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New Product Ideas For A Marketing Class


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#1 +Mystic

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Posted 30 June 2010 - 02:00

I am in a marketing class right now and we are tasked with making a marketing analysis for a new product, service, concept, etc. I am so horribly uncreative all that I have been able to come up with right now is an automatic contact/address book backup service for your cell phone. Some people seem to lose their phones weekly and have to get new phones, I figured something like that might work.

If I would (this is all fake not real, just a reminder) charger let's say $3 a month for a program that runs on your phone that automatically backs up your contacts. In the event of a you getting a new phone (if you lost it, gets stolen, etc), you could run that program and it would restore all your contacts.

Can anybody help me poke holes in this new product idea? Just trying to see if I should drop this idea or try to make it work.


#2 zhangm

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Posted 30 June 2010 - 17:36

What criteria will be used to judge your idea?

You mentioned creativity, but do you have a list of what you'll be graded on, or the ultimate goal of the project?

With the information that you've posted here, I see a few issues:
- What phones can this service be applied to? If you're backing up to some online storage space, you obviously need a way to transfer that information, but phones that have this capability can also sync to other storage devices, such as a computer. Why would people want to send their information to some third party source rather than back it up locally to another device, and furthermore, if the majority of cell phone users are on "dumbphones", what medium will you use to send data back and forth (basically, what portion of the entire cellphone user market can you realistically capture)?

- Does this service already exist? What data formatting issues might you expect to run into, and how could you work around those?

As far as the general area that you've targetted, I think an online service-based product is a fairly attractive prospect, but you might afford to be more ambitious about the size of your potential customer pool.

#3 Trong

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Posted 30 June 2010 - 17:42

Just an idea I've heard around the internet: You can try to figure out or design a UI around Xbox Kinect for PC. Maybe add a little Nintendo 3DS zest for some Minority Report action.

But yeah, it'd help to know how you were being graded.

#4 OP +Mystic

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Posted 30 June 2010 - 18:55

What criteria will be used to judge your idea?

You mentioned creativity, but do you have a list of what you'll be graded on, or the ultimate goal of the project?

With the information that you've posted here, I see a few issues:
- What phones can this service be applied to? If you're backing up to some online storage space, you obviously need a way to transfer that information, but phones that have this capability can also sync to other storage devices, such as a computer. Why would people want to send their information to some third party source rather than back it up locally to another device, and furthermore, if the majority of cell phone users are on "dumbphones", what medium will you use to send data back and forth (basically, what portion of the entire cellphone user market can you realistically capture)?

- Does this service already exist? What data formatting issues might you expect to run into, and how could you work around those?

As far as the general area that you've targetted, I think an online service-based product is a fairly attractive prospect, but you might afford to be more ambitious about the size of your potential customer pool.

Yea I punted the phone idea pretty quickly. Basically everything you posted, I thought about after I posted this topic. :p

We kind of moved away from the idea of a service to more of a new product/invention type of thing. The product doesn't have to be totally realistic so something like home laser pimple removal could work but nothing like flying cars.

#5 zhangm

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Posted 30 June 2010 - 21:20

Yea I punted the phone idea pretty quickly. Basically everything you posted, I thought about after I posted this topic. :p

We kind of moved away from the idea of a service to more of a new product/invention type of thing. The product doesn't have to be totally realistic so something like home laser pimple removal could work but nothing like flying cars.

These are somewhat specialized things that may not suit your class, but...

Here are two things that I (and other people in my field of work) want:

I run a lot of gel electrophoresis, and one thing that bugs the hell out of me is how stupid electrophoresis boxes are. First of all, gel electrophoresis is used to separate things (in my case, DNA or protein) by apparent size. Typically, we load the invisible sample along with some standard size reagent so that we can guesstimate when we should turn off the unit (and avoid having our sample run off the end of the gel). I think this should be automated so that the electrophoresis unit detects when the sample is dangerously close to the end of the gel, and turns itself off.

This should be trivial to accomplish. DNA can be monitored by absorbance or emission in the presence of a fluorescent staining agent. Many labs use something like ethidium bromide in their gels, which binds DNA and lights up when exposed to UV or short-wavelength blue light. The emitted light is orange. Simply make a device that clips onto a gel box, sandwiching it between a strip of blue LEDs to excite the indicator dye, and an orange filter/photoswitch to turn the electrophoresis unit off upon detecting a sharp change in photointensity. The orange filter ensures that the only light to reach your sensor is that emitted from DNA bound to the indicator. You might need to incorporate something like a PMT between the filter and photoswitch in order to amplify the fluorescent signal. I suspect that more advanced facilities that do large-scale sequencing have electrophoresis units that incorporate these features, but I'm proposing that you construct one that can be clipped onto any gel electrophoresis box.

The second thing is that for certain biological applications, cell cultures must be grown to a specific density, usually measured by absorbance at a specific wavelength of light. We monitor culture density by taking the culture out of the incubator, taking a sample of it, and placing it into a spectrophotometer. In doing so, we disrupt the culture's growth and also reduce its volume. Furthermore, it can be time-consuming and tedious. Build a sensor that you can insert into a culture flask that will monitor the culture's optical density in real time, and signal when the culture reaches a density appropriate for the user. To make the probe a reasonable size, you'll probably need to use fiber optics to channel your excitation and emission signals to a separate spectrophotometer.

#6 Konstanov

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Posted 30 June 2010 - 21:38

Genius idea by me right on the spot.


An all digital inventory system for grocery stores integrated with refrigerators that can allow you to create a shopping list from your refrigerator as things run out that is sent to grocery stores where delivery or pickup can be chosen. So the employees at the grocery store are dedicated shoppers and delivery drivers instead of cashiers and the customer only sees a booth where groceries are picked up. Revolutionize an industry for lazy people like myself.


And Verizon already offers a software program for it's phones that backups all data on a server and then downloads it to a new phone when you get it.

#7 OP +Mystic

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Posted 30 June 2010 - 22:12

Well guys I appreciate all the ideas and support but I think we are going to go with something basic. Basically we are taking the technology Faraday technology that powers "ShakeLight" and putting it in a mobile phone's battery. Meaning you can shake your phone for a minute or two to charge it in case of an emergency phone call.

We were thinking of thinking this very fictional piece of tech to battery companies or to mobile phone makers themselves. What I am having trouble in finding is information on how much a battery costs to make or how much a mobile phone battery would cost Apple in an iPhone.

Edited by Mystic, 30 June 2010 - 22:17.