IDEA #48 – Personalized Printed Magazines and Catalogs

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There is one main idea here, which I take in two different directions: magazines and catalogs. People still like having a printed material to read or browse through — and I don’t see this going away for quite some time.

The catalog idea relies around peer-to-peer (P2P) product recommendations. I’ve thought for years during the holidays, about how great it would be to look through a catalog of products that my friends recommend (with quotes by them as to why they recommend the products!), as well as recommendations from the people I admire. And/or a specific catalog of my friends’ wishlists, so that I knew what to buy for them.

I could either download the catalog as a PDF and print it myself, or I could click a button, spend a couple dollars, and have it physically mailed to me. In fact, I could setup having one physically mailed to me every couple weeks, or every month — with all new recommendations from my friends. Who doesn’t love getting something in the mail?

The next idea is the same thing, but as a magazine of articles/posts that your friends/network like — along with their comments on the articles/posts. Once again, I could either download/print this PDF myself — or have it physically mailed to me.

Either idea could get as specific as your peers specifically recommending an article/post or product specifically for you — and providing a personalized recommendation to you.

All of these articles/posts or products could be on your own digital webpage on the proposed business website — so that you could easily bookmark the items online or directly purchase the products. The website could also allow people to share/recommend online too — or you could keep this all a surprise to people and make it that they must download/print or have the physical catalog/magazine mailed to them.

Monetization would come from affiliate accounts with product merchants (the business gets a % commission on each sale of a product), as well as featuring specific products in the catalogs (sponsorships/advertisements), and advertisements or sponsored posts/articles in the catalogs (like how techmeme has done it online).