One faithful evening, Parker received a marketing email about gamifying the MacroFab platform and thought it might be a good podcast topic.
No, but come listen to Scott and Eric of the Ideatank Podcast and your hosts Parker and Stephen talk about ideas that can possibly do so!
The Idea Tank Podcast
Scott Hansen and Eric Benzenhoefer are idea men who, not humbly, seek to change the world through sharing their million dollar ideas, and humbly, seek to make a podcast talking about their idea
Scott and Eric where last seen on the MEP on Episode 77: The IdeaFab Podcast
Parker is an Electrical Engineer with backgrounds in Embedded System Design and Digital Signal Processing. He got his start in 2005 by hacking Nintendo consoles into portable gaming units. The following year he designed and produced an Atari 2600 video mod to allow the Atari to display a crisp, RF fuzz free picture on newer TVs. Over a thousand Atari video mods where produced by Parker from 2006 to 2011 and the mod is still made by other enthusiasts in the Atari community.
In 2006, Parker enrolled at The University of Texas at Austin as a Petroleum Engineer. After realizing electronics was his passion he switched majors in 2007 to Electrical and Computer Engineering. Following his previous background in making the Atari 2600 video mod, Parker decided to take more board layout classes and circuit design classes. Other areas of study include robotics, microcontroller theory and design, FPGA development with VHDL and Verilog, and image and signal processing with DSPs. In 2010, Parker won a Ti sponsored Launchpad programming and design contest that was held by the IEEE CS chapter at the University. Parker graduated with a BS in Electrical and Computer Engineering in the Spring of 2012.
In the Summer of 2012, Parker was hired on as an Electrical Engineer at Dynamic Perception to design and prototype new electronic products. Here, Parker learned about full product development cycles and honed his board layout skills. Seeing the difficulties in managing operations and FCC/CE compliance testing, Parker thought there had to be a better way for small electronic companies to get their product out in customer's hands.
Parker also runs the blog, longhornengineer.com, where he posts his personal projects, technical guides, and appnotes about board layout design and components.
Stephen Kraig began his electronics career by building musical oriented circuits in 2003. Stephen is an avid guitar player and, in his down time, manufactures audio electronics including guitar amplifiers, pedals, and pro audio gear. Stephen graduated with a BS in Electrical Engineering from Texas A&M University.
Special thanks to whixr over at Tymkrs for the intro and outro!
All right. Welcome to the macro fab engineering podcast. We're your guest, Scott Hanson and Eric Benson offer from the idea tank podcast.
And we're your hosts Parker Dolan
and Steven Craig.
This is episode 223. Scott and
Eric are idea men who not humbly seek to change the world through sharing their million dollar ideas, and humbly seek to make a podcast talking about their ideas.
So thank you, Scott, and Eric, for coming on the podcast. Y'all were last seen. Episode 77. This might be the longest gap we've had guests back for. And so just to get time of reference, that was almost three years ago at this point. Wow. We were down in the bomb shelter. Summer 2017 was when y'all were on the podcast. So before we jump into this podcast, What have y'all been doing for the past three years?
I've had two kids. Yeah. That's happened.
Cool. Congratulations. And we took a look at the world and figured that things were pretty good. We'd solved all the world's problems made countless millionaires. And we actually retired the podcast. Oh, really?
We changed the world.
Well, I mean, I'm thinking we're gonna have to come back and just make a few more millionaires tonight.
Yeah, yeah, I think things Things changed from perfection to where we're at. So yeah, we might be back into man.
So we have actually since episode 77, I mean, swear to God, like since the next week after 77 parking or like, one of these days, we're going to have the guys back on because that was so much fun, and kind of a departure from what we normally do. And I think tonight, we're going to have a bunch of fun, have a little bit of serious ideas. And of course, Parker and I have a bunch of really stupid ideas that will be thrown out there.
Yeah. Oh, great. Yeah, like three years ago, we had hurricane Harvey. We've had. Well, we're currently in the pandemic of COVID 19. What else has happened since then?
There's the first million dollar idea. Just solve COVID-19. Ah, yeah, it's
that easy. And that was the macro fab
I do have a question for you guys. Have you had Zima? Since 2017,
so I did look this up. And this is actually one of my ideas. So well, Miller, Miller's Brewing Company actually brought it back for that summer. And they brought it back for 2018 summer, but they did not bring it back for 2019 or 2020. Sema has been retired Zima has officially retired for the second time, but I had an idea for about Zima so this is the first idea of the podcast million dollar idea of Miller's cooler. Good because Miller bought Coors Light or Coors Brewing Company, too. Aren't they the same company now?
I don't know. Of course, of course is like 20 minutes away from my house. Like I honestly I don't know. Like it still is like a big corps building. So
yeah. So there's been this huge movement in past like eight months of seltzer your beers, right? Like Corona has got one. Bud Light has one which is like it's not the same thing. Isn't Bud Light already a seltzer water. yellow yellow filter. But this is the all the rage right now. And people are buying them all the time paying lots of money for them, like white claws, or it's like what? Two bucks a white cars
$13 for a case or 15 or something. They're not cheap.
And so I had the idea. rebrand Zima as a seltzer water because that's basically what it is.
It was like the original and just send
out the same recipe and people will buy it. It won't have that stigma of being, you know, a frat beer. Yeah,
you can call it like Jima seltzer water or something?
Yeah, yeah. If you just replace the sugar with aspartame or whatever, sucralose or whatever they do then and then you can match the calorie count and bam, there you go. That's more than a million dollar idea.
Yeah, you know, I never put those two together because as I'm watching those commercials on TV, I'm thinking that that is that is brilliant. To just make a generic, bland version of I mean, what do you call that? Do you call the the chick drink?
I was always that in college.
But you never had a Bud Light for that brand. It was either you bought a cheap Bud Light or you bought an extra bits of beer or an expensive mix, drink. But now, yeah, they really
well, so wasn't there like Boone's Farm. Is that stuff still around? It's not quite as seltzer but it's just like, alcoholic grape juice.
Man. Like Mickey's just like malt liquors, which are what just like watered down. Beers.
No malt malt liquor. Technically in the state of Texas malt liquor is a higher ABV count. Like I think malt liquors. I don't remember what the number is, but it's something like 5.7 or 6%, or something like that. So
pretty much I only drink malt liquor. Yeah, absolutely.
That's what's goofy about Texas. A lot of a lot of beers that you think should be labeled a beer technically have to be considered a malt liquor due to just the alcohol laws in Texas.
Oh, yeah. look good on a hipster label.
Yeah, no liquor. No.
There's really fairly high shades between
malt liquor and beer though. They're the same thing.
Yeah. The your your your fancy IPA is the same thing as a Mickey's basically. Wow. Yeah. Category wise.
They're usually so then like, 40 ounces. Right?
Unless, unless you get Mickey's grenades. That's like $4.70 a six pack? Yeah, now they're normally the normally the $2.50 cent being from the gas station for 40 ounces. Wow.
Okay, okay. So let's go into the real ideas now. Okay. So that's probably a billion dollar idea. So we gotta go to the million dollar.
We're going progressively down
by Scott and Eric, kick us off. What's your all's first idea?
Well, who do we got first? Got you wanna go first? Or I got here on the list. first human to go. Go for it, Eric. All right, gentlemen. And again, hey, thanks for having us back. This is this is this is really exciting. To see come through on the Scott's text text message. So we're excited to jump back in the idea tank, rock and roll. Scott, can you ask me a specific question?
Any specific question?
No, no, like, how am I gonna change the world? Oh,
it's been so long. Eric, how are you going to change the world today?
Well, I'm going to save the restaurant industry.
So that's needed right now. Big time
thinking, right? So with COVID-19 If you're listening to this in the in the near or distant future, we got a problem. And I would say there is going to be no bailout for the restaurant industry. They will lose in many ways, they're going to lose people who fear eating food cooked by strangers. While sitting with strangers. They're going to lose customers who have learned just how much money is saved by eating in and they're going to lose. Those of us who have fancied ourselves to be chefs, and are watching cooking instruction videos online and watching competitive cooking shows on TV. So likewise, with this struggle, struggling demand for for restaurants, only the elite deep pocketed restaurant owners will survive crippling any aspiring chef just trying to break it into the business and make someone's night so gentleman is all hope lost.
Sounds like it to me.
Like that's what I wrote the above part to be like so that's good. But not if the idea tank has anything to say about it, which is where we're at. So gentleman to you. Yeah, here we go. I present to you king, dot dot dot work queen.dot.of The kitchen. That six dots and one great title.
And that's in the title too, right? Yeah.
T shirts is going to be on the websites gonna be everywhere. So here's what it is. It's take think of dining out. But that meets Top Chef that show where they compete. That's going to meet Broadway. And that's going to meet American Idol. All right, so it's a cooking competition show that you can attend live and be part of something bigger than yourself and just your meal. You're going to be determining the next king.dot.or Queen, Dr. Todd of the kitchen.
I like it. Is there song and dance involved in this also,
um, you know, the the way I kind of envisioned it was initially started from an idea where we're I'm sticking to If I wanted to, to just open up a restaurant, there's a huge barrier to entry in any industry was a barrier to entry that's too large, you're not going to get the best talent, because talent, talent. And a quality product does not always meet a business savvy person, just like our parhaat. You know, Scott, and his whole podcast was just how ideas are fun. But the it's all in the execution. So I was thinking, what if you had a kitchen, where you had somebody who was a business savvy restaurant owner, they had a staff that could, you know, prep, they could clean, they could serve, they could do all those things that that are necessary for the business, and facilitate someone who's just just a good cook just can make can make a really good meal. So
I thought basically, like the businesses would have the busy work already established. Yeah. And then you just plug chefs in? Yep. To the to the, the frame, I guess. Yeah, the king.dot.queen.dot.so,
this business owner would be approached by aspiring chefs knew they could market and say, hey, you know, if you got it, you got a mom who's, who's a great, who makes a great dish, you got a friend who makes a great dish, maybe somebody who's at the bottom rung of a prep line, but they're attending chefs, you know, chef school or culinary school, and they're going to be the next big shift, at least in their mind. So what they're going to do is, is you're going to collect those people, and then the owner is going to pick three, and every Friday and Saturday, they're going to promote them all week. And do those, those little shorts that you see on any reality show that successful, like, like American Idol, you're gonna get to know the person you're gonna get, you're gonna get to know their story. And they're going to tell you about the dish that they cook better than everybody else. Then every Friday and every Saturday, get like four sessions at like six o'clock and eight o'clock each night. You're gonna take reservations, just like a show, you know, I figured Broadway still exists, and it's expensive. At the same time, movies dominate. So I think there's, there's, there's a spot for both of these a more expensive experience with your meal. So you're going to get to take reservations, you're going to fill limited seats for the hottest and tastiest show in town. Each person is gonna get the same thing of a healthy portion of all three chefs. Dish, the best thing they have to offer. It's good because you get the best. And also, it removes this idea to open a restaurant or to be a star restaurant, you got to have a whole menu. Some people just no one good thing. So you're bringing them you're bringing them here before the people.
So even that even your mom with her casserole, yeah, enter this contest. Yeah. Or that's
its total trial by fire. I love it. Yeah,
I do like the idea of like, just everyone gets the same thing and you don't. But now would would you know, on your ticket? Like, what meals you're getting? Or is that a surprise as well?
Oh, absolutely. Because, like any good reality show, it's all about the story. It's all about the person, it's getting your watch to show where you know that this is the person's name, here's a picture of them. And then the music's either going to turn to make you cry, or to make you laugh. Every single time. And they're they're going to advertise exactly what they eat. They're going to show a little video of them of their family eating it and talking about how great it is. And so all we you know, after every each one is little shorts on Facebook and Twitter, and YouTube, you're gonna have a link to go buy your ticket, and you know exactly what you're getting. I would
love to see a kid's version of this. So it's a like a little kid starts this restaurant, or like comes into a restaurant takes over and makes like their version of some meatloaf or something. And and that is the dinner.
I government and farther with the kid aspect is like you can do it like more of a traditional chef show where they have like an ingredient but it's like brussel sprouts, but the judges are kids. So the chefs have to make the kids right the kids eat this brussel sprouts somehow.
You know, I have I have an interesting caveat that I think could make it a little bit more maybe cutthroat but also kind of I don't know a little bit more like crazy because what for some reason what was going through my mind is the Colosseum. And have you ever been to Gus medieval times out of Dallas Fort Worth? Where like, you know, you sit in the big oval booth and you see into it. What if all the all the attendees could could sit and almost like a what is it the surgery theater where you look down into the kitchen and so you You can see all the contestants the entire time. So like, not only do the chefs have to like sweat their their heads off trying to prepare for everyone, everyone's watching them do it to love, it adds so much more drama to your meal,
you could go even farther with the medieval times where like, each one's got a color. So you just root for your color to the to losers or exit to like, they open up the oven and your team goes. I love him. He pointed first.
So there is a competitive nature because remember, this is king, king or queen of basically like King of the Hill, right? Because you get the three contestants, and they answer they cook for you. Everybody eats and at the end you vote. And and here's how you vote you either tweet or post on Facebook, and you with a specific hashtag. And you know, that's a hashtag for right so you can vote chef, one underscore, you just advertised us while you're while you are paying for us. That's your that's your hashtag, chef to the same chef three, same because those two so it's so beautiful that, that while you're partaking in something you're doing the hardest thing in my opinion in business, which is, which is marketing, you can even say because one of these guys is going to win. And then they're going to be back the very next week to defend and they gotta,
you gotta gotta defend the title. So whoever
whoever's post or vote gets the most, you know, the most social media credibility, a combination of likes and retweets and chat, they're going to get a free ticket in the next the next time.
You could take us even like that is working really well, you can go even to the extreme, where your chefs could have made up backstories like in wrestling over the top characters that have overarching storylines, oh, chefs.
At the medieval times, they come in through the ceiling rafters down into the kitchen.
Like you got a cage match. Okay. You know, okay,
fight for the ingredients.
At the end of the season, though, you get all the winners back. And then they fill all the seats with actual, like, top chefs. And they have to do it all again, for chefs.
That that could that could be Yeah, I mean, I mean, with this. I mean, there's a couple there's a couple things right about it's it's not only a fun and fresh experience. In a world where everything's getting Netflix, right, this is this is an event, this is something you can you can get out to that's worth overcoming your fears and objections about reentering this coat post COVID world. But really, the thing I love about is it lowers the barrier to entry for aspiring chefs. In any could it could just be somebody who wants to come in, maybe they win one week, and they say come on back next week. And they say, Well, I'm gonna make the same thing. And that's all I'm going to do. And then I'm going to retire because not every great cook wants to be a chef, it's a job. And they don't have to they can come back in two, two weeks, they can come back for the Champions around like you're saying. Yeah, and and as the industry recovers, this would be a great spot for some people who have saved their cash to come and find the next shift to give them the next opportunity. So I think it's it'd be great thing in a great, a great way to kind of rebound that sector of the economy, as I'm sure a bunch of sectors are going to be remade. I do have one more bonus item with it. Because what what's one big major problem with this idea? COVID related.
Everybody's gonna sit six feet against from each other.
Yes, exactly. So with this, there's really no reason that you could not have a much more premium option where it's a well spaced, well spaced tables, higher prices, less people in the arena.
It's like the courtside seats.
Yes. But it's you know, and but then everybody else you can just order this stuff to go watch the show on Youtube and vote online with everybody else. There's just there's no reason you couldn't expand it to that model as well.
Is there a way that you could take this idea and make a fast food type experience?
Yeah, yeah, you know that that sounds like one of those like this week it's going to be fast food this week. It's going to be plated appetizers or, or, you know, you could have various themed thing weeks but for the the thing itself. I mean, my idea was, it was the Broadway Broadway aspect of it is how can you make an interactive event out of the restaurant experience because I don't know about you guys, but I've got a lot more confident in my cook inability at home to where, and what watching my my monthly credit card bill, I think I'm going to have some, I'm gonna eat out a lot less as a result of this. So there's going to have to be a reason to go to these places beyond just COVID COVID related fears.
And I like the fact that the meal is still the centerpiece of why you're going out. But there's so much more to it above and beyond that, it gives you way more of a reason.
It's the experience. Yeah, for sure. Eric, Have you have you run any numbers on this, or
$10 million to
send your blank 5% of the company. I'll make sure he gets it.
Because that's what we do in the idea tank podcast. We don't care about the numbers.
It just, you can put 10 million into it. But you're still gonna get that 1 million back. Yeah, if that.
You see that the one thing in an all serious note, the one thing that was going through my mind is like health and safety regulations of just getting somebody to come in and cook for other people. That would probably be some nightmare hoops to jump through, you know?
Yeah, that's the beauty of it. And if you have somebody who, who already knows how to jump through all those hoops, they were they can just bring them in do a little, you know, some training during the week. And don't
Poison goes under the sink. Food goes on top of the thing. Oh, yeah. And so what we normally do is deconstruction. So feel this would be the right time to to tear the idea apart. And then we'll decide whether or not somebody's got to do this.
Oh, that's right. I completely forgot about this. We sort of been deconstructing it as it
as we went. Well, no, we've been more building it up. And we've been modifying it and modifying it. Yeah, I think I think the whole I actually I don't know, if chefs have to worry about the like, I don't think you have to get certified for that. I think you just have to this the health and safety stuff. I just think you have to make sure you're like reaching all the, like cooking the food at the right temperature and that kind of stuff.
Right. But your blanket covered by the whatever insurance the owner has, right?
Yeah. So it could be like basically, the owner is the the person making sure that the chicken is cooked to the right temperature. And all like you're not putting the egg shells in like next to, you know, freshly cooked food and stuff like that. There's probably more to it. I don't I've never worked in a restaurant before.
Yeah, when I was a server, I didn't have to take a like an alcohol course on how to how to, you know, I don't even what it was, I remember how to drink it. Didn't know anything about alcohol, and then it's just as legal hoops to jump through. So let's say you want to start a restaurant? And you said, Well, I'm just going to have my friends come with me and handle the food and serve people. Nope, nope. The government the government is there to protect you from from that that idea. But
basically, so you wouldn't accidentally drink it as you carried it from the kitchen to the table.
It's Oh, I mean, just big, big picture. It I'm sure there's there, it's a barrier to entry. And something like this kin can just, you know, it's a ladder on both sides.
I think this is a deconstruction, but it kind of just applies universally with COVID. I think it's just going to be difficult to convince people to get in groups, or it will be more difficult. So like I think, honestly, that's both a plus and a minus for your idea. Because it's difficult, but your idea kind of entices people to do it anyway. So it's just I think the marketing at the beginning would be, there would be a whole lot of what the hell is this? You know, until you kind of figured out and almost what would be what I'm envisioning is, if you had video of one already completed, where people could see like what it actually is, as opposed to just like teasers of what it could be, you know,
I think my biggest issue with this idea is when I go out to eat, I want to go out to eat at a place that I know or is recommended that the food is good. And your quality of food is going to is going to vary every single week because of the chef that's making it and so you could be eating something that's amazing. One night and go there the next night and the It's garbage.
Yeah, I think that would be the there's an ice cream shop in Portland, Oregon. And it has. It has all these flavors you can try. And it's a it's called salt and straw if you ever go there or California they it's amazing. And they never have a bad flavor. I, I mean, they have an oil and vinegar they have it was one of their flavors. And it's fantastic. So I think you're hitting the point, Scott, the these people have to be well vetted by the owner of this establishment because it's a very different game when you're deciding and debating what's the best of these three good meals, then? Well, these are awful. I don't I'm what can I just leave?
Now the take the flip side of that, though, part of the draw of a show like America's Got Talent is because the bad talent that shows up?
Hmm. You see, you see something that could work with this. You pay for the ticket, but you're not necessarily paying for the meal? What could be fun? Is that the end? You get to choose how much you pay for the meal.
When? Or the voting is based on what Chef makes the most amount of money?
Yeah, that could that could be it. I did think of, you know, how would you divvy up the money because all that money is probably it goes first to the owner, the one who's risking all the capital, because he could walk away with put all the time and effort into this and end up with nothing, and he's gonna pay for all the food in advance and pay for all the marketing. So he's gonna get the first the first cut. You could distribute all the all of the the chef's cut just to the winter.
That's real king and queen, right? Yeah, yeah. Hardcore.
This isn't called comrade of the kitchen, my friends.
I think somebody's got to do this idea.
All right. Good to hear. Scott, how are you? How are you going to change the world?
Well, I am here to tell you guys that you already have a gig job that you don't even know about. And you should be earning money right now.
What are you earning money sounds
like a multi level marketing scheme.
This is a no, it's not a pyramid. You just draw one circle at the top and then two underneath. And then four. That's not a pyramid.
It's an inverted success funnel.
Alright, lay this not pyramid on us.
My my idea starts with a riddle. So what's the connection between low TV prices? And big brother? Do you want me to guess? Guess when
the government is subsidizing yellow televisions? Because it puts spy equipment and all the TVs?
Yeah, actually kind of, kind of. So. So you remember, like 10 years ago when they were coming out with all these new types of TVs? And and so I looked this up on it's from statistics, what's the average selling price of 4k TVs worldwide? From 2012 to 2017 2012. A price of a 60 inch TV was roughly $9,000. Any idea what it is today?
Wow, what a specific guess that is?
That's not 31? Not 3330. Today? Yes. So it's like $1,000. Roughly?
My number is valid on on on Black Friday. After taxes, right? Yes, after tax as well.
So the price of these TVs says plummeted. And it has to do with the fact that they are there's all these new apps on TVs and the companies that are selling these TVs are generating revenue through an alternative source and they're able to lower the price of TV, it still costs a lot to manufacture that TV, but they're making up that income in a different way. And what they're doing is they're selling your data to networks, TV networks to advertisers to see what people are watching. See how people are using their TV and they're generating that income back through those ways. So this idea is basically so you still buy a TV for for a low price. But since Big Brother is already watching, they know who you are. They know what you're watching. I want to I want to check in the mail every month from these companies that says thank you for listening, listening and watching Netflix, thank you for watching TV. And basically income every month from these from just watching TV is something that all of us already do.
Oh, what's the what is the was the old school version of that? Where they'll say family or whatnot? Yeah, that because they would pay you to do a survey on like what you're watching, and I think you had installed box or something sometimes. Because they basically monitored, you were basically selling your data to that company, and they would pay you for it. Yeah, I totally get this except right now the TV manufacturers getting that money, but you want that money?
Exactly. It would be an advantage for that company to market that their product as hey, you could earn income with this TV if you bought it. Or I mean, even Alexa or your your mobile devices. Because we I think we got to be honest with ourselves like big brothers probably watching this podcast or has some access to it if they really want it to.
I mean, it's free to download on the web.
It's transcribed in a server somewhere so they can run and hold it.
No, no. I got it. I got it, though. Instead of still allowing people to sell making people buy it. What if you gave it away for free? And you just took you just skimmed off a percentage of what you're kicking back jump. There you go. So you like, yeah, we'll pay you to have this TV. But we're gonna take your data, basically. And give you a paycheck. And yeah, you just think of it or 90% of it,
I bet you if like goat you walk into Target or Walmart, and you go to the electronics section, and all the TVs were just like, you pick and you get paid for this. They couldn't keep them on the shelves. You know, I guarantee you people would sign up, everyone would sign up.
You would just have like, banks have TVs in your house just on random channels.
That that point, this is my tiger King room. What was um, what was the I think it was an episode of Futurama where they like have i trackers. So they knew people were watching the ads on their TV, you're gonna have to have that. Oh, yeah, sure people are watching the TV. Being commercial breaks tracking technology.
Yeah, yeah. I think he got something there with this idea. And it might be one of the linchpins, like, you can't really observe something without it, knowing. So you have that, that issue in there, and people just use using and abusing this idea for for generating profit? Oh, yeah.
I for some reason, this is a total tangent, but like, evil anti government scheme here. If you could somehow hack all the TVs, like literally all the TVs and have them just tune into big brother, such that big brother just sees everyone watching Big Brother? That would just be such a great idea.
What do you do you think they would get so confused at the circular logic that they would just quit? See somebody called Ron Paul, we're done. We just changed
the liberty issue.
Yet like, but But yeah, Parker like kind of like the idea of talking about it could track your eyes and pause commercials if you're not looking at the TV.
This was an idea that I heard on a podcast long time ago, where somebody got the patent that intellectual property for this concept that you know, when you have you guys watched this free movies where they have advertisements every once awhile.
Oh, like on YouTube and stuff on YouTube. And what is
Hulu does it and the road?
Yeah, it's in. Some of them have like one or two advertisements, and it says in the top left corner, but some of them have five to seven advertisements. And that really pushes you to figure out if you want to watch the rest of that movie. But this guy has the intellectual property for, let's say seven advertisements are are up but then across the bottom, the screen that says if you stand up and say, I love McDonald's, you'll get to go back to your show immediately.
Oh, that's creepy. Interesting. That's really interesting.
So next time you're sitting there, you're watching advertisements, which, like what what would you what company would you praise or just repeat seven times to be back to your show? Hey, old corporate
TV then it will
get recorded 10 seconds of you groveling on the ground.
That's creepy. Oh, man.
I'll say the beautiful thing about that, which it really is. These companies are selling something that I didn't even know was valuable. Like I have free search engine free. Remember when email cost money? Oh, yeah. And then Google's like, we'll give you free email. How much how much space you want. I mean, we should have seen it as a trap. But this seems sounds suspicious. But I'll take four counts, please.
Google, you're so pure and great. We love
that I didn't even I didn't even know that the TV companies were doing this. I'm happy to have my cheap TV. And I thought I mean, the government's stealing our data anyway. So I might as well get the TV companies to be selling it and giving me something back.
Yeah. It would be an interesting topic. sometime. I mean, it's a really deep topic topic, but like to, like what does it mean to for something to be your data? Like, if you click on a channel on your TV? That you know, that is a data point that is considered yours? It seems kind of, I don't know, gray and nebulous that it would be yours, even though it's your choice? I guess? I don't know. I'm sure there's a lot of legal garbage that gets goes behind that.
Yeah, it's one of those like, like, let's say website tracking. So you're doing marketing to figure out what people are clicking on your website? It's like, that is your data that you are serving to some browser somewhere. Should it also be your right to know who's clicking on what?
Yeah, that is a good topic.
But, but overall, Scott's idea is that no matter what this is, you're getting paid for it. In cash in cash.
And I forgot to mention the brand for this this idea. It's BBB, big brother brands. Just not even not even glow. So we're trying to hide it. Yeah.
And it has a logo. When those like an eye the private eye. Yes. And that's actually what the webcam is. TV that's actually monitoring everyone's faces to make sure you're watching.
It moves every once in a while.
Just just to make sure you're awake. You know, we totally forgot what we were going to ask how how these ideas get crowdfunded. But I think both of these ideas would be pretty difficult to crowdfund. Yeah,
I mean, like, the restaurant one is, I think it's fantastic. But I'm not entirely sure how crowdfunding would pull it off. And then like, the crowdfunding for getting paid for watching TV would just be that, like, get paid to go into the
store to get a free TV get paid to do it. Right.
So how would I guess the question with this idea about the TV is, how does the business get paid? Because you're talking about the individual gets paid?
Yeah, it just takes them off the top. So it gets a certain percentage of, of the amount that these companies pay? Yeah, so So does it all it is 100% doesn't go to the user, the end user person watching you get 5050 split or 7030? Something like that.
So you're saving people from having their data sold by selling their data?
Or, you know, actually, what this more honest, this is probably that that like, make money at home scams where you like look at ads on a computer, and then click things. Yes. Yeah, this is only what this is. Except for getting into free TV.
I do wonder if this I'm gonna start like writing handwritten little bandit signs and putting them on telephone poles around the city. That's that's where it's gonna start free TV. Money watching TV.
I do wonder how much money am I profiting? The TV companies, right, just for me, just the the advertisements that that are hitting my eyeballs, how much money actually goes to them per person? Because I get the scale, but it really surprises me the idea that they there to be enough to subsidize an individual TV because the TV costs so much, you know.
Yeah, I wonder, I guess to figure that out is we've got to find out how much does it actually cost to make a 4k 60 inch TV and then we know how much they sell them for now. That difference is what they He estimates they're going to get over the lifespan of your eyeballs.
Eric, if you did $20 A year watching TV, no questions asked and a free TV. Would you take it? Yes. Yeah, absolutely.
I literally pay for a TV right now, that sells my data. So of course, I would do the same thing. We're more benefits.
Now even better for the company is instead of giving people money, you can just give them credits that they can spend on like Netflix and stuff. All for like renters. Usually the companies will get will get kicked. Their exchange rate is better on those dollars.
It's like a little positive feedback loop, though. They'll watch more and get more points and then watch more
big brother bucks. Oh,
I like that. It's just an eyeball on $1.
Our dollar bills already have an eyeball on it
with another one inside of
q X X Files theme right there.
I love it. It's a great idea.
Yeah, man. I think somebody's got to do it.
Yep. Yeah. So what will be the first TV company to do that? Or are we going to actually make big brother?
Oh, well, one of the Chinese companies obviously. They're the pros.
Yeah, they got this down. I got the luxury once of actually visiting the factory that the TV I bought the Smart TV that I got for like nothing off of Amazon, I visited the actual factory that it was being built in. And it was just, it was unbelievable to see. Like the scale that these TVs were being built at. Like the buildings were like, the size of like, a whole city block. And it was just rows and rows and rows of people doing their one like, you know, plug this in, scoot the TV on, plug this in. And then they took me into the warehouse where they had the TV stored, and they were building these up in August for the Christmas season. And then this was just one TV, they get sold at Walmart and Amazon. And this these warehouses were TV stacked. I don't know 50 feet high. And it just you okay, you know, Indiana Jones where they have all this the like the Nazi memorabilia. Think of every single one of those boxes being like TVs as far as the eye can see there.
Yeah. Well, you know, the kind of sad thing about this little departure is like, those TVs are replacing other TVs basically, though. Yeah,
for sure. Oh, flat screens in wooden boxes. I'm not flat screens
tubes are top men will take care of it.
Like Steven or Parker, do you guys want to go next?
Yeah, so this one, Steven Stevens got the first one.
Okay. So Steven, how are we going to change the world?
Alright, so we're departing a little bit, I suppose here. We're actually going into the land of apps here. So Parker and I were on last night coming up with ideas. And we're just like banging our head against the table like, what? What can we do and this, this idea just completely dawned on me. So let me let me let me throw out a scenario here. Let's say you're texting with a buddy. And this buddy is being a little bit persistent. Or you're emailing with a co worker, and the conversation is just running away, and it just keeps going on and on, and you need to go work and you need to just get some things done, and you just can't really continue the conversation. So pull out your phone, or get on your computer and activate your own go away bot, and that's go dash aw AI bot. So what this bot is, this is a something that you can activate on your phone or your computer that will listen to all of your conversations, and understand who you're talking to. And you can immediately activate it and it will emulate you. And you could tell it to just keep going on forever. And you can just walk away and the conversation keeps going. So it can listen to all of your conversations and write new text and just continue on. And you can kind of command it to be how intense you want it to be or how small you want it to be like if you want it to send one word text like yeah, or okay or low. You can do that over and over. Or maybe it can think back into previous conversations and even go further and ask questions back to keep it keep it going. So Just activate go away,
it will have to have one feature, which is the non committal. So it will never be like so if someone says, Hey, you want to go to lunch tomorrow, it will see that go. Maybe? I don't know, anything good. They're like in that mode, it always asks a question. It always responds with a question. I'm not sure. How are you
And it would keep learning on how to make the conversation longer and longer without coming to a conclusion.
Exactly. So you can go, you can go get work done and not be burdened. And actually, so my wife came up with a fantastic idea for it last night, because the way I talked to my the way I talked to Parker, and text is for sure, not the way I would talk to my mother in text. So, so it can identify particular words and phrases that I might use with Parker, and it would say, Oh, this is Mom don't say those?
Well, I would say I would think you would look at all your conversations with mom and you. And it would build its own system in that because your cadence and your word choice is going to be different, versus you and I. That's right. That's right. So it'd be a completely different kind of database that it's aggregating and looking at.
So so another another point of data that I think is something that that isn't as obvious, but say if you're talking, you're talking with somebody that your response time is normally 10 seconds, it could it could know that and be like, oh, this person usually responds quickly to that person. But maybe there's another person that you activate, go away on and your response time is typically a minute or 10 minutes, it could play that too. So it doesn't seem unnatural.
This is I think it's brilliant.
Yeah, and, and terrifying.
Just a little bit scary, right?
Especially since at this point, you won't know if you're actually because like, you know that this, let's say you're texting this text, this phone number is associated with a real life person. You don't know the bond, or that person anymore right now.
What if they both activate, go away, if both people are using it, and it's just ends up to chatbots talking back and forth to each other, and you you have a conversation the next day with that person like face to face, and you realize you're activated. Talking, there's still like, somehow you realize that you got go away.
Like your bots put on your calendar that you're going to get lunch at like 1pm The next day, but you the two people don't know about it. So the bots go to lunch.
But they're super non committal both of them. They won't order anything, and they don't know where to go.
Now the bots like hey, I'm at the blood cholesterol. Where are you at?
You know, there would be one rule of thumb, as with you know, we talked about this in a particular podcast, there's like, the first rule of robotics is, you know, don't harm humans and stuff. I think the first rule of a go away bot is if it's asked if it's go away, it automatically says no. 100% of the time guaranteed, right.
It denies that existence. Yeah, exactly.
So have you seen the ad? I mean, this might have been back. I think it was during our podcast, Scott. Where it was Google. It was it was an AI assistant, and it was making an appointment with for a haircut. And it had not just the ability to hold the conversation, have the conversation, but even to what's the word when you're when you pause? Or I don't know if there's a word for that. But it was a it was able to to make the sounds that a human makes when making decisions.
Oh, I may.
Hard to put in words are talking about? Do you guys remember that?
Yes, yes. It's similar to the has a like, Android currently has a feature where if you get a phone call, and you don't know what the number is, you can just click a button and it just takes a message but it talks to the person. But it's like a pre recorded like goes. It just it's just like an answering machine. Basically that's a robot. It doesn't actually do a really good job. Not like that. But like the video when they showed it off was like I was like, That is amazing. I'll use that all the time. And I think what happened is probably the team behind that project realized, like we are with go away of how dangerous this could be to lie The society's health mental health
How would you guys feel if I know the apps called go away? So there's a there's kind of a natural movement towards, you know, not being not being posit experience. But what if you had had had a robot like that? Where your experience was positive? And you realize that somebody's automated, you know, that part of of yours relationship? You know, setting up your next appointment?
I haven't been made like movies like that. Like, I think the movie is her. Oh, awesome. Yeah. I
remember that somebody
falls in love with their, their personal assistant.
What if you follow a fall in love with go might be a
masochist. You know, I saw a service like this once that was similar. It was purely for email services, when, you know, when you get those emails, it's like, Nigerian prince has $7 trillion in a bank and just wants to pass it through you kind of stuff.
The this there was a service where you could basically connect a bot to those people and would just waste their time. It would keep sending emails back and forth being like, Oh, wait, what bank account should I send it to again, and like constantly doing that?
I'm looking at right now. Ai customer service. This has to be a billion.
It's a huge industry right now.
All right, first hit, this company raises $20 million. That was 13 hours ago for AI customer service. chatbots.
They must have been listening to a conversation last night, Steven? Oh my God, it was 13 hours ago. Brother TV stole our idea. Actually,
you know what? It was spot on, like 13 hours? No, actually, no, sorry. It was 23 hours ago,
to have $20 million somewhere.
After these ideas, I'm hoping for more than 20 Yeah.
that I really liked that idea. It's like I feel does somebody need to do that part? You know, the part of me that that is? says it's good to have painful conversations. Because you got to get to the other side of it says absolutely. We need that. I really hate the idea, though, that it would drag things on. I like the idea of if this is somebody who can take social cues can take direct if you if you just reached a point where you can't get rid of this person. If this person could. If this robot this AI could end relationships that need to be ended.
They can be Yeah. Let them down. Let them down easy.
Yeah, slider bar that's like de escalate or escalate like you can get more intense or less intense. Bring it to conclusion. Yeah,
or go like all over the place.
I think. I think this is a brilliant idea. And I'd love to see it made. I don't is like Google and their whole Google Assistant thing. It's probably not a good idea for society. For mental health, for the mental health, or just like, just basically this is just like a way to like, like, say you're de escalating the situation in terms of like, breaking up with someone or something like, you don't have to actually break up with anyone anymore. An app does it for you now. Like, is that a good thing? No, no, that's an awful thing.
Alright, counterproposal, though. What if there is indeed a quality way to break up with somebody, and most humans are not good at it. And where this robot could make every or maximize the number of breakups that are done well, is that
gives you multiple choices. And yet the select what conversate like, like a like a video game, RPG text thing where it gives you like A, B or C. Like use your
own adventure, choose your own adventure on a break.
So what I'm what I'm proposing is, we all talk about the you know, the AI takeover being a bad thing, but what if it's objectively what? They're objectively better at everything? Isn't it better? They
will be? Yeah. So
honestly, if the app has like really good feedback, it could be it could say like, Hey, I broke up with, you know, 15,000 people today, and 7000 of those went really shitty. I'm not going to do it that way. Again, you know.
Can you imagine getting an email, like a feedback form that says, you broke up today? How was your experience with Joe away. You're like, Oh, I
didn't even know I broke up.
You broke up because you gotta go away or no, no Act No, take that back. The app decided for you that you should break up.
Oh, wow. The app is like this person is not right for you.
You look at your phone and your phones, like I am the only one that meant to be with you.
The app is like it's you, not them. Oh, man, gosh.
You know, do you guys use autocomplete with
Gmail? That is really creepy.
Oh, you think it's creepy? I think Scott, you you think that's creepy, too, right? You don't use that?
Yeah, it's just it's weird. Stephen
does like work, though.
I've tried it once or twice. And I I'd rather be in command of my words.
Okay. Maybe that's why I love this idea so much is I've had some so much positive experience with that, but I've never had any any confidence in my writing. So I'm happy for the AI to take over that it's not a threat to me. It's, it's removing a giant burden from me so that I can get to the send button on a quality email sooner, and then get to the next thing in my in my life and look back and think that was that went well.
So I use it in different because I haven't enabled. But I'll write something. And then I'll be like, Oh, I'm gonna write it this way. And then it will show what I was going to write there. And like, that must be what I always write then. So I'm going to
write it in a different way. So it suggested what you were going to write?
Yes, almost all the time it does. And I'm like, Well, I'm not going to write it that way then. So I think since I have free rein over my keyboard
I think something interesting you can do with this idea instead of handling your breakups haven't handled the the awkward introductions between two people. So you go on, what's it what's the dating websites, harmony, harmony or something like that. So other people sign up with their go away app on eHarmony with their go away app. And that automatically goes through millions of iterations between all the people that have the Go away app, and it finds the best one based on various conversations that you would have. Yeah, and it finds your best match. Irrelevant of looks irrelevant of
just how you interacted with other people through this, that that's who really creepy and exactly simulates, and a conversation that it thinks you would have with this other person because that's to text AI bots, basically that that are thinking like you in quotes. Oh, wow. Yeah.
We, we had we had an idea from a Pash Pash show where it basically used your social media profile. Have You Ever Have you ever gotten a Facebook ad and you thought, Oh, this is neat. This is this is something new, it's relevant to me. I like this. So. So take that feeling. And somebody else who also is getting that same ad, it pairs you up. And it doesn't even it didn't even have to be a dating app. It could just be couples trying to meet couples that get along with people trying to meet families that would have kids with similar interests, all the above just pairing people based upon in a sense who they are to the internet. And then from that, Scott, that'd be good add on. You know, no, even if you're a perfect match, you might not want to break the ice.
But boy, go away could break the ice for you even after that.
If things don't go well, you're like, Wait, I don't like this and I don't know what to do. Just the what swipes swipes.
But But you see, that's this. That's where you make money. It's like we found the perfect person on earth for you. It's three bucks to meet them. Yeah.
Oh. You're interested? Did we say three bucks? We mean 3007 The
app the tagline for that app would be there's only one fish in the sea, but it costs $3 to see it. Oh. So speaking of
your destiny is $3 away.
Yeah, speaking dating apps. This is our second idea. Oh yeah. How
you changing the world with this Barker. Okay,
so it is the number one app for those going number two dumper.io and it's spelled DNP RN that I O There's a chat app or dating app, only for when you're on the toilets.
Can I stop just appreciate the the absolute classiness that is normally reserved for.io websites
and use it for ducks. It's like Tumblr, but only when you're on the toilet.
Yes. And so is so you can chat and date and game with other dumpers gives you something to do when you're going number two. And so we can also expand the functionality here where you can have basically like Yelp or Google reviews for bathrooms. So if you were like, hey, I need to go to bathroom buy only accept three stars is my minimal it'll show you the closest three star bathroom board. You're like, I really gotta go one star is fine. So you can request you know, what's the nearest bathroom based on star rating? You also have a we came with it with like different games maybe could be in there. But I think the main thing is chatting and dating with other dumpers. And so it would have like GPS so it would know you're near a bathroom. Or if it didn't know a bathroom existed, you could like take a picture and it had AI to go Oh, yeah, that's a toilet. You can access the app.
The classiness has has been going downhill if you've noticed with these, it,
I love the tagline of this the number one, the number one app for number two, that that in itself should like I don't know why that doesn't exist.
Hey, but then. But you could go even further is you could you could if let's say you have bowel problems, you could you can use the app to connect with your doctor. And you can get your ideas or experiences or pick up pictures of what's going on in the toilet. So your doctor right away in a secure manner.
How about a racing game within this where you have to activate the microphone?
Fantastic. Love it.
Not camera, not the camera different app, not your app. Yeah, right. Not definitely not.io for that.
There would there's a preface about this, Parker and I did come up with this idea. Probably eight months ago, maybe a maybe a little bit longer, longer was very late at night, we were playing video games, and we had consumed a copious quantity of beer that night. So yeah, there's a little bit of caveats around that.
I still think it's, it's probably one of my favorite ideas we've ever came up with.
I think it's excellent. I think both of these have been really good ideas.
In all seriousness, dumper is a goofy idea. But in reality, like if it was made somebody might actually use it, you know, yeah, yeah. I don't know about the whole dating aspect. But the but but you know, chatting with other dumpers or games or whatnot. Like, yeah, for sure.
I like it. I think somebody's got to do it.
million dollar idea.
Yep, million dollar idea right there. There's there was $5 million ideas in this podcast. The first one being bring back Seamas bring back CMOS as a cell seer. So it will go farther with this with this Zenith exhibit. Probably people are really confused about that. And the first map episode 77 when these guys were on the podcast, they brought us zimas Because Steven owed me beer. I lost a bit and lost the bet with me.
Yeah, Scott and Eric were gracious enough to pay my debt for me but they paid it in Zima
didn't didn't wasn't the wage the wager that whoever lost had to buy terrible beer?
No, it was just it was just I think Parker messed up because he cuz he originally made the bed because I was betting that Parker I think it was you were getting a board and I bet that it wasn't going to work the first time around. And the in the wager was I'd buy a beer. And we didn't specify good bad what beer? This has been lo and behold, the board worked first time around so I Oh, it's
so Yeah, bring back Seamas seltzer here. It's almost like a milky Saucier, though.
It's it's Sprite. It's alcoholic Sprite. Yeah. Yeah.
It was good. It was good. wasn't great. It wasn't bad. It was good. That's what it is.
Does anyone have any The other million dollar ideas for this podcast.
Actually, you know, what we should say is if anyone in our Slack channel has million dollar ideas that they want to kick out, just dump it in the Slack channel, I'd love to see what our listeners have.
Oh, yeah, that'd be that'd be great. And we're definitely gonna have to not wait another three years to have y'all back on the podcast. Because this was episode 77 was one of my favorite podcasts we've ever done. And I will know it just kept slipping away. And then I was just like, You know what, screw it. We got to get y'all back on because it was so much fun.
Likewise, yeah, we appreciate your you have been calling us out and invited us back. It's really great to be here. Yeah, thanks a lot.
So Scott, and Eric, if y'all don't have anything else, could you all sign us out? Sure. Ken.
That was the macro fab engineering podcast. We were your guest, Scott Hanson and Eric Benson offer.
And we're your hosts Parker Dolman and Steven Craig. Later Everyone,
take it easy.
Make sure we get our kickbacks from if you build those ideas out anyone out there
No, but come listen to Scott and Eric of the Ideatank Podcast and your hosts Parker and Stephen talk about ideas that can possibly do so!
One faithful evening, Parker received a marketing email about gamifying the MacroFab platform and thought it might be a good podcast topic.