This stuff is gold, Jerry, gold. I claim 5% equity and a full set of schwag produced by any resulting ventures.
Phil’s wishlist part 2 (see here for part 1)
1) A computer screen that doesn’t kill the eyes, tire the brain and suck out the soul. Would pay approximately double price for a laptop with a screen like the Kindle. LCDs are miserable.
2) Image organization software (e.g Picasa) that intelligently tagged your pictures based on cues. You would start tagging some photos manually and the software would use image recognition to automatically tag your other photos when it “recognized” someone — better yet it would search the internet for other pictures of those people and add them to an alternate photo library. (see here for an egregiously cool example of similar technology)
3) An internet password manager that actually succeeds in remembering your passwords.
4) Reciprocal couch surfing. If I know I’m taking a trip to say … Sri Lanka .. in 2 months, I post that on the website. Someone who is from Sri Lanka, but is visiting Santiago (my current home) between now and then would answer. I would put them up now. They would put me up in Sri Lanka in 2 months. Provides for a much better cultural exchange than a one-way couch surf.
5) A drug that postpones digestion. Good for when you get back from lunch and need to do something important but your brain is fighting your stomach for energy. Would be nice if you could pop a pill, and postpone digestion until later when your energy needs are not as urgent.
6) It’s time we solved the “when should I leave my house to meet Person X at location Y at time Z” coordination problem. There are two dimensions to this problem. First, you have to figure out how long it will take you to get to Location Y. Second, you need to account for how late / early the person you are meeting will be. (Side question: What do you do when you get to a bar before the person you are meeting? Wait outside or go inside and grab a drink?). The components to the solution are a combination of Hopstop/Mapquest and GPS. Hopstop/Mapquest calculates that Person A needs to leave before Person B and both are alerted to this fact. When Person A actually leaves, the GPS tracks their progress and sends a message to Person B at the exact moment he/she should leave. They arrive at more or less the same time barring any unexpected delays. Best part is that everyone could get aggregated statistics on how late/early they are. Prominent lateness offenders would be alerted, shamed and lashed publicly for wasting our time.
Another thought, GPS tracking (with permission — like in the above example) remains a mostly underutilized piece of commonly available technology. Total game-changer in my opinion, and much more so than with driving directions.