Will Dean's Ideas Factory: Save a local business – go 'cash mobbing'


Last week a short film called Caine's Arcade went around Twitter like a Daily Mail editorial. It told the story of a young boy from Los Angeles who spent his summer making a cardboard arcade. It remained patronless until local filmmaker Nirvan Mullick put the word out online and Caine received a surprise – hundreds of customers. (ind.pn/cainearcade). Just try not to start blubbing while you watch.

A similar logic is behind the vogue for "cash mobbing" – a community initiative that's beginning to flourish in American towns and cities.

The idea is simple. If there's a local business – a bookshop, pharmacy, newsagent, etc – that's under threat financially or from big, corporate competition, then local citizens who want the shop to remain viable turn up en masse but instead of dancing to promote a well-known German telecommunications supplier (as in flash-mobbing), they aim to spend a set amount at the store to give it a fighting fund to stay in business. Or, even if the business isn't teetering on the brink, to boost its coffers to insure future trading.

On 24 March, the team behind cashmob.com organised the first national Cash Mob Day, but the idea is a year-round one. It works by having people worried about a local business proposing it to be "mobbed". The website promotes it and everyone turns up with their cash (the owners are usually notified in advance so they can prepare). The idea – along with the cash boost for cafés and stores – is also to show locals who may not be aware of a good local business what they're missing. And we like it.


The jukebox gets super-connected

Although digital jukeboxes with a near infinite supply of tunes, or at least more than 40 records or Best of Motown CDs, are nothing new – they're still firmly rooted in the traditional model of the jukebox, just with a bit more choice.

If that's the digital jukebox, then the digital jukebox 2.0 could well be the TouchTunes Virtuo which costs American bar owners $5,495 (£3,468) and launched early last year, it offers 400,000 songs, connects to a venue's broadband and even offers an app that allows lazy patrons to control what they put on the jukebox from the other side of the bar. Which is good for those desperate to hear Jive Bunny & The Mastermixers' "Swing the Mood" in the presence of others, but are too ashamed to go up and press the buttons. Perhaps rightly so.

The Virtuo, developed by the company's chief executive officer, Charles Goldstuck, formerly of music giant BMG, is now in 34,000 bars and restaurants in North America and, in a year, claims to have had around 900 million paid-for plays. It might not just be the ailing jukebox industry it transforms – it could be the entire music industry.

Read more: ind.pn/superjuke

A coded way to start the day

The mobile phone alarm clock has become the way that millions of people wake themselves up every morning. But if you keep your phone next to the bed it's so easy to smash the snooze button (six times) and make yourself late for work. Which is why a new, free, Android app called Morning Routine aims to get you all the way out of bed on time.

It works by using barcodes of household items. You scan a product with your smartphone's camera, set the time you need to be woken and – when 6.45am rolls around, you have to search out that item and scan it for the alarm to shut up.

The idea – developed by Norwegian Håvard Christensen of the agency Agens – is that you programme it with something in the fridge or the bathroom.

Although sleepy cheats could cleverly place their bottle of shampoo next to the bed, there isn't yet an app to get around that problem.

See more: ind.pn/barcodealarm

Independent Partners; Do you need financial advice on your investments, pension or insurance? Book a free consultation with an independent Financial Adviser at VouchedFor.co.uk

Finacial products from our partners
Property search
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Money & Business

    Recruitment Genius: Customer Service Advisor

    £15000 - £16000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Customer Service Advisors are r...

    SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

    £20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £45K: SThree: SThree were established in 1986....

    Recruitment Genius: Compliance Manager

    £40000 - £60000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Compliance Manager is require...

    SThree: Talent Acquisition Consultant

    £22500 - £27000 per annum + OTE £45K: SThree: Since our inception in 1986, STh...

    Day In a Page

    John Palmer: 'Goldfinger' of British crime was murdered, say police

    Murder of the Brink’s-MAT mastermind

    'Goldfinger' of British crime's life ended in a blaze of bullets, say police
    Forget little green men - aliens will look like humans, says Cambridge University evolution expert

    Forget little green men

    Leading evolutionary biologist says aliens will look like humans
    The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: An Algerian scientist adjusts to life working in a kebab shop

    The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

    An Algerian scientist struggles to adjust to her new life working in a Scottish kebab shop
    Bodyworlds museum: Dr Gunther von Hagens has battled legal threats, Parkinson's disease, and the threat of bankruptcy

    Dying dream of Doctor Death

    Dr Gunther von Hagens has battled legal threats, Parkinson's disease, and the threat of bankruptcy
    UK heatwave: Temperature reaches 39.8 degrees on Central Line - the sweatiest place in London

    39.8 degrees recorded on Tube

    There's hot (London) and too damn hot (the Underground). Simon Usborne braved the Central line to discover what its passengers suffer
    Kitchens go hi-tech: From robot chefs to recipe-shopping apps, computerised cooking is coming

    Computerised cooking is coming

    From apps that automatically make shopping lists from your recipe books to smart ovens and robot chefs, Kevin Maney rounds up innovations to make your mouth water
    Jessie Cave interview: The Harry Potter star has published a feminist collection of cartoons

    Jessie Cave's feminist cartoons

    The Harry Potter star tells Alice Jones how a one-night stand changed her life
    Football Beyond Borders: Even the most distruptive pupils score at homework club

    Education: Football Beyond Borders

    Add football to an after-school homework club, and even the naughtiest boys can score
    10 best barbecue books

    Fire up the barbie: 10 best barbecue books

    We've got Bibles to get you grilling and smoking like a true south American pro
    Wimbledon 2015: Nick Bollettieri - Junk balls and chop and slice are only way 5ft 1in Kurumi Nara can live with Petra Kvitova’s power

    Nick Bollettieri's Wimbledon Files

    Junk balls and chop and slice are only way 5ft 1in Kurumi Nara can live with Petra Kvitova’s power
    Ron Dennis exclusive: ‘This is one of the best McLaren teams ever – we are going to do it’

    ‘This is one of the best McLaren teams ever – we are going to do it’

    Ron Dennis shrugs off a poor start to the season in an exclusive interview, and says the glory days will come back
    Seifeddine Rezgui: What motivated a shy student to kill 38 holidaymakers in Tunisia?

    Making of a killer

    What motivated a shy student to kill 38 holidaymakers in Tunisia?
    UK Heatwave: Temperatures on the tube are going to exceed the legal limit for transporting cattle

    Just when you thought your commute couldn't get any worse...

    Heatwave will see temperatures on the Tube exceed legal limit for transporting cattle
    Exclusive - The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Swapping Bucharest for London

    The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

    Meet the man who swapped Romania for the UK in a bid to provide for his family, only to discover that the home he left behind wasn't quite what it seemed
    Cheaper energy on the way, but it's not all sunshine and rainbows

    Cheaper energy on the way, but it's not all sunshine and rainbows

    Solar power will help bring down electricity prices over the next five years, according to a new report. But it’s cheap imports of ‘dirty power’ that will lower them the most