Name: Luis von Ahn
Business idea: I actually had what I thought was a pretty serious business idea when I was about 12. I also thought I was the first person to have this idea, and I thought it was a great idea. Neither of those were true. The idea was to see if you could generate electricity through motion.
I thought this would allow us to make gyms for free. Connect the exercise equipment to the power grid. Anyone who is exercising would be generating electricity, and I would be able to sell that electricity to the power company. Therefore I don’t have to charge anyone to come exercise. My gym would be free and everybody else’s gym would be expensive, so I would be able to take over the gym world.
It turns out this a pretty common bad idea. The reason it doesn’t work is because humans are pretty crappy at generating electricity. The amount of electricity you could generate this way is worth nothing. There is an even bigger problem. Gyms make their money from people who don’t show up, and for this idea you need people to show up.
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