Advancing the understanding and utilization of technology in Sonoma Valley.
A few weeks ago, I posted a request for a venture capitalist to pitch an idea to. I thought I found someone, but I never heard back.
Nowadays I have more than enough work and hobbies, and more ever on the horizon. So, I'm going to do the unthinkable, and post the plan here for all to consume; lock, stock, and barrel.
In a nutshell, the plan is to produce a proprietary version of the popular online pizza ordering tool which has helped a well-known restaurant chain (which will remain nameless for the purposes of this post) see a dramatic increase in business.
Indeed, if you've ever used this tool, it is a wonder of usability. It's actually fun to use. Less subjectively, a real increase in revenue can be shown on paper.
Amazingly, no one has gotten around to reproducing this tool. Certainly not because of legal reasons (I checked). Therefore, there exists a window of opportunity for someone to take the initiative and develop such an application. This is a pretty straightforward project with no potential pitfalls laying in wait.
Pizza is the most popular food in the world. No matter where one goes, you can always find a pizza place. There are literally hundreds of thousands of pizza joints in the US alone, many of whom could benefit from having access to a tool, just like the market leader.
Although you could market this application directly to restaurants, perhaps the best business plan is to lease the technology directly to medium sized regional pizza chains. Anyway, I am not a businessman.
So how would we go about constructing an application like this?
This application consists of three components: the CLIENT, the MIDDLEWARE, and the BACK END.
The CLIENT is the front end of the application which the user interacts with. The market leader in question has engineered this using Adobe Flash. But this is arguably not ideal, as Flash is not supported on iOS devices. The same bells and whistles can be implemented in HTML5, which is supported on iOS. Although 'Dynamic HTML' developers of this caliber are a bit harder to find than Flash developers, nothing in this application is particularly complicated; with a little extra effort, you could actually produce a product superior to the market leader.
The BACK END is a relational database. MySQL is a popular and free implementation of such. This is actually the "brain" of the application, where all the data is stored. The nice thing about this is, the back end is completely disengaged from the client, meaning the same database can just as easily be used with an Android or web app.
The MIDDLEWARE takes the form of a server-side API of logic functions which pass data (serialized as XML or JSON) back and forth between the client and the back end. This API would essentially be a virtual pizzeria, and would need to manage the state of any pizza in progress, the toppings, the ordering totals, etc.
One of the best ways to architect such a middleware API would be to use one of the mature PHP frameworks such as CakePHP or Symfony. These frameworks utilize the popular "model, view, controller" design pattern. This is important for maintainability.
So, you're obviously wondering why on Earth a guy like me would post this in a public forum. The answer is simple: I have enough going on in my life. I don't need this. It would be a waste if no one ever did anything with this idea, because I firmly believe it has as much chance of success as any Silicon Valley business plan.
And, perhaps you'll want to hire me as a consultant for a few hours. I've only given you the basics here.
Good luck, and godspeed :-)