Brilliant Idea #347. The smell bomb

You’ve heard of the stink bomb. The smell bomb is that, but in reverse.

It solves the problem that when we have to use public toilets at events and festivals…well….I don’t need to elaborate any further.

They will be cheep and small enough that you can take them with you to an event. You simply take them with you and ‘let one off’ when you visit the loo.


Brilliant Idea #344. Does my car need a service?

Car Serv

I’ve published a few ideas around the car servicing process – the intermittent service you give your car every 6 months or x thousand miles. Brilliant Idea #344 disrupts the very premise that your car needs a service. How do you know – the car manufacturers tell you based on an arbitrary timing (6 months) or the number of miles you have done.

Of course this is nonsense. How can it be that, with all the leaps that automotive technology has made in the last few decades that the components still only last 6 months? I can buy a KIA and get a 7 year warranty on everything on the car – thousands of components but the air filter – which is essentially a piece of corrugated cardboard only lasts 6 months?

Of course it also disregards driving styles. If I use my car for school runs and the occasional trip to town, how can the oil only last the same amount of time as the person who drives their car like a maniac and lives at the end of 2 mile dusty dirt track half way up a mountain?

The car servicing business is ripe for disruption. It’s simply a way of garages and the automotive supply chain making money from you.

So, brilliant Idea #344 is either a service – the anti-garage or a gadget that you attach to your car’s on-board computer which communicates with an app on your smartphone that diagnoses when your car needs a service from its performance. You then spend the money on a service when it’s needed.

Brilliant Idea #327. Car Service tendering App

local garage







Brits alone spend more than £7b on car servicing every year.

Is it a great experience? How do we choose who to give our car to for its service? Do we trust our garage? Do we trust that our cars NEED a service anyway?

Brilliant Idea #327 is a Car Service Tendering App.

The app knows when and what type of service your car needs, checks your calendar for free times and tenders the work to local garages. You get an alert with the prices and availability.



Brilliant Idea #328. Cant write propar english your not gettin in


I hate to sound all middle class and pompous, but come on, how hard it is to master your / you’re or it’s / its or to / two / too or lose / loose or finally there / their / they’re?

If it were just children that commit these crimes against the English language then I would forgive them, but as you can see from exhibit A, Bill Jones looks like a fully grown adult to me.

The reply from George Takei is brilliant, “My goodness, you only had three words to troll me with, and you got TWO of them wrong. Please send worthier adversaries. Back under the bridge with you”.


[/ezcol_1third] [ezcol_2third_end]thickos 2[/ezcol_2third_end]Brilliant Idea #328 is to replace the Captcha – that combination of letters that proves that you are a human rather than a robot, or even screen unlock mechanisms on phones and tablets that require the person to read a simple sentence and choose the right word.

For example, “Choose the correct word to unlock your phone”

its or it's  hot in the desert.


That’ll learn them proper 😉

40 x 40 white block



Brilliant Idea #330. Builder’s Tea

builders tea

We’ve had some builders round recently (btw. this is possibly a uniquely British Brilliant Idea) and when you ask whether they want a drink, the reply is invariably “tea, strong with two sugars please”.

I’m afraid we’re too middle class to have strong tea in our house (Earl Grey or English Breakfast in our house darling 😉 and I have to raid the baking draw for sugar. I know this is probably a cliche, but it’s based on my experience.

Brilliant Idea #330 is a teabag that contains strong tea and two sugar cubes. If you’re getting the builders in you simply buy a box of Builder’s Tea. Jobs a good-um.


Brilliant Idea #326. Espresso Chocolate Machine

Espresso Chocolate






The UK consumed £3.5 billion worth of chocolate last year, according to market research analysts Mintel. Only Germany, with a population of over 20 million more people, came close to the UK, spending £3.4 billion in 2008.

It means that the Brits spent £ 57 per head of population on chocolate in 2008.

A part of that £3.5 billion is on selection boxes. By putting lots of different combinations in one box allows us to sample more tastes and textures as well as being able to choose your preference.

If we Hack (click here for more information on Idea Hacking) the chocolate selection box, one of the ideas we get is the concept of on-demand chocolate. We get the benefits of a selection box, but we can make (and experiment to get) exactly the type of chocolate we want when we want it.

It’s a machine, not unlike the Espresso coffee machines you buy for your kitchen, but this one makes gorgeous, luxurious chocolate. You simply put the components in and it makes chocolate there and then. You can add or take away the amount of and type of cocoa that you want just as you might choose the strength or type of coffee bean. I’m calling it the Espresso Chocolate machine.

You could then add nuts, smarties, chilli – anything in the cupboard that you wish in order to make it totally unique. It would be a wonderful thing to do with kids or for guests.


Restaurant bill idea

I shouldn’t be surprised when I’m surprised by a novel, but stupidly simple idea, but it’s nice to be surprised!

So, the restaurant bill often comes into this padded folder / book, just like this,















What about this for an idea I saw at a restaurant called the Fable (just down from Spittalfeilds market) in London. The bill came in a book, but a real book.

bill in a book











Brilliant Idea #323. Dent detector app

dented car

One of the most stressful parts of hiring a car is when you return it and the attendant checks for new dents or scratches and you wonder. ‘was that there before, I am sure it was, did I do that’?

Brilliant Idea #323 is an app that you use when you collect the rental car to scan the car to look for dents or scratches. The app can see these things better that you can and it clearly identifies anything that you need to alert the attendant to before you sign for the car. If there is a dispute when you drop the vehicle back you can show them the date stamped video.


Brilliant Idea 325. “they’re not concentrating”

bored worker

I spend much of my working week on conference calls. One of the problems is that when we are not looking at someone (or we know that someone isn’t looking at us) it’s very easy to loose our concentration and start doing other things.

Brilliant Idea 325 is a plug-in app that listens to the audio from the other attendees and displays a dashboard of whether the other people are making noises that might indicate that they are typing, walking around, browsing the web.

By seeing, for instance, that John seems to be typing you can specifically direct a question at John to get his attention.