You should see where I work. Hundreds of office cubicles pressed together; a depressing landscape coined a "cube farm" by one of my co-workers. I'd have you come out to Silicon Valley to see it, but you don't need to. Similar office set-ups are now ubiquitous - the cubicle is the forty-hour-a-week home for millions of American workers.
Increasingly, the people in these cubes are well paid (50,000 dollars a year and up), and are looking for ways to personalize their workplaces. Toys are popular accouterments in these office spaces, as are posters and novelty items. These are all interesting products, but none of them were really designed with the "cube" in mind.
Thus enters CubeTown - "Bringing Life to Work"; an online store offering anything and everything that today's cubicle workers need to personalize their office space. The money's there, the demand is there, and yet the niche remains unfilled.
I think CubeTown can grow in stages. In the beginning, I think it could specialize in inexpensive decorations for office cubes. This is what I was alluding to when we spoke last month. Enclosed you will find a catalog for "Trend Enterprises", a Midwestern company that produces supplies for classrooms. Note how easily these products would lend themselves to re-packaging for office cubicles. Classroom trim (samples included) and a few cents of double-sided tape could quickly turn the upper edge of a cube into a personalized space. ("Which cube is mine? Look for the green fish trim!") Similarly, an "undersea cut-outs" package could turn drab gray walls into a tropical landscape. Whole packages could be sold to transform cubes into anything the owner wished, from a high-camp "Enchanted Forest" to tasteful colored themesets. The possibilities go on. Why not sell large cardboard words with Velcro backing for "refrigerator poetry" on cube walls? Ceiling mobiles open up more options. Flip through the catalog and I think you'll come up with a few ideas of your own.
The beauty of this initial stage is the low cost of starting up. All of the products that CubeTown would sell are already being made at very economical prices. CubeTown could repackage these, sell them online with no inventory, and still deliver a reasonable price after 100% markup.
If this initial stage proves a success, there are many directions in which CubeTown could expand.
As one final note, I think that, timed appropriately, CubeTown could get a good deal of free publicity. As the first online "Personalization Store" for cubicle workers, I can easily see many magazines and television shows covering the site because of its entertainment value and the ease of tying it in with stories on a changing workforce. Added to the very memorable name, I think CubeTown could become a solid brand in an emerging and potentially very lucrative market.
Let me know what you think,