The greatest word The Simpsons ever offered to the English language was “craptacular.” When Bart Simpson used it to describe Homer’s Christmas decorations, he introduced a much needed concept for us all: something that was so bad it might actually be good.
Today we are in the age of instant startups, where launching an idea from a garage suddenly seems needlessly spacious. Yet with that ease of creation also comes the occasional silliness. Or perhaps not so occasional. According to Bill Gates, as much as half of all Silicon Valley startups may be silly, and two thirds of them may be going bankrupt. So in my own attempt to celebrate a day filled with jokes about “Gmail Shelfies” and plenty of other April Fools gags, I thought it would be fun to create my own list of a few craptacular startup ideas. You know … ideas so bad they might actually be good. Here they are:
1. Escapr – Take A Vacation Without Taking Time Off.
Need a quick escape from your daily life? Escapr can help. Just choose your departing airport to see ALL flight options (because when you’re escaping it doesn’t really matter where you go). After you book the best flight and hotel, the site will automatically create fake doctor’s notes to get you out of work, create an Out-Of-Office email reply (with the appropriate apologetic tone), send a car to pick you up and drive you to the airport and partner with a mail order clothing retailer to send a bunch of clothes in your size to your final destination. There is no annoying time researching your trip, and no evidence for anyone to find after your escape is over that you ever took the trip.
2. SelfieSilencer – The Social Ego Muffler
Sick of duck face photos? Too many friends sharing those annoying “look at me after I worked out” selfies? That’s not a problem anymore with SelfieSilencer. This is a mobile phone app and browser tool that automatically filters out images of selfies on all social media platforms. And the best part is you don’t have to worry about accidentally missing out on important celebrity selfies (like Ellen at the Oscars) because our built in Selfie Influence Meter algorithm will identify those critical selfies and make sure they still make it through.
3. Cloakr – Disappear Socially. Be The Real You In Real Life.
Do you feel like you can be the “real you” on social media? Probably not. But we don’t care about solving that problem for you. Instead, we want you to be yourself in the real world interacting with real people! We invented Cloakr to be a single kill button for all social media sharing. When you enable Cloakr on your phone, we plug into every social media profile and turn every type of sharing or update off. So when you’re “Cloakd” – you’re completely invisible to all your social media connections. Sound nice? Check out our site and get Cloakd today!
4. KarmaAlert – Karma Happens. Don’t Miss It.
You don’t have to be Indian to believe in karma. When you meet someone who is rude, angry, selfish – often you know it will lead them towards bad fortune … but sadly you probably won’t be around to see it. We want to change that. With KarmaAlert, you can sign up for a text message that will automatically be sent to you whenever that obnoxious person you met experiences their “karma moment” of misfortune. You can spend a moment to delight in that misfortune they so richly deserve, the universe returns to its regular order, and you can go merrily on your way.
Clearly the next step in “embiggening” (another Simpsons word!) these concepts is to hold a Hackathon event to challenge teams of developers and entrepreneurs to build and launch them. But I need your help.
Which of these startup concepts would you like to see built in real life? Or maybe you have a better suggestion? Please comment below on your choice for the most promising idea and maybe together we can get enough people interested to build it. After all, any entrepreneur can ask why. More of us should choose to ask, why not — because you don’t create something craptacular without first making a commitment to try.