Free Friday Business Idea: Time is Money

August 4, 2006 - Get free updates of new posts here

I have had this idea for awhile and it might offend some people. Others might think it is a great act of generosity. The bottomline of this idea is that time is priceless and that people will pay money to save time.

homeless guy

When I was at Berkeley I would always see tons of homeless people on the street. One day when I was waiting in a 2 hour line for tickets I realized I could outsource this waiting to a homeless person. Brilliant! They need money and have tons of free time. I have money and would rather spend my time doing other things.

There is a new service called Gomobo which does a similar thing. You can pay to skip lines for restaurants in New York City. Not exactly my idea but on the right direction.

The only problem with my idea is you may need to give the homeless person a cell phone or have a group of them share a cell phone. Anyways, would you use this service?

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10 responses to “Free Friday Business Idea: Time is Money

  1. Susan Jones Reply

    I would use the service just so I could say I used the service and I would make
    sure my PR people KNEW I was using the service.

    I would use 3 people for each line-up and they could like say
    they were all fill-in-line-uppers for ME.

    and wow, would I look fab and very cool too ’cause I was
    employing the poor people and giving them money so they
    could support themselves and all for standing in line for little
    ‘ole me who of course has no time because I am so fucking popular and
    busy! pluease lets not talk about THAT!

    I AM (being) CANADIAN.

  2. Andy R. Reply

    When I was interning in washington d.c clinton came through on his book signing tour. Four of us berkeley kids all spent the night camped out in front of a barnes and noble bookstore to get a copy of his autobiography signed, and one of the girls in the group provided a homeless guy with a copy of the book and paid him to get it signed for her. I can’t remember how much she paid him, but it was certainly more than he would have made begging for changing all night.

    I have also seen stores pay homeless people to hold up advertising signs instead of their normal “spare change please” signs.

  3. Shivani Reply

    one of your other homeless person ideas was to pay a homeless person to sit in the car with you so you can get into the carpool lane, but i recently discovered this thing called casual carpool. It’s a corner in Emeryville that people going to San Francisco stand on waiting for a ride, and people driving across the bridge drive by and pick up people to go with them. So the driver gets to work faster, does not have to pay $3 toll and all the riders get a free ride to San Francisco. Not a bad deal, is it? oh, and there is no need for homeless people anymore 🙂

  4. Noah N. Glass Reply

    Sorry for coming a bit late to the part on this one.
    I just wanted to respond to Tim’s post on linking Mobo and Kozmo. I just responded to another blog with a similar post.

    There are a number of key differences, but the main one is this: Mobo is a mobile ordering service, not a courier service.

    We allow customers to order from restaurants, process these transactions at no cost to the consumer, and then pass them on the restaurant to fulfill.

    We do not deliver delivery orders. The order comes to us via text message and our system interprets the order, passes it along to the appropriate restaurant, gets a time-estimate message back from the restaurant, and notifies/bills the customer.

    Kozmo suffered from the burden of huge fixed costs to have a massive delivery team on call at all times.

    Mobo has a staff of 9 people covering all development, sales, marketing, operations, and customer support.

    We estimate that we’ll reach profitability with just under 100 restaurants.

    The Mobo value proposition is that a user can place an order in advance either online or via text message, know exactly when the order will be ready, and collect his food at a separate pickup area at the restaurant without the normal wait.

    Thanks for the original post, Noah.



    Noah N. Glass
    Mobo Founder & CEO