Mind of an Entrepreneur entries detail business ideas that the author does not have the time and/or the resources to create currently. They are posted for comment and criticism. The hope is that the ideas will become developed enough so that when the entrepreneur does get a chance to launch them they will be fully developed and ready to implement. Rest assured that most of these ideas will be duds, but shifting through crap to find gold is the entrepreneurial creative process…
Inspiration: I have 1526 contacts in my Apple Address Book that I have collected over the past decade. My guess is that 30 to 40 percent of these VCards (or contact files) have the wrong contact information. WHY? People’s information changes. In the time since I started collecting these contacts my own phone number has changed twice and I have had four different email addresses. You think all of these 1526 people have carefully tracked these changes in my life? Nope.
The way we currently create contacts in our Address Books is TOTALLY BACKWARDS! (and inefficient). Let’s assume for a moment that all of the 1526 contacts that I have also have my information in their Address Book. Now let’s assume that it takes a minute and a half to enter in the info of one contact in an Address book. This means that over 38 hours of people’s lives have been spent simply entering in my contact information. Now when my contact information changes as it has nearly a dozen times since people started storing my information, the info these 1526 people have on me is either rendered useless or requires more of their time to keep fresh. In the Web 2.0 world of social networking it becomes readily apparent that this is a really stupid way to track information. Imagine for a second that you kept track of all of your Facebook contacts in the same way you keep their contact information. Impossible. Too much info and too many people.
Solution: The contact info social network – Coordinates. I post my Coordinates online and people can request access , in the same way someone Friend Requests you on Facebook. I would be able to grant full access or a sort of limited professional access if I only wanted the person to have my business info. My Coordinates can be downloaded into an address book or onto a mobile device, just like a normal VCard. The one difference is that, like my Facebook profile, they are totally dynamic. At anytime I can change my phone number, address, email, etc. Now posting the info and keeping the information fresh is my responsibility and only requires the work of a single person, rather than 1526.
Competition: No one is storing contact info in this way yet. The biggest obstacle is getting everyone to switch from Outlook and Address Book to this new platform, not to mention beating the social networks to the punch.