Gizmodo: After decades of popsicle promotions that included prizes printed on the stick, Brazilian ice-cream company Kibon has taken it to a new level by including the actual prize inside the popsicle: they will manufacture 10,000 specially made propsicles, identical in size and color to the actual thing, frozen with iPod shuffles inside.
Bullet Brazil is the company that developed the idea for Unilever’s Kibon, which is the Brazilian equivalent of the Good Humor ice cream brand. They started to think about it back in March with the objective of putting the shuffles directly in the hands of the prize-winner. “It works like this: the consumer buys an Fruttare popsicle which comes in 10 different fruit flavors,” Neto told us, “and may find an iPod Shuffle inside the package,” ready to play.
Ice Cream Company Gives Away 10,000 Frozen iPods Inside Popsicles [Gizmodo]
All New Business Ideas in December, 2007
ClayValet is a Seattle-based startup on a mission to simplify the way people find products online. It is a free personal shopping service that uses real people to find items that best satisfy customers’ individual needs.
Internet giants like Amazon and Ebay offer endless product choices but cannot respond to lengthy queries. Many people experience frustration when they cannot communicate their detailed needs to a search engine.
At ClayValet, real people research your shopping inquiries. The company’s shoppers scour the Internet to find the best products at the best prices, and you receive a free personalized report with product recommendations, expert opinions, customer reviews and links to purchase within 24 hours of your request. Visitors to ClayValet can also see what other people are shopping for — from digital cameras to dresses to dog leashes — and get inspired to write their own product requests.
ClayValet was officially released to the public on Black Friday, November 23rd, 2007. In the days since its release, hundreds of users have signed up to let ClayValet shop for them.
Mobile Weblog: Sending SMS or MMS during holidays is one way to show our affection to our dear family and friends without spending too much. Now, you can customize your greetings with Cellyspace.com
It has launched a do-it-yourself, web-based Multimedia Messaging Service (MMS) called “MMS Composer” for users to upload photos or music, edit them to create a unique greeting card, and send them to their family and friend’s phones. Impress them with your creativity; make them smile or cry with your heartfelt message; and save money from buying printed cards and paying postage. Visit their tutorial page for details.
Creating your own mobile greeting card is free but sending it to your family and friends each costs about $0.20 in the U.S., $0.50 in the U.K., and $0.15 in India (read the country-specific rates).
Create Your Own Mobile Greeting Cards with Cellyspace.com [Mobile Weblog]
GearLog: The Glucoboy isn’t just a standalone blood glucose meter designed for kids and adolescents; it also gives kids access to two full-length video games and a mini-arcade when used with the Nintendo Game Boy Advance or Nintendo DS handheld.
Confused? Yes, I was at first. This is how it works: to access the video games, the Glucoboy must be inserted into the cartridge slot of either electric handheld. Then, your blood glucose test results are converted into what’s called “Glucose Reward Points” (GRPs), which you can use to unlock games.
The Glucoboy features a 10-second test time, 0.6 µL sample size, automatic shut-off, and 360 glucose result memory. The games included are Lost Star Saga, Knock ‘Em Downs, and an arcade full of three games that have to be unlocked.
Never Fear, Glucoboy is Here! [GearLog]
CoolBuzz: If you enjoy capturing attention wherever you go, sling along some funky accessories that are attention grabbers. Check out the Glitzy Watch Tote, a head turner all the way. The dazzling highlight of this black patent-finish bag is the embedded 6” clock face.
The faceted faux gems and silver rivets add a touch of glamour to the chic bag and the generous 12” straps sling perfectly over your shoulder. The two pouch pockets and the generous compartment space takes care of accommodating your personal stuff.
Glitzy Watch Tote: A head turner all the way! [CoolBuzz]
Trendwatching.com: Get ready to welcome honey to the world of PREMIUMIZATION. Most supermarket honey is imported from China and Argentina, and/or blended from many sources, creating a homogenous taste. But, like water, marshmallows, and beer, honey is now striking back with a sweet vengeance, and artisanal honeys are on the rise. Since honey’s flavor and color are determined by the source of nectar, there’s a huge variety of very local and exclusive types of honey, with floral sources varying from tupelo gum tree and Tasmanian leatherwood to cranberry and orange blossom. The Savannah Bee Company, for example, sells its honeycomb jars with this awe-inspiring description: “Filled with honey equaling the life’s work of two bees, each golden cell brims with the concentrated nectar of thousands of rare and remote Georgia flowers.“
NYTimes.com: Mr. Buckman got the idea for BookMooch on a visit to Norwich, England, in late 2005. A local community center had a book-sharing corner, he recalled, “with a sign that said ‘Leave a book. Take a book.’”
“People were bringing in boxes of books and looking at other people’s books to see what they might want to read and talking to one another about books,” he said. “I wanted to see if I could capture that same sense of community online.”
BookMooch now has 40,000 members around the world, according to Mr. Buckman, and people are joining at a rate of 300 a day. Participants create an inventory (the books they want to give away) and a wish list (the books they want to own). The “library” has some 750,000 titles, and Mr. Buckman estimates it will hit one million by the end of December.
Members are notified by e-mail when a book they would like becomes available. Some get recommendations from fellow moochers, who happily talk up their inventory on the members’ forum, while others browse the site by category, hoping to stumble across a treasure.
Clear the Bookshelf and Fill It Up Again, All Online [NYTimes.com]
We’ve all heard people saying this but do you realize this is an opportunity for a business? Serving a busy customer could be just the thing needed to make your business a success.
Most two-earner families, after taking the children to soccer practice and music lessons just don’t have the time or energy to do many of the things that they think would be nice to do. But many times the do have the disposable income to have the services done by someone they know and trust.
Whether it’s making fruit cakes with their personal label on it, doing their landscaping, cooking specialty dinners for some family member with special dietary restrictions, or cleaning up on the inside or outside of their houses, they may let a trusted neighbor perform a service for them even if they wouldn’t feel right about letting a professional company do this work for them. A friend or neighbor makes the decision to hire someone easier. These people are the easiest groups to market to because they are your family, friends and neighbors. They already know you or will recognize your picture from the neighborhood. Distribute those magnetic business cards with your picture on it listing all of your services to your potential clients to hang on the refrigerator.
But don’t forget about that busy small business owner. He is in the same rut wishing he had a department to do all of those business services that are not essential to day-to-day operations but are robbing him of some of his profits. These entrepreneurs all wish they had the time to bid out some of the services and products that they buy or use but they really don’t have the time to do it. Send out a letter opener, stapler or other desk item with your business card on it calling out what types of services you provide so it will be right in front of them each day. It may be putting together a marketing campaign for them, searching for the lowest cost utility or phone suppliers for their need or checking around to alternative wholesalers for the goods that they sell. All these could make a good part-time business for you and after you develop some specialized knowledge in your areas, you will find ways of saving them more money and doing it quicker for them.
This new weekly column, 101 New Business Ideas for Retirees, is compiled specially for CoolBusinessIdeas.com readers by Stan Spector. See all articles in this column by Stan Spector.
Stan Spector is the author of “Baby Boomers’ Official Guide to Retirement Income – Over 100 Part-time or Seasonal Businesses for the New Retiree”. The book website is at StanSpector.com.
boston.com: The paper version of “Psychology,” a popular college textbook by David G. Myers, weighs nearly 5 pounds and costs roughly $90 new and $70 used. The digital version is easy on a backpack and costs $55. Which would you choose?
CourseSmart LLC, a new company backed by the nation’s biggest textbook publishers, is betting that many tech-savvy students looking to save some money will select the e-textbook.
The Belmont, Calif., company is still in beta, refining its digital-book format and its business model. It offers about 2,000 e-textbooks now and hopes to have far more by next fall. But already CourseSmart is attracting considerable attention, particularly from college bookstores, which earn most of their revenue selling new and used textbooks and fear the publishers will sell directly to students and elbow them aside.
Frank Lyman, executive vice president for marketing and business development at CourseSmart, said bookstores will continue to play a vital role in the textbook market, but he acknowledged the relationship between publishers and bookstores is changing.
Publishers are “not looking to cut out the bookstores, but certainly there’s some shaking out of their relationship that’s going to happen as we migrate to digital,” he said.
That migration is still in its infancy, but there is a growing belief in publishing circles that electronic textbooks have a real chance of catching on because of the savings, the convenience, and the features they have to offer.
A textbook ending? [boston.com]
Iconoculture: WittFitt wants to harness kids’ propensity for movement and improve their fitness and focus by replacing classroom chairs with bouncy stability balls. The program educates students and teachers on benefits of a healthy spine and core muscles, and how to safely sit on stability balls.
Teachers using the WittFitt program report that ball-based students are more attentive than when sitting in chairs because they can fidget without being disruptive. WittFitt is being used in classrooms in nine states. Similar programs are in use in European classrooms.
Evolutionaries like a better mousetrap — and sometimes you don’t have to look far to find innovative solutions to common problems. Getting kids to change the way they interact with a classroom can help them change their minds.
WittFitt rolls out Active Sitting 101 [Iconoculture]
Cool Tools: Whereas most glue sticks are designed to permanently stick paper to paper, this glue stick is designed to create instant, repositionable sticky notes out of just about anything (Scotch specifies fabric or paper). A swipe or two (they recommend at least two) with this stick, and your self-printed content/form/memo will stick temporarily to any flat dry surface without residue. I love this stuff and use it to make my various Getting Things Done/43 folders items and tasks stay put in my handheld binder. I jot my items and tasks down on variously colored pieces of paper of whatever size I need, rub the magic stickum on them, and they stay put in my binder until I decide to move them around. My inner child is happy because I get to play with stickers and glue; my inner adult is happy because I can continually and easily refine my GTD system until it is transparent to the tasks at hand; my inner artist is pleased by the happy riot of colors and shapes that my ‘organization’ system has become; and my inner accountant is happy that I’m not wasting so much money on little pads of sticky notes. And when it’s time, it can all be peeled up and recycled. Although this stuff is more expensive than regular glue sticks, a little goes a long way. If any gets where it shouldn’t, it washes off with water.
Scotch Restickable Adhesive Glue Stick [Cool Tools]