Yesterday I was shopping around Helsinki, looking for a dimmer I could put on a power plug to make a new string of lights for the apartment less blinding. One hardware store I found had one, but only if you bought the €20 remote control to control it. In the back of my mind I was thinking “Well, let’s just look on Amazon” but in practice that means exercising my German skills or ending up with a UK shaped plug.
That evening I also saw this tweet…
— Juhani Polkko (@juhani) October 26, 2014
…and in our conversation Polkko joked it’s because Fruugo failed. But fair enough! There’s no go-to in the EU (on my radar at least) that has everything I’m looking for – the Wal*mart of the internet that doesn’t have crazy international costs of shipping. Compare that to my American college days six or so years ago where we used Amazon for everything from CDs to a big box of toilet paper when we were running low.
Don’t take me as a big fan of monopolies, but it annoys me as someone writing about internet companies all day that I just don’t know what my options are other than “maybe Verkkokauppa.com has one?”
Low hanging fruit
Setting up an e-commerce platform for everything I need in the EU isn’t necessarily low hanging fruit, but it’s massive value that seems like it should have been solved before, perhaps parallel universe where Fruugo’s €40 million funding generated a little more than €100,000.
What else to you makes you scream at your computer “It’s 2014!!”?
Here’s a quick list we thought of, but do let us know more in the comments. And then lets solve them from our region.
-Something that plugs into my bank and gives me graphs about how bad I am at my finances and does other cool stuff. Basically Mint (although Tink looks promising if they move fast enough)
-Estonian-style tech services integrated into government. We should be pushing the limits of what we can do for healthcare, taxes, and citizenship instead of waiting for governments to play catchup.
– Something better than Netflix. I forgot how to steal content thanks to Netflix, and now I’m bummed out with the bad “Because you watched five minutes of X” user interface and limited selection.
After writing all this I remembered Ycombinator did their “Request for Startups” thing, which probably has better ideas. But what bugs you these days? Let’s solve it.
Frustrated man with computer cables image by shutterstock.