March of Mad Ideas: The Winner

After nearly two months (yeah, I’ll format it differently next year), we have a winner for the March of Mad Ideas. Actually, we have a tie, but I’m the tiebreaker, and I’m casting my vote for…

Sunroofs with rain sensors!

What’s the next step? I’m going to patent the idea, contact Toyota, and as soon as July ’09, every Prius will have a sunroof that you can leave open while you’re at work.

Why didn’t I vote for Investing in Me? After all, that option is more likely to actually generate any profit for me. To be honest, I was pretty excited about this idea until Trevor and Caroline pointed out that since my investors would have a stake in me, they would be able to make decisions about my life. Say I want to move to another city—the investors would have to approve such a move. Same if I wanted to sell my condo, or switch to two-ply toilet paper. They’d have a vested interest in me, so they’d have a stake in every decision I’d make.

Originally, I didn’t think it would be that complicated, but of course it would. People aren’t just going to toss money in my direction and say, “Here, do whatever you want. Hopefully you’ll be worth a lot more than you currently are someday.”

Also, what would I do with that money? Say I got $20,000 in investments through some miracle of nature. I’d probably just invest that money in mutual funds, but that would only increase my net financial worth, not my personal net value. I could spend that money on education, which would potentially increase my value, or I could use the money to pay the bills while I pursue interests/ideas that could yield more money. But really, how do you add value to yourself besides getting a higher-paying job?

Because of all that, the sunroofs get the win. I’ll let you know how that goes. Thanks for voting.

In the spirit of so-called brilliant ideas, I’ll give you a freebie for today. The idea? Power strips (or surge protectors) that have a built-in pedal-powered generator. So when you’re sitting at your computer for eight hours a day, instead of letting your legs hang there like lifeless sacks of flour, you can pedal in place and generate a portion of the power required to run your computer. When you’re not pedaling, or when you’re pedaling slowly, the power strip will just use regular electricity. It’ll save the earth and save America’s obesity problem at the same time (or, at the very least, we’ll have a lot of people with very skinny legs who weigh 200 pounds above the waist).