I think up business ideas all the time. Some might be good. Some are odd. And some are just plain bad. I’m going to share an idea that has some potential, but I’m not sure it would work and/or if there would be a demand for it. Below is my idea. It’s not fully flushed out, but you will understand the bottom line.
There are so many people who want their stories told and don’t have a platform for it. During my free time, I love listening to stories from TED, The Moth, This American Life, and The Rise to the Top. Get Storied argues that storytelling is the “foundation for everything.” I agree. Our society relies heavily on storytelling. People love powerful, moving stories, whether they be anecdotal or make-believe.
The business idea is a website, similar to YouTube and TED. However, it would be more selective than YouTube and less selective than TED. It would welcome stories of all kinds, and they would be categorized by different themes. They would need to fit some sort of criteria in terms of length and subject matter (ex. no longer than 30 mins, no racism, no sexism, no rants, etc.).
The site would give people a greater audience and more exposure, both personally and professionally. Video resumes and cover letters are becoming more popular. The site could have a separate “professional” section for people seeking employment or for people wanting to hire.
There could be an entirely different section for people seeking feedback (think Toastmasters) for a speech or a cover letter or a stand-up comedy story. There could be a point system of some sort for best evaluator of a talks/speeches or for best overall speeches.
Another section could be for people telling completely made-up stories.
What would make the site different from YouTube would be that not anyone could post. It would be more professional and polished. As mentioned before, stories would have to fit a loose criteria. And obviously, no one would be posting videos of their cats or a 10-second blurry video of a celebrity they saw last night at dinner.
One drawback would be that the videos would probably have to be screened for appropriateness. On the plus side, the site would empower people by giving them a voice and making them heard. Perhaps there could be stories featured as “story of the week” or month or year. Expert storytellers could be involved in voting, as well as the general public.
The site would not only empower storytellers, but they would also empower viewers. Listening to inspiring stories has the ability to excite and influence others to take action in their own lives.
I have a few ideas for revenue. I am not an expert when it comes to finance, so I really have no idea if this would work. Here are a few ideas.
* Have a separate sponsorship video page/tab – either post a video from the sponsor or talk about a sponsor in a video post (similar to IWearYourShirt).
* If employers and/or companies want to post promotional videos, charge them a small fee.
* Send occasional newsletters and include a blurb about the sponsor at the bottom (think HARO).
* Have one or two sponsors on the side or bottom of the page, but make it look somewhat classy.
As I mentioned in the beginning of this post, this idea is by all means not fully developed. And again, I have no idea if it could even work. If it is possible, I would need some help to get it started. I’d love any type of feedback.