include (perhaps based on length of workout or length of each song) you could create a seamless mix of your songs, which would blend into each other without stopping the beat or disturbing your pace. You could keep several beats on file at once. For example: “warm up” “workout” and “cool down” or “running” and “cycling.”

The target audiences would be as follows:

1. Anyone who works out with a music player and draw motivation from their music
2. Serious runners/athletes that need to keep a steady pace throughout their workout

1. Performance artists (like dancers) who are constantly looking for the perfect song to correspond with their ideas for a piece.
2. DJs, singers and others who want to mix or “mash up” music seamlessly together. It would make it easy for them to find songs with the same bmp.

We submitted this idea to MEDL mobile back on Dec 8, 2010, and it is still “Waiting for Review” so we really have no hope of it ever coming into being. So, please, if you feel like you can make this idea reality, steal it! Just credit us for the idea. We’d love to see this app get made.

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