AI note-taking tools, unbundling Airbnb, and exploding Subreddits

AI note-taking tools

The Signal:

Background:

  • Like most knowledge workers I'm obsessed with note-taking.
  • Every few years there is some huge hype about some new note-taking tool or system.
  • The market is definitely huge. Roam Research raised $9 million at a valuation of $200 million. Notion has raised $275 million at a $10 billion valuation. And Evernote still has 200M+ users.
  • The opportunities are definitely not just restricted to tools.
  • David Allen became a millionaire selling his Getting Things Done system and Nat Eliason was able to buy a house from the profits of his Roam Research course.
  • Some interesting thoughts on why so many people are obsessed with note-taking here.

Opportunities:

  • GitHub's Copilot is an incredibly useful plugin for code editors that offers autocompletions far beyond what was previously available. Sometimes, it correctly predicts complete functions you'd want to code next.
  • Something similar definitely could also work for notes.
  • Another area where AI could really improve note-taking apps is by automatically organizing and tagging existing posts.
  • The question ‘Where am I going to put this? plagues every serious note-taker every single day.
  • One tool that already does this to some extent is My Mind.
  • A third idea is to use AI to increase serendipitous encounters with old notes. Currently going through old notes feels like sifting through stale garbage.
  • But at the same time, tools like Readwise clearly demonstrate that there is real money to be made in helping users revisit old ideas.
  • “There’s no fundamental reason why the Photos app on my phone should be able to automatically compile a pleasing slideshow with music about a road trip I took 6 years ago, while my note-taking app can’t do the same thing.” - Dan Shipper
  • A step beyond that could be to use AI to generate prompts and provocations based on your notes to spark further creativity.
  • Importantly, you certainly don't need to build a completely new note-taking tool from scratch. Rather you could start with a mini-tool that imports notes from other tools (like Readwise) or create a plugin (like GitHub's Copilot).

Unbundling Airbnb

The Signal:

Background:

  • Unbundling is one of my favorite lenses to hunt for business ideas.
  • My friend Peter Fabor argues that now the time has come to unbundle Airbnb.
  • All kinds of people use Airbnb for very different reasons. (Think: business people, families with kids, affluent twentysomethings, ...)
  • There is an opportunity to launch specialized niche offerings.
  • Airbnb has already started unbundling itself and this trend is probably going to continue: Airbnb for Work (accommodation for business travel), Airbnb Luxe (luxury villas), Airbnb Plus (standardized high-quality homes).

Existing examples:

Opportunities:

  • “Go to Airbnb, pick a niche and execute it 10x better.”
  • The pattern Peter has identified: a unique inventory (buying or leasing assets long-term) and an incredible user experience.
  • Airbnb Brian Chesky recently asked on Twitter: "If Airbnb could launch anything in 2022, what would it be?". The replies are a goldmine if you're looking for business ideas.
  • But you actually don't need to be very creative. Peter argues you could just pick one of the "projects mentioned above and replicate them in different locations, make them in a different niche or add some twist."

Possible angles:

  • Different location. Most of the companies in the list above are restricted to just a handful of regions. Copying the same business model in a different country could work just as well.
  • Different pricing. Brainstorm what similar experience you could offer at a much lower or higher price.
  • Niche it further down. There is a significant long tail. For example, what about upscale villas specifically for water sports enthusiasts?

If you liked this opportunity, you should definitely sign up to Peter's newsletter. He regularly shares incredible ideas like this.

Exploding Subreddits

  • Background: Punch needle embroidery is a type of technique that uses a punch needle to puncture loops into your embroidery fabric.
  • Opportunities: Affiliate content sites, ecom stores, and info products.
  • Background: The travel industry is slowly picking up steam again.
  • Opportunities: One smart way to take advantage of the upcoming travel boom is by focusing on specific groups of people, rather than trying to craft an offer for everyone. The Airbnb unbundling ideas from above are just one example. Here's another one: What about a site like NomadList just for women?
  • Background: /r/moviequestions is a subreddit where you can ask questions you have about any movie you've watched and a 'movie buff' will do their best to answer it.
  • Opportunities: Start by scraping a list of popular movie titles (e.g. on IMDB). Next use Answer the Public and QuestionsDB to find the most commonly asked questions about them. Then either hire cheap writers or use an AI writing tool like Jasper to create content that answers the questions at scale. Once you get some solid search traffic, start monetizing either using ads or by selling movie question card sets.

I hope you enjoyed this report. If you have a minute, please send me a message on Twitter or via email and let me know what you think. (There is currently a technical issue and I won't receive direct replies to this email.)

Thanks,

Jakob

Please do share with your friends. I spent 5+ hours on this so it would be nice if a few people read it.

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