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Wednesday, 27 August 2014 17:50
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OK, this is the weirdest business I’ve seen all day.

2theloo (to the loo) is a chain of Dutch restrooms. Each visit to the restroom costs 0.50 euros ($0.68). It seems, that in Europe, restrooms are not considered a public service and you pretty much have to pay for them everywhere.

2theloo was created in 2011 because we thought it is strange that even in the busiest places it was difficult to find a clean restroom. Even though that would be the perfect place to have one.

That’s why on February 17th we opened our first restroom shop in Amsterdam and in the coming months we will be opening many more in shopping districts, shopping centers and train and gas stations all over Europe.

Besides clean toilets, we provide a variety of other services, like a shop with toiletry-related products and sometimes even a coffee corner.

2theloo strives to provide you with the best service and a pleasant, clean restroom experience. In addition, we’ll surprise you with special restroom designs by artists, illustrators, and sculptors. We hope to see you soon at 2theloo!

2theloo is looking for franchise partners and commercial property owners in all countries.

Would something like this fly in your town? I know it wouldn’t in mine, but we’re very rural here. We live so far out in the country that my young boys are accustomed to finding a tree. We’ve actually had “situations” in lawn and garden centers when we visit the big city.

 
Wednesday, 27 August 2014 17:50
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Photo by lonely radio

Do you need cheap office space? Does your business not really need a main-street storefront? In this inspiring article in Honolulu Magazine, you’ll read about a number of small business entrepreneurs who run their businesses out of storage units. Examples of businesses run out of storage units in the article include: a personal trainer, a wedding dress retailer, a divorce attorney, a LOST tour operator, an upholstery repair shop and a collectible toy store.

Divorce is what family law attorney Pablo Quiban does, and he does it right out of a Kapolei storage unit.

“I use my cellphone. I have my photocopier and desk, bookshelves with my Hawaii Revised Statutes and the Hawaii Digest, and some of my manuals.”

When family court moved to Kapolei, Quiban found office space for dentists and doctors, but not lawyers. StorSecure advertised units for small businesses, so Quiban decided to try it, just for a month. That was last October.

“For the first 20 years of my law practice I was driving to town every day from Mililani,” he said. With the new place convenient to court and home, and business still humming, Quiban has decided he’s not going anywhere.

“I’m looking to practice for, at the most, another 10 years. The price is right and so long as the cases keep on coming, I’ll stay here.”

His clients seem unbothered by his stripped-down location. “They’ve been receptive to it. There’s free parking—downtown it’s ridiculous—and it’s just a matter of giving people the right directions. I say just look for the Burger King and hang a left!”

Photo by lonely radio.

Wednesday, 27 August 2014 17:50
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Amanda Hocking sold 450,000 e-books in January directly to her readers, for under $3 each. The 26-year old writer has never been traditionally published and according to one anonymous publisher it is unlikely that any traditional publisher could offer her a better deal than the Kindle store.

Hocking only began self publishing in March 2010 after becoming fed up traditional publishers and their refusal to publish her young adult paranormal novels.

How is this possible? Joe Konrath of A Newbie’s Guide to Publishing explains:

If you’re an indie writer, you get to sell books at a price way, way lower than what a Traditional Publisher can sell at. And yet you make more money, because your only costs are to an ebook and cover art designer (whereas the traditional publisher has to support a legacy system, plus the traditionally published author gets a 30% cut, while you get 70%).

In the meantime, readers are more inclined to buy your stories, even if you’re an unknown author, simply because your book prices are cheaper. So you get high sales, low ebook prices, but high revenue once you’ve hit sufficient scale. And the best thing is that it’s infinitely scalable: your ebooks are out there, getting sales every single day. No shelf-space, no print runs to worry about.

Ebooks are only 11% of all books sold. What happens when they hit 20%? 50%?

Wednesday, 27 August 2014 17:50
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It’s like a Segway, but without the annoying handle, and less nerdy and awkward. Called the Solowheel, it’s a 20 pound computerized unicycle that uses gyroscope technology to self balance. It’ll be available in March for about $1,500.

More from the manufacturer:

The Solowheel consists of a wheel and two foldable foot platforms. Internally, the inner workings of the Solowheel use gyro sensors, a 1000-Watt motor and a rechargeable Lithium-ion battery. All this technology is housed under a visually appealing, slim case with leg pads and a handle for easy carrying.

100% battery operated; leaning controls your speed. Lean forward to go forward and backward when you want to slow down. The highly efficient lithium ion battery recaptures energy when going downhill or slowing down. It has a two hour battery life and can be fully recharged in only forty-five minutes.

The Solowheel is easy to learn. Because of the gyro-sensors and left and right steering capability, you can literally step on and go. The Solowheel is very portable and weighs only twenty pounds. This allows you to carry your wheel with you: into a store or restaurant, on an elevator, into work, to the movie theatre, onto a bus or train, or into your classroom. Transportation that provides users with an easy, uncomplicated, straightforward ride is the goal of the Solowheel. So get on and get going wherever you are!

The manufacture of the Solowheel, Inventist is looking for resellers. Contact them if you’re interested.

Video after the jump.

Wednesday, 27 August 2014 17:50
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Photo by Austin Tuan

Wired:

It started with a bleary-eyed Google search: “Sell breast milk.” Desiree Espinoza had a 2-month-old baby girl but was pumping out enough milk to feed triplets. Ziplock baggies full of the stuff were crammed in her freezer, and unpaid bills crowded her kitchen table. She wasn’t sure there was a market for her overflow or whether selling it was even legal. A few clicks later, she found herself on a website called Only the Breast.

The site looks a lot like craigslist, except instead of selling used cars and like-new Ikea furniture, Only the Breast deals in human breast milk. There are hundreds of posts from new mothers eager to turn their surplus into profits. Many kick off with a chirpy headline (“Chubby baby milk machine!”), then follow with a snapshot of their own robust infant and lush descriptions (“rich, creamy breast milk!” “fresh and fatty!”), making a primal source of nutrition sound like a New York cheesecake. The posts are additionally categorized to appeal to a variety of milk seekers, based on a baby’s age (from 0 to 12 months), say, or special dietary restrictions (dairy- and gluten-free). There’s also a sort of “anything goes” section for women willing to sell to men. Some ship coolers of frozen milk packed in dry ice. Others deal locally, meeting in cafés to exchange cash for commodity. The asking price on Only the Breast runs $1 to $2.50 an ounce. (A 6-month-old baby consumes about 30 ounces a day.)

Video below.

Photo by Austin Tuan.

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