Shanghai-based VC Marc van der Chijs has a brilliant idea. Why not use the many failed business ideas and technology of start-ups and create an online market of broken dreams? He has not the time to execute, he writes on his weblog, so he hopes somebody steals his idea.
Marc van der Chijs:
Normally these teams already have a working prototype or built a working piece of software (I never look at plans that are still in the idea phase). Normally I don’t hear anything from these entrepreneurs again, but sometimes I hear from other investors that the company didn’t make it and shut down. Other teams manage to get some funding but eventually also don’t survive.
If you know that out of every 10 angel investments only 1 or 2 do really well and maybe another 1 or 2 generally just break even, it means that the vast majority of funded businesses eventually fail. If you also take into account the business that never raise any money, it probably means that 75-80% of all implemented business ideas never get off the ground.
From experience I know that most founders just abandon the idea and do something different. But that means that there is a huge amount of software, apps, websites and product designs out there that have value to other start-ups, but that nobody knows about. Many business ideas could still be successful in a different market or with a different team.
My idea would be to build an online market for virtual assets of failed companies, a Boulevard of Broken Dreams. It could be a database where companies can describe what virtual assets they have (probably source code is most interesting, but possibly also designs or even ideas that can be patented), and others can browse them and bid for these assets. I think you would be surprised how many source codes could be (partially) re-used in other start-ups. That would save new (or existing) businesses a lot of time, because they can get started with a working source code for a similar product that they are working on.
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