Chris Kranky

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Voice mash-up, great NEW idea, please keep it a secret

Chris KoehnckeChris Koehncke

Image2220 Follow my math here. There are 270m people in the United States who are more than 5 years of age, 48.7% of those polled said they'd been to the dentist within the last 6 months, so if you figure about half of us go twice a year that's 270m dental visits per year. If we figure (broadly – remember I only have a handful of fingers) that there is 240 work days a year, this means that on any given work day 1,125,00 people go to the dentist (I always wondered why nobody was in the office).

Now, if each dentist calls you the day before to remind you of your appointment, this means dentist offices across America are making 1.1m calls a day just to tell you to come in tomorrow (remember to floss BTW).

Let's figure that the patient scheduling person at your local dentist makes $20 an hour and figure out they can make about 20 calls per hour to remind you about your apointment. This simple math (finally something I can do in my head) means each reminder call costs your dentist $1 (and we wonder why medical costs are going up).

So I see a great business opportunity for a voice mash-up, a voice reminder service for dental appointments and I'll use Ribbit, Bibbit or whatever it's called and have almost no equipment costs and virtually zero capital costs to connect telephone calls. I'll go off and sell my reminder calls for $0.20 each. Quite a bargain.

Sadly, I was a bit slow on my start-up idea. There are 10's of companies offering appointment reminder call services, many solely focused on the dental industry. In fact a google search of appointment reminder call turned up 374,000 page hits. Sounds like quite a bit of competition considering there are only 136,000 dentists in the US.

This has been my problem with the concept of voice mash-ups, not with the technology, but what un-discovered voice application remains to be found that has any significant business that I can start?

BTW my dentist always gets my answering machine. I don't answer my phone any more.