Here’s an idea I’ve had for a business that seems more relevant and viable now, given recent stories about Facebook and Cambridge Analytica. This will be the first attempt at putting the idea down in writing, so consider this a first draft.
The idea is to basically create a brick-and-mortar business that orders online products for individuals. Customers can either email, call, or come in person to make orders. The service will do the ordering and the product will be shipped to the brick-and-mortar store, and the customer will come in person to pay and pick up the order. This arrangement is obviously less convenient than ordering products from one’s home or smartphone. However, the arrangement allows the customer to not leave a data footprint online, including credit card information. The service is a middleman that allows individuals to get online products, in a totally secure and private fashion.
Some addition features to consider:
1. Design brick-and-mortar as a place where people like hanging out. (Ideally, this could be part of a broader mixed-use, pedestrian friendly design)….One idea would be to have Whole Foods or Longs provide this service…Another idea: Condominiums might also have a place to provide the service–providing a kiosk for residents to go to. Other sites to provide this service: Libraries? Landromats? Barnes and Noble? Wal-mart?
2. Business could provide a home delivery service.
3. Not sure if this is feasible, but if the business got big enough, I wonder if the company could build an “ethernet” for it’s custmoers–a kind of internet strictly for customers and the business, something not attacked to the world wide web.
4. Offer terminals for people to use secure emails.