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You Want The Weirdest Things: The $50 Amazon Giftcard Giveaway Results

We just gave Eric Vu Tran $50 to go play on Amazon! He’s got the goods but there’s plenty to learn for all of us. We’ll compare these numbers with our last giveaway and find out what products you wish existed (you dirty bastards). Here are the numbers this time around:

Screen shot 2013-02-11 at 3.49.22 PM

Boosted up since last time.

This is fantastic! Thank you for getting involved and supporting StartupBros! The above is a snapshot from Punchtab’s summary of contest outcome. Close to 300 of you participated. You invited your friends, found us on Google + and Facebook, and played around on Pinterest.

We asked you what product or service you wish existed but don’t. The answers fell into three categories:


chart amazon

We got answers from a new kind of car jack to BBQ condoms to teleportation. One of you even came up with a product that we are considering building – you might be getting it sooner than later! Let’s check out each type of response.

Can’t Think of Any/Don’t Know. What!? You get to think about any new toy and you can’t come up with anything!? I find that hard to believe… You could put anything you want. If you really couldn’t think of anything (and you weren’t just being lazy) then you got to exercise your brain! Consider going back and checking out the post I made on having better ideas. Consider getting a pen and paper right now and writing 10 dream-products that would solve a problem in your life. It doesn’t matter if they’re good or feasible. You just got to come up with something.

Things That Exist. A huge portion of the ideas could be yours for $9.99 from Amazon. This means two things (1) not a lot of people are into due diligence and (2) people aren’t marketing that product properly. There are huge opportunities in building on top of a good idea that just hasn’t gained traction. Check out how other people are capitalizing on the product and think about why it’s not taking and what you could do to make it better.

Twist on Current Product. You don’t need to reinvent the wheel… maybe you just need to tweak it. There are tons of opportunities to make small improvements to a product that’s been around forever and make a buck. I was amazed at some of the ideas you guys were coming up with. There are gender-specific websites that have opened up markets doing the same things for the opposite sexes. People Kickstart successful products everyday that are nothing more than common objects redesigned. I’ve seen water bottles, playing cards, and game consoles all raise thousands of dollars. We don’t need something completely new, just something new.

Sci-Fi. More than one of you mentioned teleportation. We might not be doing that (or time-travel) any time soon, but damnit we’re getting close! I’ve been doing research for a post on trends that we’ll have up later this week and holy shit! We won’t be able to recognize most computers in a few years – they’re becoming a part of us. The world around you will know what your preferences are. When you walk around WalMart, the TVs will see you coming and know just what ad to play for you. One guy mentioned ads even being served up in your shower in order to subsidize the cost of homes. Bill Gates says that large interactive surfaces are going to become common in the coming years. Don’t discount your crazy sci-fi ideas – they may be closer than you think.

You guys had some genius ideas! I’m honored to be a part of a community of such badass entrepreneurs. I really want to see your projects come to fruition! If you need an extra boost of confidence to move forward with your ideas check out Will’s most recent post on what you need for the perfect business idea and his legendary post on validating your business idea for (almost) free.

May the force be with you, always...

May the force be with you, always…

We haven’t decided on what we’re going to give out for the next round so I have a couple of quick favors to ask you:

If you have any ideas of great books you’ve read or other entrepreneury gifts, put them in the comments below!

Hop on our newsletter to get the down’n’dirty early on the next giveaway!



We read and reply to every one!
  • Mike

    A really great book to read is called Positive Intelligence. It’s a must read for people in Biz Dev / Sales that will help you get out of your own head and close more deals.

    • Great suggestion Mike, looks like a good book. Just added it to my 2013 wishlist 🙂

  • Thanks Will & Kyle for the Giveaway! StartupBros is such a fun place to be. I hope I get to meet others on here.

    That’s really insightful point you made about how people on kickstarter are executing ideas that are basically on top of another idea. I never knew that. Will start to analyze things from that angle now that I’m aware of that concept.

    So I’m curious out of all the ideas which you two liked the best, and said you are interested in working on! My fingers are crossed that you picked mine. Ok well, actually my sister’s idea hahaha. My sister is has a Ph.D academic worker type mentality. She’s thinks startups are easy or not as intellectually challenging. I’m trying to wake her up out of the matrix. It’s my duty as older brother to give her tough love. ha.

    Entrepreneurial gift ideas:
    1) Paid tuition for iphone mobile app bootcamp
    2) Couple hours of Mentoring from Will and/or Kyle
    3) Maybe a Udemy course …not sure which one b/c sometimes is hard figuring out which ones are actually good.

    Anways thats all I can think of for now. Thanks again guys for a kick ass Amazon give away!

    • Yessir! What did you get?

      • Mr. Kyle, you’re actually the person I was hoping to chat with to possibly get input on what I should get on Amazon. I read your profile when I first visited the site and have been meaning to comment at you b/c I share many of your interests and backgrounds. e.g., capital markets, yoga, meditation. I’m new to yoga, don’t know much, and have only done the p90x yoga. ha. I’m going to start implementing brikham yoga, b/c I think it will help with my martial arts studies/training.

        For amazon, I’m thinking about a meditation bench. Do you by chance have experience with these?

        One has a T-shape design. I’m wondering why it is more expensive. The folding bench by anada has a good description. I started meditation practice about a year and half ago and mostly just sitting on a sofa or office chair. Recently, started practicing in zazen position. It’s very difficult and am wondering if I should mix it up with a comfortable sitting position b/c sometimes I just really want to rest my mind. I’d enjoy hearing what you know about meditation practice. Sounds like you’ve been doing it for a while.

        Both you and WIll are in Florida right? I’ll definitely meet you guys up for some beers if I’m ever in your area! Same goes for you two if ever in the D.C. area!

        • Hey Eric!

          Involvement in capital markets forces a lot of us to realize the necessity of meditation at some point haha. I used a bench a lot like the asana one when I did a silent 10 day S. N. Goenka retreat. If you’re interested in doing a retreat you can check out a bit I wrote about my own here:
          I’ve never used the Ronin one but it seems to me that for hour long sits it’s more about having a symbol to get you in the right mindset. At home I just used a rolled up blanket (working towards sitting on the floor). What kind of martial arts do you do?
          My best guess at the price difference is that the Ronin is made of better materials – the wood and the wrap. The asana benches don’t really feel like sacred objects – whatever that means.
          If your goal for meditation/yoga is relaxation, I wouldn’t suggest Bikram yoga. THAT SHIT IS INTENSE! Sitting too comfortably in meditation also takes the power out of it for me.

          I’d love to get into this stuff more with you! I also would love to hear about your trading methods. Send me an email at kyle at startupbros dot com.
          Talk to you soon!

  • For Eric, above;

    Dude, if you don’t have the Tao of Jeet Kune Do published posthumously by Linda Lee from Bruce Lee’s notes… ya gotta grab it. I think this single investment could be the best one you make, regardless of what style of martial arts you are currently studying.

    If’n you already have that, look at Book of Five Rings by Miyamoto Mushashi, or The Art of War by Sun Tzu (get the ‘regular’ version, not the spun-off Art of War for business managers, Art of War for teenagers, etc.)

    Final suggestion, though you may not be able to find it: Articles of Defence by George Silver, circa 1599. It’s a nook on swordplay but the principles apply to tennis or jiu-jitsu or any one-to-one combat.

    Sorry Kyle and Will, just know what I’D do with an Amazon gift card, being a mixed martial arts studio owner. Best wishes to Eric, and train hard!


    • Hey Kurt,

      Good to see you somewhere other than Twitter! Thanks for commenting.

      Obviously, I can’t speak to those martial arts books, but I do love The Art of War. Seems like every couple months another idiom from that book clicks for me 🙂

      Talk to you later (hopefully on our show!),

    • I cracked Book of Five Rings last month but didn’t finish it – I got to go back! I want to check out that Bruce Lee book, too.

      Sorry!? Bah! Thanks for hanging out

  • Kurt Frankenberg, thank you for the book recommendations! I have the books you mentioned. I definitely need to re-read them. There are many abstract concepts I want to understand better.

    Since we have similar tastes in books, I recommend:

    The Art of Learning, by Josh Waitzkins
    The Intuitive Warrior, by Michael Jaco
    When Buddhist Attack, by Patrick McCarthy

    WHere is your MMA studio located?

    • 3 new books for my wishlist 😉

      Do you and Kurt think that entrepreneurs can get value out of those books? Is it similar to Art of War, that the lessons exist in many fields?

      • These are GOLD! This is making me want to get all kung-fu’n’stuff. For real…

        Which of those do you place at the top?

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