I get ideas from time to time – I believe most people do. Many of those most people, though, seem to keep their ideas to themselves, because someday they might be able to cash in on it.

I’m not so anxious to cash in on my ideas, but I am anxious to keep other people from doing so. I don’t mind if someone sees one of my ideas and realizes it and makes a boatload of money, but I don’t want to be locked out of my own idea, and I don’t want the rest of the world to be locked out of an idea that someone got from me as a gift. But, I’m going to believe in the goodness of people, and I want to share my ideas (or at least write them down somewhere), so here’s some of them:

Curritos
I’ve been turning over this idea for a long time, and I haven’t even tested it, mostly due to my general aversion to cooking. I don’t know if I’m afraid to cook or just unused to doing it, but I don’t do anything but the most basic cooking very often. The idea of the currito is that it’s a curry and rice wrapped in a tortilla. Curry has this kind of soury-bitter taste (or at least the very few curries I have tasted do), and it seems like the sweetness of a flour tortilla would balance that nicely. Maybe a little meat or chicken would give it some body.

The Day-Night Rotating Moon Watch
This is difficult to explain, and much easier to illustrate, so maybe I’ll work up an illustration and post it someday. Basically, the bottom dish of the watch is painted half with a day scene, the sun at the center, and half with a night scene (no moon!), and 24 hour marks ring the dish. Just below the glass dome of the watch, a disk of glass, half clear with a tick at the zenith, and half opaque, rotates every 24 hours. As the disk rotates, it shows the day/night status and the hour. Between the disk and the dish is the sphere of the moon that makes one revolution around the center of the disk every 28 days (or so), and rotates on its axis (perpendicular to the axis of the watch) on the same schedule. Half of the sphere is painted black, half white, so as the moon rotates, it changes phase. The dish may have to be depressed along the path the moon takes, so the sphere won’t take up too much space. I think that would be pretty cool!

The Teddy Bear/Digital Pet/Savings Plan
Kim keeps saying she wants a dog, and one day I told her we should just get a stuffed dog that eats dollar bills. Better yet, a piggy bank, so we can get the money out later. Then I had an idea.

A lot of kids seem to love those little digital pets that you have to feed and play with, or else it will wither and die. Some of those digital pets you can buy extra chips to “feed” or upgrade, or to teach it new games. What if a store like the Teddy Bear company sold a teddy bear with a personality, a teddy bear that you had to feed and play with. In order to feed it, or teach it games, or get it to grow (mentally), you have to go back to the store or go online to buy upgrades. Feeding it will cost money… maybe $5 or $10 at a time, a couple of times a month. (Give the thing a usb plug in the back, maybe.) But of those $5, only an incremental amount goes to the store’s overhead costs – their main benefits are customer loyalty and the original cost of the stuffed animal. Most of that money goes into a savings account tied to the toy.

The idea is to teach kids to save. Parents might be more willing to give kids money for their toy if they know it will go toward a college fund. Kids probably won’t know or care that they’re saving, but 10 years later, when they see how much they put in and how much it’s worth now, they might get the savings/investment bug early, when most people believe you should start saving. The bank or investment firm might give favorable rates if it means they are likely to get lifetime customers based on early imprinting on the kids.

I think that idea might be worth a fair amount of money – it may even be a whole business by itself. But I would be pretty excited if I saw someone make it happen.

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