Author Topic: Business Idea - Would you use this?  (Read 9426 times)

YTProphet

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Business Idea - Would you use this?
« on: March 06, 2015, 07:18:08 AM »
So I had a random business idea last night and I'm not sure if it's any good. Here goes:

An app that allows you to report people who are parked illegally and get a cut of the ticket/towing cost. I'd call it something like "Ticket Tow TattleTale". Basically you would snap a photo of the misparked car with your phone, the GPS on your phone would mark where you are, and then the pic would get submitted to a towing company or a municipality, who could then come tow or ticket the car. You'd get like $10 if the car was towed and $2 if the car is ticketed.

Obviously there are a few issues - what happens if people submits a car for ticket/tow and it isn't parked illegally; what's to stop the towing company from saying they never towed the car even though they did, how do submitters and towers/municipalities rate each other, etc. However I think if I was a college student I'd try it if it meant getting an easy $10 through paypal.

I think I'd primarily market it in busy college towns where parking is at a premium, where people are constantly parked illegally, and where  the population is generally tech savvy.

immocardo

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Re: Business Idea - Would you use this?
« Reply #1 on: March 06, 2015, 07:49:52 AM »
I would love using it, but how are you going to prevent multiple pictures of the same car?

RunHappy

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Re: Business Idea - Would you use this?
« Reply #2 on: March 06, 2015, 07:53:12 AM »
Where is the $10 or $2 coming from? The two company? the courts? 

YTProphet

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Re: Business Idea - Would you use this?
« Reply #3 on: March 06, 2015, 07:56:18 AM »
Where is the $10 or $2 coming from? The two company? the courts?
Yep. Might be tricky to figure out how to get the towing company / municipality to be honest and pay when they actually tow/ticket, but I think that could be solved somehow.

zurich78

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Re: Business Idea - Would you use this?
« Reply #4 on: March 06, 2015, 08:11:09 AM »
Where is the $10 or $2 coming from? The two company? the courts?
Yep. Might be tricky to figure out how to get the towing company / municipality to be honest and pay when they actually tow/ticket, but I think that could be solved somehow.

Or you just have them pay a monthly retainer to be included in your app.

zurich78

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Re: Business Idea - Would you use this?
« Reply #5 on: March 06, 2015, 08:13:19 AM »
The other challenge is ... What's in it for me to snap a picture?

rocksinmyhead

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Re: Business Idea - Would you use this?
« Reply #6 on: March 06, 2015, 08:26:09 AM »
The other challenge is ... What's in it for me to snap a picture?

you get money!

I think it's a cool idea.

KES

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Re: Business Idea - Would you use this?
« Reply #7 on: March 06, 2015, 10:59:26 AM »
I disagree. It's not right to tattle on other people. Also, from that perspective this isn't much different from a red-light camera (usually the company that makes them also gets a cut).

kib

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Re: Business Idea - Would you use this?
« Reply #8 on: March 06, 2015, 11:03:38 AM »
No.  I prefer spending my time helping people to spending my time making money from their mistakes. I would however be tempted to put money in the meter before anyone showed up with a ticket book in hand.
« Last Edit: March 06, 2015, 11:05:25 AM by frufrau »

Mississippi Mudstache

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Re: Business Idea - Would you use this?
« Reply #9 on: March 06, 2015, 11:04:41 AM »
To answer your question: No, I wouldn't use it. But I bet a lot of people would.

Sibley

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Re: Business Idea - Would you use this?
« Reply #10 on: March 06, 2015, 11:14:37 AM »
Would it work? probably
Would people use it? probably

Is it something that should be done, for the good of our society and culture? No.

YTProphet

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Re: Business Idea - Would you use this?
« Reply #11 on: March 06, 2015, 11:45:24 AM »
Would it work? probably
Would people use it? probably

Is it something that should be done, for the good of our society and culture? No.

Is it really bad, though? I see people who aren't handicapped parking in handicapped spots all the time or people parked in firelanes or in spots in an apartment complex where there's a giant sign saying "PARKING RESERVED FOR TENANTS. ALL OTHERS WILL BE TOWED."

netskyblue

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Re: Business Idea - Would you use this?
« Reply #12 on: March 06, 2015, 11:58:34 AM »
I'm confused as to where the money would come from.  The city (or all the cities) would be willing to negotiate a deal with you, the app creator, that they'd give you a cut of the ticket fee after it was paid?  Why would they not just take the tip and keep the ticket fee?  What happens when the person doesn't pay their ticket?  Another app for tracking down people with warrants out for unpaid parking tickets?

YTProphet

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Re: Business Idea - Would you use this?
« Reply #13 on: March 06, 2015, 12:03:33 PM »
I'm confused as to where the money would come from.  The city (or all the cities) would be willing to negotiate a deal with you, the app creator, that they'd give you a cut of the ticket fee after it was paid?  Why would they not just take the tip and keep the ticket fee?  What happens when the person doesn't pay their ticket?  Another app for tracking down people with warrants out for unpaid parking tickets?

I think you could just charge the municipality and the towing company a flat fee to have access to the "tips" from users of the app. Then, you use that access fee to pay back people who tip and take the rest.

NumberCruncher

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Re: Business Idea - Would you use this?
« Reply #14 on: March 06, 2015, 12:09:20 PM »
Hmmm...it's an interesting idea, but the logistics are...complicated.

There's public property and private property (independently owned stores/parking lots) where this could conceivably be used. On public property...man, trying to work something out with the govt. on ticketing...I just don't see that working. And if you're restricted to private property, there's simply less of a market.

Some cities have reporting sites for a number of things like potholes, roadkill, and in some cases illegally parked cars if it's been a while. People report things to bring them to the attention of authorities/improve the community, but there's no kickback.

If you really wanted to pursue this, you could do some trial runs at maybe a large housing complex or something nearby? Or maybe in suburban places as a way to make HOAs even more annoying ;)

You might think about other ways to monetize it, in order to make this work in most places.

Any small business owners or the like know how money is usually exchanged when cars are towed?

I'm confused as to where the money would come from.  The city (or all the cities) would be willing to negotiate a deal with you, the app creator, that they'd give you a cut of the ticket fee after it was paid?  Why would they not just take the tip and keep the ticket fee?  What happens when the person doesn't pay their ticket?  Another app for tracking down people with warrants out for unpaid parking tickets?

I think you could just charge the municipality and the towing company a flat fee to have access to the "tips" from users of the app. Then, you use that access fee to pay back people who tip and take the rest.

That sounds more realistic

merula

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Re: Business Idea - Would you use this?
« Reply #15 on: March 06, 2015, 01:11:31 PM »
I'd use this even if I didn't get paid. I hate seeing people who are illegally parked, but I only feel like I have a legitimate reason to call the non-emergency number if they're blocking my driveway.

coffeehound

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Re: Business Idea - Would you use this?
« Reply #16 on: March 06, 2015, 01:51:43 PM »
Would it work? probably
Would people use it? probably

Is it something that should be done, for the good of our society and culture? No.

Is it really bad, though? I see people who aren't handicapped parking in handicapped spots all the time or people parked in firelanes or in spots in an apartment complex where there's a giant sign saying "PARKING RESERVED FOR TENANTS. ALL OTHERS WILL BE TOWED."

But how do you KNOW they're not handicapped?  I have friends who look perfectly healthy who ARE handicapped, and need their placards.

Also, as a member of the political party known as the Pragmatists, this seems like a huge waste of money for the municipality, as someone (or multiple someones) would need to monitor input from the app.

How about coming up with an app that tells us when and where something we buy regularly is on sale?  That's an app I would use.

Villanelle

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Re: Business Idea - Would you use this?
« Reply #17 on: March 06, 2015, 02:03:24 PM »
I'd only use it if the person was blocking my driveway or parked in my private space or something, not to report random illegal parkers.  So I guess I probably wouldn't bother downloading the app unless I lived somewhere where people in my space was a significant issue.

But I think plenty of people would. I just don't see how you are going to get the tow companies (or municipalities?) all signed on to this. 

Iron Mike Sharpe

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Re: Business Idea - Would you use this?
« Reply #18 on: March 06, 2015, 02:22:14 PM »
Snitches get stitches! 

netskyblue

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Re: Business Idea - Would you use this?
« Reply #19 on: March 06, 2015, 03:17:21 PM »
But how do you KNOW they're not handicapped?  I have friends who look perfectly healthy who ARE handicapped, and need their placards.

If they are parked in handicapped spot without displaying their handicapped placard or having a handicapped license plate, they're parked illegally.  Even if they ARE handicapped.  It has to be displayed.

Also, how would you prevent people from sending in false tips just because they're jerkholes, and how would you separate those people from the people who report legitimately illegal parking, but the car is moved before the authorities arrive?  They aren't going to appreciate being called out to a place for nothing.

humbleMouse

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Re: Business Idea - Would you use this?
« Reply #20 on: March 06, 2015, 03:50:26 PM »
This is a terrible terrible idea.  What's next, an app that lets you report people jaywalking and get a cut of the ticket??   Terrible idea. 

europe

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Re: Business Idea - Would you use this?
« Reply #21 on: March 06, 2015, 04:30:00 PM »
that would definitively work - there's such an app in germany already (just without the monetary benefit).

https://www.wegeheld.org (german language)

skyrefuge

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Re: Business Idea - Would you use this?
« Reply #22 on: March 06, 2015, 05:05:50 PM »
There's public property and private property (independently owned stores/parking lots) where this could conceivably be used. On public property...man, trying to work something out with the govt. on ticketing...I just don't see that working. And if you're restricted to private property, there's simply less of a market.

I could actually see this working fairly well in a place like Chicago.

On the "public" side, there are all the metered on-street parking spots, which are controlled by a private company, and they can basically run however they want. They already have a smartphone app, that you can use for paying. It seems they'd at least be open to adding freelance parking officers to their revenue-collection methods, though they'd probably prefer to just add the feature to their own app rather than using yours. They don't tow, just ticket, but it should be no problem for them to give tattlers a portion of the revenue. Finding people who want to help out the already-hated parking-meter owners could be a challenge though, and I'd guess they'd be concerned about liability resulting from knife fights when someone sees your app-user taking a photo of their car.

On the "private" side (property owners who contract with a towing company to keep unauthorized people out of their parking lots), this system is already in place! It's assumed that loiterers/panhandlers already get some sort of kickback for reporting potential business to the towing company responsible for the lot (and my one experience being towed from a lot did not disprove that assumption). This would just be a slightly more high-tech reporting mechanism. The challenge is that these towing companies seem to be the polar opposite of technology-focused, forward-thinking organizations, so good luck even explaining to Joe Rumblefists what a smartphone even is.

surfhb

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Re: Business Idea - Would you use this?
« Reply #23 on: March 06, 2015, 05:08:42 PM »
Cmon man!   Didnt your Mom tell you about being a tattle tale?    Those who "tattle" for their own gain are typically the biggest pieces of shit on the planet.     

Yeah, not a good idea for an app IMO
« Last Edit: March 06, 2015, 05:12:12 PM by surfhb »

zurich78

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Re: Business Idea - Would you use this?
« Reply #24 on: March 07, 2015, 08:10:07 AM »
The biggest problem is going to be IMO, being able to say for certain that the towing company towed that car because of the app.  How will you prove they didn't just decide to patrol that area that day?

For this to work, the model has to be simpler.  Towing companies pay a flat fee for tips to be sent to.  Basically, they're paying for leads.  And that's it.

You won't be able to pay the tipsters anything (well, without losing money) because if you pay them for submitting a tip, then you're going to pay for a lot of bad tips and there again, there is no reasonable way to know that a) the towing company successfully towed that car and b) that they did it because of your tip.

rocksinmyhead

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Re: Business Idea - Would you use this?
« Reply #25 on: March 09, 2015, 02:29:14 PM »
I can't believe everyone thinks "tattling" is such an asshole move. Parking in a handicapped spot when you're not handicapped (and I mean don't have a placard, not just "you don't LOOK handicapped") is the asshole move! Or parking in a spot that's not even a spot and thus grossly inconveniencing other people... I saw this at an apartment building I lived in once, someone parked in the hatched-off space next to the handicapped spot (like for handicapped people to have room to get out of their cars), this girl in a wheelchair pulled in and could not get out of her car (and the lot was jam-packed, nowhere else to park), she had to call and sit there and wait for someone to tow the asshole... I mean, who does that?!?

YTProphet

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Re: Business Idea - Would you use this?
« Reply #26 on: March 09, 2015, 02:32:13 PM »
I can't believe everyone thinks "tattling" is such an asshole move. Parking in a handicapped spot when you're not handicapped (and I mean don't have a placard, not just "you don't LOOK handicapped") is the asshole move! Or parking in a spot that's not even a spot and thus grossly inconveniencing other people... I saw this at an apartment building I lived in once, someone parked in the hatched-off space next to the handicapped spot (like for handicapped people to have room to get out of their cars), this girl in a wheelchair pulled in and could not get out of her car (and the lot was jam-packed, nowhere else to park), she had to call and sit there and wait for someone to tow the asshole... I mean, who does that?!?

I know, right? I've lived in apartment buildings on crowded college campuses. Few things annoyed me more than finding my parking space taken by a car that didn't have a tag and was clearly illegally parked.

BlueHouse

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Re: Business Idea - Would you use this?
« Reply #27 on: March 09, 2015, 06:14:47 PM »
I had a fantastic idea to give every driver/biker a paintball gun with different color paintballs.  Whenever you see someone driving aggressively, you should shoot the car.  Once that car has three different colors of paint on it, it would be an automatic ticket. 
Although I still think this is an awesome idea, every single person I've shared this idea with - BAR NONE -  has told me I'm insane.  Sometimes you have to give up on an idea, no matter how great you think it is. 

surfhb

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Re: Business Idea - Would you use this?
« Reply #28 on: March 09, 2015, 07:03:29 PM »
I think its a great idea as long as youre not paid to do it.      Still though, an app like this would turn people into major assholes....not everyone who parks on the wrong side of the street on street sweeping day or lets a meter run dry does it out because they are an asshole. 

zurich78

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Re: Business Idea - Would you use this?
« Reply #29 on: March 09, 2015, 07:26:01 PM »
I had a fantastic idea to give every driver/biker a paintball gun with different color paintballs.  Whenever you see someone driving aggressively, you should shoot the car.  Once that car has three different colors of paint on it, it would be an automatic ticket. 
Although I still think this is an awesome idea, every single person I've shared this idea with - BAR NONE -  has told me I'm insane.  Sometimes you have to give up on an idea, no matter how great you think it is.

Not sure if serious.  Haha

octavius

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Re: Business Idea - Would you use this?
« Reply #30 on: March 09, 2015, 10:37:29 PM »
I doubt I'd use it -- not because I think reporting illegally parked cars is a bad idea  (I think that part is fine) -- I just don't think I see them enough to make it worthwhile for me to download an app like that onto my phone.  You want to think about the potential market size, relative to your time invested in creating the app and setting up deals with cities and tow truck companies.  How many people out there see illegally parked cars on a very regular basis?

What I would use -- is an app that lets you photograph drivers that are talking on their phone while driving (or texting while driving) -- I see that much more often -- and I think it is a much bigger menace to public safety.  I'd use an app like that even if I wasn't getting any reward.  You could monetize that by setting up deals with cities, states, etc.
« Last Edit: March 09, 2015, 10:46:55 PM by octavius »

MDM

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Re: Business Idea - Would you use this?
« Reply #31 on: March 09, 2015, 11:52:16 PM »
Heck of an idea, although Ticket Tow TattleTale just doesn't do it for me.  Maybe something such as...

- Big Brother's Bonanza, or
- Gestapo's Great Gains, or
- Kudos, Good Buddy (KGB for short)

...would be better.  After all, wouldn't life be better if the entire populace is a police force?

Seriously, I understand the feeling that there ought to be a special circle of hell for the able-bodied who use handicapped spaces for the convenience - but something about cures and diseases is running through my mind....

P.S.  I do have to credit BlueHouse - that idea (see a few posts above) has promise. ;)
« Last Edit: March 09, 2015, 11:54:43 PM by MDM »

zurich78

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Re: Business Idea - Would you use this?
« Reply #32 on: March 10, 2015, 01:17:31 AM »
I doubt I'd use it -- not because I think reporting illegally parked cars is a bad idea  (I think that part is fine) -- I just don't think I see them enough to make it worthwhile for me to download an app like that onto my phone.  You want to think about the potential market size, relative to your time invested in creating the app and setting up deals with cities and tow truck companies.  How many people out there see illegally parked cars on a very regular basis?

What I would use -- is an app that lets you photograph drivers that are talking on their phone while driving (or texting while driving) -- I see that much more often -- and I think it is a much bigger menace to public safety.  I'd use an app like that even if I wasn't getting any reward.  You could monetize that by setting up deals with cities, states, etc.

You'd need a plate to go with it. 

Be careful, you might get a ticket too for using your phone to take the picture while driving!

seanh510

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Re: Business Idea - Would you use this?
« Reply #33 on: March 10, 2015, 03:14:48 AM »
Simple: Evaluate the size of the market, do some back of the napkin math based on IDEAL adoption/people using it, your cut of that, and the costs to develop and maintain that.

I'd posit that even if you were a decent iOS/Android app developer (you'll need both, so most likely you'd use something like PhoneGap to develop it for both simultaneously), AND developed the backend needed for it, you'd make little to nothing off of it.

Not trying to be a buzzkill, so much as give a real answer.

Eric

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Re: Business Idea - Would you use this?
« Reply #34 on: March 10, 2015, 09:57:46 AM »
This isn't crazy.  And with impeccable timing, NYC is going proposing to do something very similar, using citizens to patrol for idling cars:

http://nypost.com/2015/03/10/bill-would-offer-money-for-video-footage-of-idling-vehicles/
« Last Edit: March 10, 2015, 12:11:56 PM by Eric »

theonethatgotaway

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Re: Business Idea - Would you use this?
« Reply #35 on: March 10, 2015, 12:01:42 PM »
No.

First, an idea is one thing, execution is another.

Primarily, the idea is ridden with holes and possible legal consequences. What do you want to come from this app? A society in which people are more 'behaved' out of fear of getting caught? That's a very heavy handed, oppressive premise.

delta26

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Re: Business Idea - Would you use this?
« Reply #36 on: March 10, 2015, 12:07:36 PM »
There are already apps that do this for parking in handicapped spots in Texas: http://wheels.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/09/04/using-an-app-to-report-handicap-parking-violations/

Similar idea, but they don't benefit monetarily - the city just has an easier time fining people.

Im not a fan of any of this kind of taddle-tale policing for anything

NoraLenderbee

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Re: Business Idea - Would you use this?
« Reply #37 on: March 10, 2015, 12:17:29 PM »
I had a fantastic idea to give every driver/biker a paintball gun with different color paintballs.  Whenever you see someone driving aggressively, you should shoot the car.  Once that car has three different colors of paint on it, it would be an automatic ticket. 
Although I still think this is an awesome idea, every single person I've shared this idea with - BAR NONE -  has told me I'm insane.  Sometimes you have to give up on an idea, no matter how great you think it is.

I love it, but you know that impatient drivers will splat the car in front of them because it is going 0.1 mph slower than they want to go. And think of the fun teenagers would have ganging up on their friends.

Bob W

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Re: Business Idea - Would you use this?
« Reply #38 on: March 10, 2015, 01:15:56 PM »

My Parking ticket story ---

My  wife and I went into town and visited a shop. When we came out, there was a cop writing out a parking ticket.. We went up to him and I said, "come on man, how about giving a senior citizen a break?"  He just ignored us and continued writing the ticket. I called him an "jackass."  He glared at me and started writing another ticket for having  worn-out  tires.   So Shirley (my wife) called him a "horses patootie." He finished the second ticket and put it on the windshield with the first. Then he started writing more tickets.    This went on for about 20  minutes. The more we abused him ,  the more tickets he wrote.  He finally finished, sneered at us and walked away. Just  then our bus arrived, and we got on it and went home.   We always  look for cars with Obama stickers.  We try to have   a little fun each day now that we're retired.  Itís so important at our age!!

octavius

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Re: Business Idea - Would you use this?
« Reply #39 on: March 10, 2015, 03:24:50 PM »
I doubt I'd use it -- not because I think reporting illegally parked cars is a bad idea  (I think that part is fine) -- I just don't think I see them enough to make it worthwhile for me to download an app like that onto my phone.  You want to think about the potential market size, relative to your time invested in creating the app and setting up deals with cities and tow truck companies.  How many people out there see illegally parked cars on a very regular basis?

What I would use -- is an app that lets you photograph drivers that are talking on their phone while driving (or texting while driving) -- I see that much more often -- and I think it is a much bigger menace to public safety.  I'd use an app like that even if I wasn't getting any reward.  You could monetize that by setting up deals with cities, states, etc.

You'd need a plate to go with it. 

Be careful, you might get a ticket too for using your phone to take the picture while driving!

Yes you'd need a plate in the photo, or it could be a 3 second video.

As to taking this photo or video while driving -- doubt I'd do that.  I live in a very walkable area, and hence walk a lot, and could easily nail my fair share of law breakers while out getting exercise :)  If I was driving, and had a passenger, the passenger could take the video.  But I get your point...

Might have to have an optional robot arm system to mount on the dashboard to do this :) ...or see if a variance to the law would be allowed.  For example... you are allowed to drive while talking if you are calling 911. 
« Last Edit: March 10, 2015, 04:36:25 PM by octavius »