Entrepreneurship is all about ideas. If you have an idea for a great product or service, capital, talent and profits will flow to you. You will become a multi millionaire. In recognition of all the patience you dear readers have shown, this blogger now offers an idea for free - a product from which you can make millions !
The idea is, well, an old fashioned one. The product I suggest to you is the typewriter !! Before you groan, consider the following facts.
The country (to its eternal credit) which is completely fed up with the antics of the NSA is Germany. Even in the erstwhile East Germany the extent of snooping and surveillance probably did not go this far. When revelation after revelation brings home the extent of NSA spying (even to the extent of tapping the phone of Angela Merkel), the Germans have become angrier and angrier. And businesses, and government, have started to react in the only way possible - ditch the computer !
Back comes the good old fashioned typewriter. German defence contractor Diehl has switched entirely to typewriters and snail mail for all sensitive documents and correspondence. Many German politicians are deciding to follow suit. Not any typewriter mind you. Only the non electronic variety will do. Complete with carbon paper for copies. A typewriter with not a semiconductor in sight, thank you. That's the only way to be safe from the spies.
Typewriter sales have gone up by 35% and is expected to go up by 100% in the near future. Now, very few make typewriters anymore. In Germany, only two companies of any stature make them - Bandermann and Olympia. And they are Expensive, complete with a capital E. There may even be a waiting list to buy a typewriter; obviously there is no capacity for 100% growth.
Where Germany leads, the rest of the world will follow. Many Americans would be happy to follow suit. Many politicans of all stripes might dutifully switch - not so much because of the spying, but because they would rather that their antics do not leak out, at least in print. Without a doubt there will be 10 million Chinese, perhaps all of them from the Communist Party, who would also like the safety of something that cannot easily be monitored. And while you may not care for it, the shady characters, right from petty criminals to terrorists, would no doubt love the security from snooping.
So build a factory to make typewriters in some village in India. Make a zillion of them. Export the whole lot. Advertise the world over that your products are the only ones that are NSA proof. Guarantee to customers that they cannot be spied upon except by somebody staring right over the typist. As a corollary business, supply carbon paper and printer ribbon at $1000 per pack (Hewlett Packard, you are getting beaten at your own game). And as a future foray into services, also supply typists - millions of Rajalakshmis available wherever you want. All you then have to do is to count the cash flowing in.
Underneath the frivolity is a serious point. There will be a backlash against the all pervasive snooping. For some things at least it is better to go back to trusted technology of the old - the typewriter, the comptometer, the pen, the paper, and even, perish the thought, the face to face meeting !