The US government has been slow to move, so states are taking charge:
31 US states are considering legislation to clarify virtual currencies and blockchain businesses in a legal sense.
A new generation of parents are dropping serious dough. From organic food to luxury products, baby goods are big business for founders.
A lot of serious dialogue happens between founders and investors in the comments section after an idea is shared. The latest Kernal startup ideas help you join the party in the comments.
Want to share something with nearly 80,000 indie hackers? Submit a section for us to include in a future newsletter. —Channing
🏦 US States Court Crypto Investors
from the Indie Economy newsletter by Bobby Burch
Many US states are charging ahead to court crypto investors and blockchain businesses despite the hesitation of the US federal government.
States are going crypto
The latest: Joining a handful of US states, Texas recently formalized its support for cryptocurrencies. On June 12, the “Virtual Currency Bill” became law, offering legal clarity for Texans. The law defines virtual currency, establishes when a person acquires a right in it, and clarifies when a person has control of it:
Texas’ definition of virtual currency is 'a digital representation of value that is used as a medium of exchange, unit of account, or store of value, and is not legal tender, whether or not denominated in legal tender.'
Cowboy up: Even before it was official, the new Texas law attracted new jobs and businesses that appreciate the clear guidelines, seeing them as an affable environment in which to grow:
Texas may see a notable influx of investors and innovative businesses that are attracted to the legal certainty provided by the new law, in addition to the overall welcoming business environment in the state.
Why it matters: The more states that propose and pass laws on digital assets, the more pressure is applied to Congress to step up. As Bitcoin, Ethereum, and other cryptocurrencies grow in ubiquity and value (currently worth more than $2T collectively), Washington will attempt to avoid a situation where state laws conflict with federal interests.
Growing momentum: The majority of US states have enacted, or proposed, legislation to address digital assets. 31 states are working to clarify how they view virtual currencies and blockchain businesses in a legal sense.
The taxman: The US federal government is creeping towards regulating crypto to thwart tax evasion. Under President Biden’s American Families Plan, crypto investors would have to report when they receive more than $10K. The plan would also give $80B to the IRS to boost its oversight on crypto assets.
Congress wants in: A group of US senators recently launched the Financial Innovation Caucus with the goal of supporting “responsible innovation” for the country's financial system, including digital assets. The caucus endeavors to create initiatives to effectively compete with China, which hosts some of the largest Bitcoin mining operations in the world.
Regulation station: The US Office of the Comptroller of the Currency is also rallying federal agencies to increase their oversight of crypto. The office told the Financial Times that it aims to creat a “regulatory perimeter” for cryptos.
Tracking state crypto laws: The National Conference of State Legislatures created a helpful guide that breaks down which states have laws pertaining to crypto.
Notable states to mention
Wyoming is arguably the most attractive state for crypto businesses and investors. Wyoming lawmakers are not only crypto investors, but the state also recently became the first to recognize decentralized autonomous organizations as LLCs.
South Carolina is considering a bill that would establish it “as an incubator for tech industries seeking to develop innovation by using blockchain technology.” If made law, the bill would also allow companies to issue certificate tokens instead of stock certificates.
Nebraska passed two laws (the Transactions in Digital Assets Act and the Nebraska Financial Innovation Act) that allow banks to hold digital assets and offer crypto services. Lawmakers hope the moves will attract finance jobs to establish the Cornhusker State as a crypto leader.
Illinois is looking at similar legislation to Nebraska. A bill in the state legislature would establish a charter for digital assets that would offer clarity to banks and other financial institutions hoping to participate in crypto.
What are your thoughts on US states taking charge in regulating crypto?
Discuss this story, or subscribe to Indie Economy for more.
📰 In the News
from the Volv newsletter by Priyanka Vazirani
🏧 A Chinese bank has rolled out 3K ATMs to convert digital currency to cash.
🎙 Spotify has acquired the podcast discovery platform Podz.
✈️ Travel and hotel apps are seeing a new wave of downloads as COVID-19 restrictions ease.
📺 HBO Max subscribers were baffled by the recent mysterious "Integration Test Email # 1."
💸 Amazon will reduce Appstore fees for small developers.
Check out Volv for more 9-second news digests.
🍼 A New Generation of Parents Are Dropping Serious Dough
from the Hustle Newsletter by Shân Osborn
The Signal: This year has already seen $55M+ in VC raised in the children's products and services space. Startups are looking to a new generation of parents with a high willingness to spend.
*Excludes edtech funding rounds.
Close to 100% of babies born are now to millennial and Gen Z parents. They are more educated, tech savvy, and constantly digitally connected. They are also demanding better child-centered products and services.
In May we wrote about the recent rise in demand for child care; this is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to white space in the children's industry.
The opportunities: New parents are particularly focused on providing their offspring with the best. They're dropping dough on high-end offerings, from organic food to luxury products.
Simplification, gender neutrality, and personalization will also be key trends in the children's space going forward. Specific ideas include:
Rental Subscription Services: Kids' needs change rapidly, creating clutter, waste, and high expenses as parents try to keep up.
The average American parent will spend $6.5K on toys per child before they reach their teens. At any given age, each child in the US has ~100 toys.
Enter the rental subscription service: Get what you need when you need it, and only pay for that period of use.
We recently covered the electronics rental market which, boosted by COVID-19, shows no signs of slowing. Goods rentals in general are rising in popularity, and the children's space is a perfect fit.
Entrepreneurs could curate high-quality toy rentals, work with existing brands to develop D2C toy rentals, or branch out into baby electronics and wearables (the Owlet smart sock, $539, is very popular; and used for a maximum of 18 months).
Other opportunities for rental subscription services:
Feeding and food prep goods: Baby-food makers, high chairs, and food storage solutions (that won't gather dust after infants outgrow them).
Transportation and furniture: Rental options for durable, high-end strollers (no, you are not the only one wondering when strollers got so expensive) and other limited-use items like cribs, dressers, and changing tables.
Develop an end-to-end app: Customers enter their child's age, and a list of appropriate rental products comes up. Leverage the personalization trend by giving parents a questionnaire that returns personal recommendations for their little angel.
As gamification takes off, AR/VR rental options will be met with high demand. PlayShifu just raised a cool $17M for expansion of their STEM-focused toys that gamify early learning skills.
Screen time reduction: Kids are becoming more digitally connected, and balancing tech vs. nature will be a big market.
Google searches for "screen time parental control" have been rising. Parents will look for ways to encourage time outside for their children. Forest school is already a thing, and is trending with 33.1K searches per month, according to Keywords Everywhere.
Source: Google Trends
Forest school site Run Wild My Child (self-explanatory) has 60K+ site visits/month, Similarweb shows.
In the US, 22% of children (and 32% of their parents) feel like they do not have enough time to play. Entrepreneurs could offer age-related classes, courses, afternoons, weekends, etc., out in nature. Forest birthday parties are another good niche.
Audio offerings for children should also be on your radar: Storypod raised $1.6M pre-seed last year for its no-screen entertainment option for kids. Entrepreneurs could develop high-quality audio options (a paid podcast platform for children might be the next big opportunity).
Organic Child Nutrition: Organic baby food is expected to grow at a ~12% CAGR over the next five years.
Demand is soaring. Almost half of American parents report that buying organic food for their children makes them "feel like better parents"; 84%+ of families think organic food for both babies and toddlers is "very" to "extremely" important.
Current US leader Little Spoon offers organic baby and toddler meals, delivered. They have 300K+ site visits per month, according to Similarweb.
Source: Google Trends
You could leverage new science and nutrition trends like local produce, gut-health support, or plant-based food.
Personalization will take off here too, like meal plans and supplements designed specifically for fussy eaters and allergy sufferers.
What do you think of the business of baby products? Share in the comments!
Subscribe to the Hustle Newsletter for more.
🌐 Best Around the Web: Posts Submitted to Indie Hackers This Week
💓 If your product helps people, it's your moral duty to promote it. Posted by Dagobert Renouf.
📚 Seven books that founders must read. Posted by Siddhita Upare.
📃 One of the best SEO guides I've seen. Posted by Achyuthan.
🕒 Procrastination triggers. Posted by Heather Vincent.
💻 I've open-sourced my Firebase CMS. Posted by Miika von Bell.
🤔 What do founders of failed startups do? Posted by Shashank Rajurkar.
Want a shout-out in next week's Best of Indie Hackers? Submit an article or link post on Indie Hackers whenever you come across something you think other indie hackers will enjoy.
💡 Startup Ideas on Kernal: Party in the Comments
from Startup Ideas on Kernal by Joel Hansen
Before a startup is launched, it starts as an idea. What if I told you that a lot of serious dialogue happens between founders and investors in the comments section after an idea is shared? Picture Twitter DMs meets startup Tinder. This is the new trend that we’ve been seeing on Kernal.
Early bird gets the worm
Jack Smith isn't your typical guy. TechCrunch calls him:
...just about the biggest actual hustler [we've] ever met.
He pulled a LinkedIn stunt by tweaking the company's newly shipped filters to land a video meeting with Thomas Korte, founder of AngelPad. In the meeting, he landed $120K of funding to grow Vungle (which he later sold to Blackstone for a reported $750M+).
This story made us think that he was the perfect fit for Kernal. He agreed, and emailed us back with this idea:
Within minutes, Honey Syed responded with:
Honey was quick on the uptake, which a necessity in any successful startup story. This interaction is a great example of the magic that can happen when you're an early bird for a ripe opportunity. Stay tuned to see where their call takes the idea.
Find, share, or help grow this idea on Kernal.
The hand off
Ryan Lee, a serial entrepreneur based out of SF, recently posted an idea on Turning blogs into Podcasts. TL;DR: A service where he can "send a text and receive an audio file of any blog he wants to digest."
After seeing his idea, another Kernal member swooped into the comment sections. Elaine Zelby, Partner at Signalfire, jumped in to share with Ryan that she's already got a head start, and she's willing to give him the keys to bring it to the finish line:
Want help Elaine and Ryan build this idea? Click here. Nothing beats having a VC with cash in your corner.
Spill the beans
Alexis Grant is the former EVP of Content at The Penny Hoarder, where she helped scale the company to 100+ staffers and millions of readers. She's started and sold multiple newsletter businesses, but her role as a mother is what sparked her meal prep idea:
Piers Rollinson, Engineering Manager at DoorDash, read Alexis' idea, smashed the build button, and the two connected.
Want a piece of building the idea? Here you go.
That’s it for today’s round up of startup ideas! Want to test out Kernal or share a startup idea to get featured in next week’s issue? Sign up here or drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Discuss this story, or subscribe to Startup Ideas on Kernal for more ideas.
🐦 The Tweetmaster's Pick
by Tweetmaster Flex
I post the tweets indie hackers share the most. Here's today's pick:
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Special thanks to Jay Avery for editing this issue, to Nathalie Zwimpfer for the illustrations, and to Bobby Burch, Priyanka Vazirani, Shân Osborn, and Joel Hansen for contributing posts. —Channing