The exercise here is to brainstorm different directions. Possible new directions. One of which will follow the general path I’ve already followed. The second will veer from the path in hopes that out of it’s spontaneity comes deeply reflection-able insights. So without further ado:

Zip Truck Sketch

Brainstorm #1: ZipTruck. The concept is simple. It mimics services like Groupon in the model of ZipCar. The business that wants to get a delivery or have something delivered hires a truck (or more like a driver that owns a truck) for a set block of time. The goods are then brought from the business to the point of interest requested by the user. I’ve not really thought through this any further at this point in time but I think the benefit here could be for both small businesses and freelance truck drivers (if such a thing exist).

A little backstory to the idea is that this last October I attended the Feast conference in NYC. Robin Chase, one of the founders of ZipCar spoke. A couple of things she talked about resonated with me and my project — especially this notion of looking for excess. In which she said the entire ZipCar idea was precedented on. She used Skype as an example. Explaining Skype as another product built off of the backs of excess in that all modern computers have cameras and almost all of the people who use those computers are online. Then why not give them the ability to chat via the camera. Of course it’s not that simple. For me it helped to think about an idea in this context. Although, I am not sure I am actually looking at excess in the distribution networks, yet.

Brainstorm #2: Shipping Footprint Captcha. This concept uses the Captcha as a medium to help the consumer on a site see how far away the product they are ordering is coming from while also providing the site with a human verification. In the sketch above I have outlined three options: The meter where the users selects how far they want the product to come from and it give them a actually cost difference, an icon based system that ask them to verify that they understand this is being shipped by either a truck or ship, the third ask them to select the country the product is being shipped from from a map of the globe.

Brainstorm #3: Carbon Footprint Marketplace. This concept would be a full marketplace search, a lot like google has a product search, but instead of arranging products by how much they cost it would arrange them by how far they are from you. The interface would go from local to state to region to domestic to N. America to the World. Maybe this would have a intricate analytics engine to provide more data on how distance and carbon footprints might affect buying habits.