Eureka 1 | Email and SMS Tow Alert Services

Eureka! I have an idea!! ūüėÄ

You will be hearing this from me quite often because I am constantly envisioning things that do not exist. If you ever watch the animated film, The Croods, pay attention to the character called Belt aka Emergency Idea Generator. Belt and I are two sides of the same coin…except, I prefer to be called something a bit more fashionista-esque because I am¬†a girly engineer (sometimes). So…let’s go with¬†Innovangelista.¬†

Most adults do not have active imaginations. They choose to accept things the way they are. They talk about mortgages, taxes, promotions and the ever-depressing news. Heck, sometimes they even rationalize getting married or having kids by potential tax breaks. Unfreakinbelievable!

I have a theory: I am an imaginative child-like soul, residing as a tenant in a 16-year old body, with an adult degree. Best of all worlds if you ask me. Lots of pros with that combination (aging gracefully being one of them haha).

Pros:

  • I imagine a world with lots of new technologies that have yet to be invented, but can be invented given current resources.
  • My engineering¬†background allows me to rationalize how said idea can address an unmet need and¬†become a¬†tangible product.
  • My inner entrepreneur¬†(trained by Steve Blank‘s lectures¬†through the¬†NSF I-Corps Program) projects how this¬†product can be commercialized.

Life is about having fun. It’s okay to think outside the box and ask a lot of “Why?” questions. Challenge yourself. Challenge your peers. Have fun with learning! With that, let’s innovate this Tow Alert Service.

Innovangelista Idea Activate! 

Slide1

Current Technology

Without a smart phone, you could call 911 and ask if your car is listed on the tow log.

With a smart phone, you could google like my coworker did.

The Problem

The time spent by 911 dispatchers identifying¬†a car’s status (towed vs stolen vs driver forgot where he/she parked)¬†quickly adds up. ¬†This is obviously an inefficient use of time.

The anxiety felt by the driver when he/she cannot locate his/her car is mindboggling.

The Solution

An email or SMS alert is sent to you when your car is towed.

It would be very similar to the SMS weather alerts, which warn us of impending flash floods or tornadoes.

How to Implement

When you register your car, your license plate is linked to your cell phone and email address. Then, when your car is towed and added to the tow log, an email or SMS is automatically sent to your phone.

Revenue

A one-time fee of $0.99 or less is paid by customers who sign up for this email/SMS service. Or, the service is free to the user, but each email/SMS has a an advertisement included. Companies pay to have their ads included in these messages.

Ta-Da!

What do you think?

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