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5 Ways to Validate a Business Idea, Right Now

Don't let your day job or lack of capital stop you from finding and testing a business idea. Here's how.
Last year, I embarked upon a personal challenge to validate a business idea in 30 days. To make it even more difficult, it was a random idea chosen by my readers. They asked me to do it without using my existing website, traffic and business connections and without spending more than 20 hours per week on the project. On top of that, I limited myself to spending no more than $500 validating this idea. The experiment was a success.In just two weeks, I built an email list of 565 subscribers without having an actual website. Then, I reached out to a handful of those subscribers and pre-sold 12 copies of a book that didn't even exist yet, all in less than 30 days. I wrote about the experiment in real-time with in-depth weekly updates, successes, failures and lessons learned along the way, right here in my validation challenge. Today, I want to share with you the five most effect…

Japanese Robot Annoys People Until They Talk To It

“Talking Ally”, a robot made by researchers at Toyohashi University of Technology’s Interactions and Communication Design lab, can follow a human’s gaze and respond accordingly. For example, it can make a fuss if the person stops talking to it:

The robot’s small body looks a bit like a stylized version of the Pixar lamp, a pedestal with a bendy column and an oblong face. In the middle of the face sits a single unblinking eye, so that Talking Ally can maintain eye contact with its person. A second, tucked-away camera tracks the human’s face. Servomotors and springs give the robot a surprising range of movement.
Depending on where the human looked, Talking Ally could engage them in conversation about their focus. If the human was watching sports, Talking Ally could respond with sports news pulled from an RSS feed. If the human didn’t pay attention, the robot would try to make the human notice it. If the human turned to look at and talk to Talking Ally, the robot could nod its head vigorously to show it was engaged in the conversation.
Reading and demonstrating body language will help robots better understand and communicate with humans in the future. This is probably a good thing, even if it means robots will become more annoying.