Brilliant Idea #270. The disposable digital camera

fotango-signMy first business was a photography business. This was in the late 90s when the adoption of digital cameras was very limited.

We gave the convenience of digital photography to traditional camera owners by developing someones 35mm conventional camera film and delivering the photos online for free. They could then share the photos and then buy prints of the photos they love.

It was a great business idea (well, it was great compared to the terrible business ideas in the dt.com boom) and we raised £4m first round funding. Of course the whole business model was totally defunct 10 years later.

disposable cameraAnyway, one of the things we sold a lot of was the disposable cameras like this one, which (surprisingly) you can still buy from retailers like confetti.co.uk. We sold them in a pre-paid envelope so you took the photos (or quite often you gave them to guests at a party or wedding and they took the photos) then posted the cameras in the pre-paid envelope to fotango.com and you were sent an email when they were online.

Brilliant idea #270 is a digital version of the disposable camera. In actual fact, the vast number of disposable cameras that were disposed of was very low – they were recycled. The disposable digital camera is probably similar – it’s cheap enough that if it gets damaged it can be disposed of, or re-used at a venue or situation where you wouldn’t take a conventional camera.

It would be sold to the sports enthusiast – the market that GoPro have created. The format and quality doesn’t need to be great in these situations. It can be thrown around and generally abused or strapped to a bike or helmet. It will have some cool features that help you take some cool photos.

Brilliant.