Free Ideas

Wednesday Mar 9, 2022 by Dave Glassanos

This is my collection of free ideas that I’ve come up with over the years. Feel free to steal any of these ideas and build them yourself.

They’re free because I either:

  • Didn’t have the time to build it
  • Started to build it but never finished the project
  • Moved on to another project

Rather than hoard all of these ideas for myself so they’d never see the light of day, I’ve decided to publish them with the hope that I’m able to inspire someone else to build one of these ideas. If I thought it would be a good idea at some point in time, it would be cool to see someone turn one of these into a real product or service.

Disclaimer: these are half-assed ideas that I jot down in my notes app from time to time when they pop in my head. I’m fully aware that there are existing products, services, and open source tools that already do these things. I recommend doing your own due diligence on an idea before investing a lot of time building something.


  1. Audiobooks with sound effects. The production quality of podcasts with the storytelling of books

  2. Time annotated note taking app

    • Click a button to start a session timer, then start typing.
    • Every time you hit enter it logs the text with a timestamp for the session.
    • Click a button to pause or stop the session timer.
    • Useful for taking notes in a class, during a YouTube video, or a presentation
  3. A service where you hire contractors to help fix things around your house, but you work with them to fix the thing and they teach you how to do it so you can fix it yourself next time.

    • Useful for new homeowners who want to learn more about plumbing, electricity, heating and cooling, lawn care, etc.
  4. A project management and CRM tool for homeowners.

    • Track home improvement projects
    • store details like paint colors, tile styles,
    • maintenance notes for appliances
      • dates of maintenance for heaters, ac, plumbing clean outs, etc
    • CRM for contractor details
      • electricians
      • handymen
      • plumbers
      • pest control
    • reminders for maintenance
      • lawn care
      • plumbing clean outs
      • clean dryer vents
      • clean gutters
  5. Zapier for recruiters

    • Recruiters use lots of different tools to manage their operations, and they need to build systems to work together. It’s hard for them to migrate to new systems since all of their data is silo’d in an existing system.
    • Integrations
      • Gmail
      • Google Calendar
      • Calendly
      • Greenhouse
      • Linkedin
      • Google Sheets
      • Gem
      • MixMax
  6. A javascript snippet you drop in to guide the user through a cancellation survey. You can use data provided by the site to offer winback offers. Survey results get saved to a database where the user can download.

  7. A website where you can read articles without knowing which website they are coming from. It would be an experiment on media bias and reader bias by knowing who wrote the article.

  8. A financial data company that provides commentary and insights into a company’s quarterly earnings. Give novice and intermedia investors analysis on income statements and balance sheets after an earnings report. You can pay a smaller price for individual stocks or larger price for a specific industry.

  9. Crowd sourced sports statistics. Build a system where anyone can score a sports game or report the box score. Then allow anyone to access the data through an API or download a csv.

  10. An open source ad server/ad network

  11. An open source trading exchange

    • Keep an order book of bid and ask prices
    • API to submit orders
  12. A customer feedback tool powered by AI

    • Gather customer feedback
    • Process structured questions using NLP and AI
    • Identify
      • tone and sentiment
      • which areas will add the most value
  13. A REST API layer for IMAP to manage any inbox

    • A standardized API that connects to any IMAP email server
    • Makes it easier to build email clients on top of a REST api than having to implement IMAP
  14. An automatic git bisect tool

    • Use selenium or GI style regression tests and git bisect to automatically pinpoint when bugs were introduced
  15. A Graph database for compliance and regulation software.

    • Each regulation is a node on the graph and regulations reference each other through edges.
    • Makes it easier to see which regulations are related to each other.
  16. A Reddit clone but styled like HN that only allows link posts and self posts

    • Users can create their own communities around different topics
      • android
      • arduino
      • politics
      • javascript
    • a whole section to discover new communities
  17. Kanban board for email

  18. A niche search engine for programmers

    • search for technical queries (class names, exception messages, etc)
    • tag results with software versions
    • Allow users to mark pages as outdated, insecure, inefficient, etc.
      • Uses crowdsourcing to filter out bad search results
    • Q&A section where you can execute the code
    • Allow users to search from the command line
    • Business model
      • subscription to support ad-free model
      • Paid job listings
      • paying customers can tune their own search weights
  19. A personal search engine

    • Each user pays for their own search engine instance
    • Users create their own search index by saving notes and websites
    • Users can use the default search parameters or tune it themselves
    • Users can search from the command line
      • Log in and your credentials are saved securely
      • open up the search engine in the users preferred browser if there is no search query after the command
      • results are returned in a TUI and the user can use the arrows to move up and down
  20. An enterprise search engine

    • an internal only search engine that you can use to search across a number of different websites
      • JIRA
      • Confluence
      • Github / Gitlab / Bitbucket
      • Greenhouse
      • Gusto
      • Rippling
      • Lessonly
      • Lattice
  21. Swagger UI combined with Postman

    • A single file HTML page that you can drop in to a project
    • It downloads a JS app from a remote url or an internally hosted url
    • The app downloads an OpenAPI spec from an internally hosted url
    • The app renders the the OpenAPI spec as a documentation site.
    • You can send HTTP requests for each endpoint and you can customize/store the requests just like in postman