CPAN as a Source for Startup Ideas

I've been wanting to write this post for quite some time, while this doesn't explore the topic in detail it at-least gets it out of my head an into yours (hopefully).

CPAN (the comprehensive Perl archive network) is arguably the best thing about the Perl programming language. CPAN is a repository of Perl software libraries. CPAN is also a great source for startup ideas and has the benefit of providing pre-developed (and usually pre-tested) code to back the venture. The following is a quick mashup of modules and SaaS ideas, some of which already exist and some of which are waiting to be created.

Email-as-a-Service: 
This is becoming increasing popular, the concept of outsourcing email delivery. I myself have had a similar epiphany and thus created Email::Sender::Server.  With a little effort, wrapping this library with a RESTful API, you too could sell subscriptions to your very own Email-as-a-Service platform and compete with http://www.critsend.com/, http://www.postmarkapp.com/ and others. Also, see ironcamel's PostMail (Perl Email REST API) at https://github.com/ironcamel/postmail.

Shipping-as-a-Service: 
Last year I helped a Canadian develop (helped release more than code) a cross-courier shipping API aptly named Shipment. Having previously worked for a company who needed to ship different things via different couriers from a single app, and having been charged with the responsibility of finding a software solution (preferably an web service) which could handle this integration (failed), I see an opportunity for a much needed service. The ability to create an app (e.g. e-commerce, etc) and outsourcing the shipping (cost calculation, labels, etc) is wonderful IMHO. Does this already exist?

There are other ideas I see/have but I don't have the time to really dig-in. Maybe we can fill-in the blanks commenting.

-Al

2 Comments

In the start-up world the problem is usually not "having ideas". There are plenty of ideas out there.
The problem is execution. Find the right people to work with, build the application or service, promote it, gain traction, gain users and turn a profit.

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About Al Newkirk

user-pic ... proud Perl hacker, ask me anything!