Vanitas vanitatum et hotdog vanitas
In the days when everyone is calling himself an entrepreneur or claims to be thinking of starting a business, I often wonder what is the real, intrinsic value of some of these ideas. These weird ideas are being funded by the biggest VCs or/and accepted by accelerators. Startups going so niche, exploring weird angles of something a normal person would simply call “useless”.
One of the the latest startup I was discussing with Kuba is PetCube, a videocamera/pet food dispenser (not really, as it only throws few pieces of dry cubes as a treat) allowing you to “interact” with your pet while you are away. Although I love animals, I don’t get it. Actually… I do get that some people are so emotionally attached to their pets that they buy that. But what does it serve? We are gamifying real interactions with our pets. It reminds me a little of tamagotchi, with the difference that your tamagotchi character is your own pet.
Is this tech really solving the problem? IS there any problem? Maybe the problem is us not being able to to work out our life priorities, not enjoying time with out loved ones (may be the four and two legged ones) and working overtime for no good reason?
Remember Yo! app? Is it genious in simplicity? A product market fit for more lazy audience?
The famous is-it-a-hot-dog? plot of funny TV series Silicon Valley demonstrates how an idea of something plain and dumb could be turned or coloured to awe and excite the public.
When is the limit of sane usability and when does the dumb vanity start?
Of course one of the reasons of starting simple and silly startups is to gain recognition and prove yourself business wise. Then you can climb the ladder and crack more complex ideas. But is that how all those founders of vain startups thinking?