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Business idea : Yofo (by John Vons)

Yofo’s website: http://www.yofo.com/


New York (CNN) – Can Apple make you rich? That is what John Vons hopes.

An architect by professional, Vons was laid off three years ago. Frustrated and running out of options Vons decided he needed to reinvent himself. Inspired by the design and popularity of Apple’s products, Vons created an iPhone accessory he calls the yofo. It is a small suction device that allows you to cradle the iphone on your shoulder or stick it on a surface to more easily watch content.

As he and his partner, Genie, made the rounds to secure funding, the feedback was good, but would-be backers shied away due to the shaky economy. A friend finally came up with enough to pay for the first batch, but there is little left over for marketing.

Which is how I met John. He decided to come up to New York for the launch of the Apple iPhone 4S. All morning he walked the line of customers giving demonstrations and handing out cards for their website yofo.com You could tell by watching him that he was not entirely in his comfort zone as marketer.

“I am usually a quiet, reserved guy who sits and designs on his own,” Vons said.

But Vons knows he doesn’t have a choice. He’s made 10,000 of these gadgets with the hope – and the prayer – that they sell.

A few people he approached on line backed away suspiciously (hey this is New York!) but generally people were receptive. Even if they don’t ultimately buy the product, I think people admire the courage and sacrifice it takes to try and claw out of the ranks of the long-term unemployed.

And there is sacrifice. To conserve cash, John and Genie say they had to give up their New York apartments and moved in with her parents in Alabama. They live over the family’s funeral home and John smiles as he explains how he helps Genie’s Dad drive the hearse and “move the dead people around.”

Is the yofo going to make John Vons rich? Ten years ago the answer would have been no. But the power of the internet is a game changer. Yofo has no retail presence and no marketing budget but it does have a website and these days that is all you really need to get started.

The other powerful force at work is the huge economy that now swirls around Apple products. From apps to accessories to doctors who fix busted phones, entrepreneurs are figuring out a way to tap into Apple’s cool.

If Vons succeeds in grabbing only a slice of the millions of customers who will purchase an iPhones 4S, he will be on his way to a new course for his life.

Though I don’t know him personally, watching him work the New York lines of customers for the new iPhone 4S, I can’t help but wish him well.

December 11, 2011 Posted by | Business, Entertainment, Entrepreneur, Interview, invention, Life, Million dollars Idea, News, Television, Uncategorized | , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Business Idea: Spibelt

Video: http://www.cnn.com/video/#/video/living/2008/12/29/sbs.running.cnn

When you go for a run or a power walk or to the gym for a workout, sometimes you just want to take the bare essentials. The SPIbelt’s goal is to be your “small personal item” (get it? Small Personal Item…SPI) pouch for just those types of activities.

The belt is a 7/8-inch-wide elastic strap with a snap buckle closure. The zippered pouch sewn into the belt is made from a lightweight, super-stretchy material. When it’s empty, it’s only 7 inches long and 1 inch wide. Trust us, though, this puppy can expand. One tester filled the SPIbelt with an MP3 player and a cell phone, each about 2 by 4 inches in size, as well as a driver’s license and two credit cards and the darn thing kept growing and growing to accommodate them. Another tester was able to easily fit a pepper spray can and an ID in it. Another runner tried it as a compact way to carry a couple of sports gels during a half-marathon.

SPIbelt touts that it “does not bounce, ride or shift while running or doing other activities.” One tester agreed, saying the pouch stayed still during her walks and didn’t twist around her waist at all. A running tester found that it sat well on easy jogs, but during a race, it tended to shift and bounce unless she snugged it down very tightly on her waist, which made it a tad uncomfortable. Also, out testers discovered that when they did not tuck in their shirt, the SPIbelt tended to pull a loose shirt up and out, so the belt ended up against their skin, which was a bit irritating.

Another reviewer noted that if you go a little crazy filling it up with an MP3 player, cell phone and multiple credit cards, the pouch does have a tendency to flip up a bit and not lie flat against the body anymore. But if you show more restraint, like one electronic device and an ID, it will lie more flat.

Also, when we used the belt during runs, it was difficult to fetch out ONE thing, such as a sport gel. Unless we stopped, we ran the risk of losing small items like an ID, money, a car key or a second gel. To remedy that, we’d suggest adding a key fob or some type of small slim pocket inside for an ID, credit card or that second gel. Of course, that may defeat the minimalist approach. One tester solved the issue by adding a large safety pin to secure a baggie to hold the goods or to attach a key. 

The SPIbelt can hold up to five GU packets, but only with care can you fetch one out without losing the others — again, unless you stop — which may be fine on a workout but not during a race or other event. And it was difficult to fiddle with the zipper to put the wrapper back in while we were in mid-stride (so one tester — not wanting to litter mid-race — shoved the packet down her shorts!). But, as a way to carry items that you won’t be fetching while in motion, it’s a nice compact alternative. You could use it during a gym workout when you want your valuables or an MP3 player handy, or simply while traveling when you don’t want to carry a wallet or purse but want your stuff close for security. As narrow and small as it is, it won’t be conspicuous. 

Despite a few fumbles, the SPIbelt is interesting and could be useful not only for runners, racers and power walkers, but also to hikers and travelers.

It’s available in two sizes: small/medium for 20- to 32-inch waists, and medium/large for 28- to 40-inch waists. SPIbelt’s website said it can also double as a race number belt by adding hooks you can buy for 50 cents.

Spibelt’s website: www.spibelt.com

Link: http://www.snewsnet.com/cgi-bin/snews/11660.html

January 1, 2009 Posted by | Business, Entrepreneur, invention, Million dollars Idea, Millionaire, Uncategorized | , , , | Leave a comment

A millionaire before 21: Sean Belnick

Belnick, 20, who just completed his sophomore year studying business at Emory University, has added 225,000 square feet of new warehouse space, with an option to take the remaining 100,000 square feet in the facility in Canton, GA, 40 miles north of Atlanta. That more than triples the warehouse space of the company that Belnick founded in 2001 with the help of stepfather Gary Glazer, who was in the office furniture business. BizChair.com is No. 272 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide.

Belnick says he has already expanded beyond office chairs into office furniture and computer furniture, even banquet seating, which he says is hot right now. The company is now moving into school, home and medical furniture. The latter category includes treatment tables, lab stools and reception area furniture.

BizChair.com sold $24.1 million in merchandise in 2006, up 77% from $13.6 million the year before. Belnick projects sales this year of between $38 million and $42 million. The company has 75 employees, and Belnick plans to bring that up to 100 within a year, adding call center and information technology personnel.

Belnick says customers choose BizChair.com because of low prices, good customer service and a wide selection. He says he offers 100 fabric choices for some chairs, whereas his big-box retailer competitors might offer two or three options. The company also offers a 60-day money-back guarantee. “We do a lot of stuff to ease the customer’s fears of purchasing a chair online.” He says returns amount to “a couple of percentage points” of sales.

While today he ships about 40% of products from his warehouse and has the other 60% drop-shipped by manufacturers, he is expanding his facilities so he can carry more merchandise. He says he can cut 30% to 40% off the price he pays for furniture by buying it in bulk, then shipping directly to customers.

Belnick notes he has signed exclusive agreements with several suppliers in China. “That way some other fly-by-night web site can’t just come along and undercut our price by $10.”

Belnick says he expects to spend about $3 million this year on search marketing, which generates about half of the visitors to his site. He says in the past 30 days visitors to BizChair.com exceeded 400,000 and page views 3 million. comScore Networks estimated unique visitors to BizChair.com averaged 166,000 in 2006.

Belnick says he plans to concentrate in finance, accounting and management in his next two years at the Goizueta Business School at Emory, then return to work full-time as CEO of BizChair.com. Belnick says some of his classmates also have started their own businesses, but adds modestly, “mine would be one of the more successful ones.”

Source: http://www.internetretailer.com

Website: http://www.bizchair.com/

May 12, 2008 Posted by | Business, Millionaire, Television, Uncategorized, Youtube | , , , , | 3 Comments

Teen Millionaires

Here are more interesting media on cameron Johnson.

1. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pr-TqkJnbMU&feature=related

2. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UDebKAr39gs&feature=related

3. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XS7vJrosqZ0


1.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gagpo5X2jaw&feature=related

2. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=So9doa8vuNw&feature=related

May 12, 2008 Posted by | Business, Life, Million dollars Idea, Millionaire, Television, Youtube | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment