Before I start, let me preface this by saying that I’m nowhere near a billionaire, or even close to super-famous. I’m pretty sure I actually owe my friend $3.49 after he bought me an ice cream three years ago.
But, as much as I have no authority to talk about personal finances, I’m pretty well-off when it comes to making ideas. If there’s anything I’m a billionaire in, it’s all the weird thoughts I have. And, in regular billionaire fashion, it’s only fair for me to give away a stupid amount of my ideas. Time to make it rain.
Design A Cheaper Joint Implant
Today, a hip or knee implant sets you back about $5,000.
If you live anywhere outside of Canada, that’s either on you or your insurance company — and neither of them are going to be very happy about that bill. Or, if you just can’t even hope to afford it, the rest of your life’s going to be a whole lot shorter and a whole lot more painful.
Why do joint replacements cost more than most used cars? Well, it helps to realize that they’re essentially solid hunks of titanium, which is up there on the list of the most expensive materials known to man:
But of course, it’s not like we have much of a choice. We still don’t have another material that’s tough enough to last as a joint, not rust in our bodies, and be safe over the long-term. That is, for now.
You just need to find an alternative. Explore methods and materials like graphene and 3-D printing to make a cheaper, stronger joint replacement. Check off all the boxes I mentioned earlier, and you’re set to disrupt and one of the most massive industries in the world.
Make One-Size-Fits-All Clothing
It’s hard to put your finger on whether its the cramped stalls or painful sales tags, but there’s something about trying on clothes that’s absolutely hateable and frustrating:
But here’s what’s even worse: spending two hours looking for the right colours and fits, buying the clothes, and realizing they don’t fit anymore. How depressing is that?
Why aren’t clothes flexible enough to shrink or grow a few inches along with you? Other than leotards, there’s nothing else that does quite that:
But you can change that. Find a material that’s stretchy enough to transform with the person that wears it, and use it to make clothes people actually want to wear. Or, just sell own the rights to the material and license it to any brand that wants to use it.
If you pull it off, parents around the world will thank you, and you might just create the first ever unicorn startup that doesn’t sell software.
Electrocute Global Warming.
Carbon dioxide’s most likely going to keep heating Earth until we all burn to death. I know I’m not an expert on this, but burning to death’s pretty unhealthy.
The good news is that we’ve noticed the issue (at least some of us), and we’re starting to cut back on burning all the weird slimy things we find underground. But even then, we’re not slowing down fast enough.
That’s why we began asking ourselves how we could suck all the carbon out of the air, without sucking up the other parts of it we use to breathe.
We call that process carbon capture. People are doing it in more or less every way you can imagine: by manufacturing new chemicals, constructing huge algae factories, and yes — even by planting trees. Who would’ve thought?
But you know what the easiest way to deal with CO2 is? Splitting it into carbon and oxygen with a jolt of electricity. It’s close to a hundred percent effective, happens almost instantly, and can be scaled up to billions of tons worth of the stuff:
The reason we’re not doing any of this today is because it takes an ungodly amount of electricity to split an unbelievably tiny amount of carbon.
Here’s where you come in.
All you need to find is the right catalyst (chemical) that reduces the energy it takes to make the reaction happen. If you can’t do that, just find a cheap way to get all that electricity without burning more fossil fuels. Get that done, and you’ll quite literally save the world.
Fix Wind Turbines
Wind turbines are insanely efficient at what they do. So efficient that the energy they generate doesn’t just rise exponentially, but cubically (by powers of three) as wind speed increases. There’s just two tiny problems.
For starters, wind blows really fast when you get past about 100m above the ground.
That’s massive power, but we can’t take advantage of it just by making turbines taller. The difference in wind speeds between the bottom and the top of the turbine would pulverize their rotors.
Then, there’s the problem of wind attenuation. Wind turbines convert the kinetic energy of moving air (wind) into electrical energy. As that happens, the kinetic energy from the wind gets transferred to the turbine. The wind loses energy, and the turbine gains it by spinning. Simple enough:
But when you have hundreds of wind turbines on a wind turbine farm, the wind gets drained after their first turbine. Any turbines after it get weaker and weaker winds, so they produce less and less energy. That’s why we have no other choice but to space the turbines about 1km apart from each other.
Why not redefine a wind turbine to look more like a paint roller and stack thousands of them on top of each other? Then, you could build as high as you wanted to — without having to give space or speed a second thought. Who knows? Soon enough, you might be watching TV with electricity you created.
Build A Coding Language That Isn’t Hard
Forget about Duolingo, because the next big language isn’t going to be English or Chinese or German. It’s going to be the language of hashes and slashes and really long dashes. The fact that you couldn’t read this article ten years ago shows that we’re already well on our way to that world:
Programming’s going to take over everything. The only question is what the language for the future’s going to look like, and the answer’s surprisingly simple. It’s going to be straightforward. It’s going to be so intuitive that people won’t even notice they’re coding.
Make the learning process so easy that it’s almost the same as writing in plain English, and make its power limitless.
Why? Because if you’re going to be creating a language from scratch, you might as well make it easy to communicate with. That’s the missing piece.
Combined with enough access to internet, a programming language like that could be the recipe to global prosperity. It would let the entire world build things that matter and use it to help each other in ways they couldn’t have done before. That could be a game-changer.
Use The Sun To Build A New Heating System
Imagine living in Northern Russia without access to a reliable source of electricity. Your biggest worry would be dying from the never-ending cold. Without the infrastructure to power a simple heater or run a fireplace, you’re in big trouble. Zooming out, anyone in any country with a winter’s in big trouble if they can’t keep warm.
As it turns out, that’s a lot of people.
It brings up the question of whether there’s a way to generate heat without any fire or electricity involved. A way to warm a home no matter where someone lives or how much they can afford.
In situations like these, using the sun’s help usually tends to be the right answer. It just might be a bit different than the way you’d expect:
Get a tank of water and cover it with a think, round lens. Light coming out from the sun would pass through and focus onto the water — eventually boiling it with its heat. Then, just circulate boiling water around the house, and you have a more robust heating system than most high-end fireplaces.
And since water can hold on to heat surprisingly well, your heater can keep things toasty even through long winter nights when the sun doesn’t shine.
Today, the closest thing we have to a fountain of youth is a technique you might’ve never heard of before. It’s called hyperbaric oxygen therapy, and it’s essentially where a patient stays in a chamber with pure pressurized oxygen circulating through it. When used the right way, it helps heal concussions, speed up the immune systems, and even reverse aging.
Of course, there’s just a few things stopping the whole world from feeling like they’re twenty. Oxygen therapy is something only top-notch hospitals and longevity clinics can pay for. Plus, they’re way too big to be part of an average room, either:
You guessed it. Hyperbaric oxygen isn’t something you’d expect to find in everyone’s home, but it could lead to a whole new world of possibilities and a much more exciting future for humanity if you did. The thought of people sleeping in one doesn’t seem too far-fetched, does it?
The potential’s enormous. It’s your job to make it attractive, portable, and affordable enough for the average person to buy one.
And the best part is that it’s all really just glorified air.
How was that? Pretty fun, right? That’s the amazing thing about coming up with ideas. They come from nowhere, but could lead and turn into anything. These are just some of the ideas that sounded good to me. One person.
Just take a moment to understand that you have thousands of ideas like those floating around in your head, and every single one has the potential to be great. Then, try processing the fact that there’s almost eight billion people on our planet, and every one of them has just as many things to share with the world. There’s opportunity all around you.
Talk to people and see what’s brewing in their heads. Reflect on what you’ve been thinking. How could you not after knowing this? There’s quite literally a world of problems out there waiting to be solved, and you — just as much as anyone else — could be the one to make things change. It all starts with an idea, and that idea could be yours.
That’s all from me. Just remember me when things take off.
Just kidding. Think of these as my gift to you. And don’t worry — there’s a lot more of where that came from.
Thanks for reading,