Fredericton — Facebook messages, texts, emails, and awkward encounters downtown. All lead to the typical Fredericton favour ask: “Want to grab a coffee later? I’ve got a great new business idea that I want to run by you.”
A recent report from Opportunities New Brunswick (ONB) shows that everyone in Fredericton wants something from you, and that’s to take at least an hour of your valuable time to make you sit and politely listen to their “innovative, groundbreaking, unique, or otherwise world-shattering business idea that is sure never to go anywhere after we all act nice and pretend it will for a month.”
Be wary of anyone bragging about their hobby if it involves crafts, filmmaking, coding, art, meetups, clubs, or games, because any typical conversation about those topics has a high chance of leading to the inevitable Google Calendar event invite to Chess Piece Café, advises ONB.
ONB further warns you that some shameless would-be entrepreneurs will try to trick you by asking you to grab a beer instead of a coffee, but their studies show that the attempt at an even more casual atmosphere is to mask an even weirder business idea than usual, such as an app to meet people “just for cuddling,” or a website that keeps track of everywhere you’ve used the washroom in the past year.
ONB is pointing the finger at startup incubators such as UNB’s Technology Management and Entrepreneurship program, New Brunswick Innovation Fund, New Brunswick Business Council, Planet Hatch, Ignite Fredericton, Startup Fredericton, and the Fredericton Chamber of Commerce for putting these big ideas into the stupid heads of all your dumb friends.
Despite your vigilance in not interacting with Facebook statuses that resemble anything close to “Business ideas. Go.”, the terrible people that will do anything to waste your time will try to suck you in to the seemingly harmless atmosphere of Read’s, Second Cup, Coffee and Friends, Three Sisters’ Cafe, and others.
ONB instructs you that these time-leeches will try to throw you off the trail by using words such as “collaboration,” “partnership,” “volunteer initiative,” “meetup,” “swap,” “economic boost,” or — the ultimate red flag — a “Google Hangout.”
You know that most of these Frederictonians just want to borrow something from you to force you to have to meet them again in person — be it laptop, camera, car, office space, your professional-looking pen, a growler, clothing, or gym membership. Their empty promise of “I’ll get you back” is almost worse than their promise to repay you with something you don’t want or need. They will also try to trick you with offers of joining a pyramid scheme, paying back your favour with something that isn’t worth anywhere near as much, or by guaranteeing something intangible like “seven years of exclusivity.”
ONB’s studies further show that:
50% of the ideas are smartphone apps;
23% of the ideas will never go anywhere;
16% of the ideas are complete bullshit;
7% of the ideas have no target demographic;
5% of the ideas have nothing to do with you anyway, and;
100% of the ideas make you want to delete Facebook and move to Bathurst.
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