See Andy's other stuff:

RSS Feed

Follow Andy

Contact Me >>

Newsletter #1034: The “Two Birds, One Stone” Issue

[Welcome back to the Damn, I Wish I’d Thought of That! newsletter. This is text of the great issue all of our email subscribers just received. Sign yourself up using the handy form on the right.]

When you look at your problems as opportunities, you might find that your issue can be someone else’s solution, your trash, someone else’s treasure, or that by working together you can create a win-win solution.

Here are a few examples of how businesses and organizations are killing two birds with one stone:

1. Nursing homes and student housing
2. Server storage and home heat
3. Safe lots and crime prevention
4. Check it out: Space Invaders typing game

1. Nursing homes and student housing

Students need affordable housing. Seniors need a little company. So to help them both out, one nursing home in the Netherlands provides a place to stay for college students. In exchange for hanging out with the elderly for at least 30 hours per month, students can live in the retirement community rent-free.

The lesson: Just because seniors and students seem like they don’t have much in common doesn’t mean they don’t have similar needs, like an affordable place to stay and some communal interaction. Maybe your customers who seem like they’re on opposite ends of the spectrum have more in common than you think.

Learn more: PBS

2. Server storage and home heat

Companies pay a lot of money for storage and electricity to keep computer servers cool. To cut down on those costs, Nerdalize, a cloud computing company, rents out their servers to homeowners as radiators. The homeowners save on their heating bill, and Nerdalize saves on storing and cooling their computer servers.

The lesson: Where do you see an inefficiency in your business? Are you wasting something that someone else needs?

Learn more: Springwise

3. Safe lots and crime prevention

Police in Hartford, Connecticut, were seeing a spike in crime from shady Craigslist deals. That’s not good for the city or for Craigslist. So the Hartford Police Department opened up “safe lots” located outside their headquarters as a place for people to handle Craigslist transactions. In fact, Craigslist now suggests people consider police department lots as meeting locations on their safety page. Now, people can feel more confident using Craigslist, and the police can keep a better eye on crime.

The lesson: Shady Craigslist deals are going to happen. But instead of Craigslist ignoring the problem or the police department trying to ban those transactions, both parties worked together to give their audience a solution.

Learn more: NPR

4. Check it out: Space Invaders typing game

Z-Type helps you improve your typing speed while you play a game inspired by Space Invaders. Type the words next to each target to shoot.

Check it out: Z-Type

Email to a friend:

Privacy: We won't save or reuse these emails.


  1. Emilia Pineda April 30, 2015 at 1:01 pm #

    This is pretty awesome. It can actually refer to a lot of problems in our lives. If the world could function like this, it would be a much better place.

  2. Many thanks for making the effort to discuss this, I feel strongly about this and love studying a great deal more on this topic. If possible, as you gain expertise, would you mind updating your weblog with a great deal more info? It’s very helpful for me.

Get My Newsletter!

Subscribe to Damn, I Wish I’d Thought of That! for a weekly email full of unusually useful ideas for smart marketers. Great marketing is about brains, not bucks. The best business ideas are easy to do, inexpensive, and fun. Learn to simplify your business, earn word of mouth, and thrill your customers:

Never display this again