Thursday, February 07, 2013

Innovative Thinking

I've always thought of inventors as people who create things, but I'm starting to understand how ideas can change concepts of things that aren't tangible -- held in our hands.
Two recent innovations that wowed me, I heard about on NPR -- where else?
One new idea is the coffee shop where customers pay for their time rather than their coffee or tea. What a great idea for people who go and hang out forever.
According to the story on NPR, they pay for the minutes that they are sitting in the coffee shop, maybe using the internet, maybe using electricity. The coffee and tea, along with cookies, are free. The Clockface Cafe in Moscow, Russia was started by a 28-year-old entrepreneur who figured people weren't that interested in the coffee but in a place to gather with others and get work done. It costs a little less than $4 for the first hour and about half that for each hour afterward. 
The only thing that worries me is whether I'd be able to get my specialty coffee. Maybe they have a barista who will make me a mocha and I get a free hour of table time since I pay big bucks for my mocha. I think this idea could work and could solve problems for small shops who don't know how to get hanger-ons to vacate tables.  
Another idea which really bowled me over was a new way to pay for college. With two kids in college and another one racing there quickly, this story on NPR really caught my attention. Some students at UC Riverside proposed that students not pay tuition up front. Instead, they attend college for free and once they graduate, they pay the college 5 percent of their income for 20 years to cover the cost of that free college.
I love this idea. I don't see any drawbacks. It might get a little complicated if people drop out or transfer colleges, but since my kids' college tuition was over $90,000 this year, I'm thinking it might be a workable alternative.
Repaying the college only 5 percent is not enough to discourage people from getting good jobs. They won't feel like they're working to see their paychecks disappear in college costs.
I'd love to see both of these ideas incorporated in my life.
How bout you?
Do you have any ideas that would make life better?

4 comments:

Just Me said...

I heard the story about the coffee shop and I like the idea too. I have ideas that of course pop up because of what's going on in my life. So I have thoughts or see gaps in the market place where innovators could jump in but I hesitate to put a voice to it, thinking not many people could relate.

Cheers on Your Ideas.

Sim said...

The college payback idea certainly would put the onus on colleges to help their students enter the workforce!
Love that patio shot; is that near where you live?

Paulita said...

I wish the patio shot was near my house. It's in Paris, near where I'll live someday!

city said...

thanks for share.

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