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Idea brainstorming around a this problem: overconcentration of population

arl

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Aug 16, 2019
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Hello everyone,

I am new around here. I am almost done reading Unscripted and it has made me already change the way I think about business. Until now it was just about finding that get rich quick with no effort idea. It's no surprise I haven't found it after 10 years of wannapreneurism.

Now it is all about providing value. I'm not sure yet which is my meaning-purpose or where can I provide most value, but for now I am getting my creative juices flowing. I have identified a social problem that concerns me quite a bit even though I am not sure how to solve. Let me tell you:

Overconcentration of population in Spain
In my homecountry, Spain, there is an increasing problem overconcentration of the population in a few cities (Madrid, Barcelona, and a few others). According to the UN, by 2030 , around 50% of the spanish population will live in just 13 cities.

This trend has already spiked the real estate prices to an all time high in these cities. While we expensive real estate, the salaries of the average people are not high enough to support it. The average age for a Spanish person to leave his parent's house is 29 years old (vs much lower ages in other countries). Basically young people in Spain can't afford to leave their parent's homes with the shitty salaries and expensive housing.

Spain is not a huge country by any means (compared to USA), but we have plenty of space for the current population (around 47 million). To this day, around 60% of the municipalities have 1000 or less citizens. And in small towns the average age of the population is quite higher. Younger people leave the small towns due to the lack of employment opportunities. So the the smaller towns will keep decreasing in population until complete abandonment.

¿Solution?
There is not an easy solution to this problem. It's the chicken and the egg problem. No businesses want to open in small towns due to declining and aging population, and young people won't stay due to lack of businesses to offer employment.

To me the solution is the remote jobs. We live in a digital era, and many jobs can be done remotely nowadays. However, companies in Spain are not keen to adopt this model yet. If somehow companies could be convinced to allow employees to work from home, many of them would be happy to flee the the cities, revitalizing smaller areas and relieving the high demand on the real estate prices in the bigger cities.

¿Can you think of any business ideas around this problem?
BONUS statistics: Spain has one of the highest life expectancies in the world and one of the lowest natalities. Basically, we are all going to be old in a few years...
 

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RazorCut

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You might look at the UK for ideas. The UK is half the size of Spain but supports an extra 20 million people. It also has some of the most expensive property in the world. This puts major pressure on the young and those on low incomes.

There is a strong push here to roll out superfast broadband to business premises at the moment. Also talk about building 5 new towns to accommodate a population that is growing faster than they can be housed.

I don't know if there is any mileage in trying to educate Spanish businesses into allowing remote workers. However how about finding new ways to introduce those wanting remote jobs to ones that are available in your country? A Spanish only people per hour or Upwork maybe?
 

Sayd OG

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This process can´t be stopped therefore its useless looking for solutions to solve this problem. I would rather look for ways to ease this process. By that I mean looking for ways to help the new people coming into the city and somehow earn money that way.

During a gold rush sell shovels
 
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arl

arl

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I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Aug 16, 2019
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I don't know if there is any mileage in trying to educate Spanish businesses into allowing remote workers. However how about finding new ways to introduce those wanting remote jobs to ones that are available in your country? A Spanish only people per hour or Upwork maybe?
That is something I was thinking about. Provide some kind of consultig service or developing a saas that would ease the transition to remote workers for already established companies.

Regarding upwork and other freelancing marketplaces they already accomodate jobs in spanish. There could be an opportunity there, but most of freelancers that are savvy enough speak some kind of english and I am guessing they would rather work for the english community since it's better paid.

This process can´t be stopped therefore its useless looking for solutions to solve this problem. I would rather look for ways to ease this process. By that I mean looking for ways to help the new people coming into the city and somehow earn money that way.

During a gold rush sell shovels
You are probably right. It is definitely a problem hard to solve if it is even possible. Even though I don't think it is possible to change the trend, there will always be a percentage of the population who would rather live in the country than in the city.

This is not a problem I am trying to solve (at least right now). It was just a thinking exercise to come up with ideas to provide the society with value instead of focusing on money as I have been doing until now. But I've probably picked a problem I have no business solving
 

NursingTn

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It is a problem worth solving.

Start small. What is the probable causes of overpopulation within any given location?

Attraction of the location (e.g. better place to raise a family, more things to be do, better job outlook, closer to loved ones, etc).

Your job is to figure out how to make other less populated places as attractive.

For example, perhaps you can help make a city known for a particular tourist site, e.g. a zoo, a sea world, best place to recycle, best place for honey moon, whatever.

Another example is build enough capital, get multiple buildings/lots and rent them out to folks with low income. The catch is also help these folks find work if they decide to move, so you might try to make job opportunities happen such as planting trees, preserving land, purifying water, building wind mills, and so on.
 
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arl

arl

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Start small. What is the probable causes of overpopulation within any given location?

Attraction of the location (e.g. better place to raise a family, more things to be do, better job outlook, closer to loved ones, etc).
I would say it's mostly about job opportunities. There is also more services and things to do in the cities. Plenty of smaller towns don't even have schools, doctors or other essential services.

Another example is build enough capital, get multiple buildings/lots and rent them out to folks with low income. The catch is also help these folks find work if they decide to move, so you might try to make job opportunities happen such as planting trees, preserving land, purifying water, building wind mills, and so on.
This would be something I would love to do. There are whole towns that are abandoned and are for sale. I would like to buy smaller towns upgrade them and turn them into some kind of tech hub or a tourist destination.
 

Merging Left

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Have the housing prices expanded to the suburbs of the large cities?

What if you kept it super simple - enable people to work in Madrid without living in Madrid. The obvious answer is to coordinate remote workers, but what if you just provided a shuttle service to commute people to-and-from work? You could get wifi set up on your bus so they could work during the commute, and comfortable reclining seats so they could sleep on the way home.
 
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MHP368

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Concentration of humans is much more eco friendly actually. The solution youre looking for will be urban planning and development , a lot of futurists are looking at this , rooftop gardens for instance but really anything to help a place seem less cluttered.


Affordability is a problem thats been pretty well documented by sociologists , the concept of "the projects" isnt so much a bad idea as it was poorly executed in the US. You have to overcome NIMBYISM and prevent the higher earners from fleeing , so its a balancing act.


Even if you solved this on paper and could monetize maybe as a consultant youd be looking st decade long projects so this seems a little pie in the sky IMO , then again if only billionaires attempt to solve such things we're leaving our future in their hands.
 
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arl

arl

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Aug 16, 2019
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Have the housing prices expanded to the suburbs of the large cities?
Yes, the suburbs are expanding in size and prices. They are not as crowded but they will get there in a few years.
What if you kept it super simple - enable people to work in Madrid without living in Madrid. The obvious answer is to coordinate remote workers, but what if you just provided a shuttle service to commute people to-and-from work? You could get wifi set up on your bus so they could work during the commute, and comfortable reclining seats so they could sleep on the way home.
Madrid already has a pretty nice public transport infraestructure (metro, buses, trains, etc). But it could be an opportunity for other medium sized cities.

Concentration of humans is much more eco friendly actually. The solution youre looking for will be urban planning and development , a lot of futurists are looking at this , rooftop gardens for instance but really anything to help a place seem less cluttered.
This is what I've always heard, but there must be a moment when it starts to be less eco friendly, isn't it? For example I have coworkers that drive over a 100 km everyday to get to work. Just like them, there are thousands of people on the road every day. They live in surrounding cities or the suburbs and they have to come to Madrid because there are no job prospects in their cities and they either can't afford to live in the city or they rather live in the country.

Even if you solved this on paper and could monetize maybe as a consultant youd be looking st decade long projects so this seems a little pie in the sky IMO , then again if only billionaires attempt to solve such things we're leaving our future in their hands.
Completely agree. It would be a long grind with no guarantee of success. It's a problem better suited to solve if you have deep pockets (which I don't). As I previously said, this is not a problem I am trying to solve right now. It's more of a thinking exercise. Since everyone seems to be going in the opposite direction, I was thinking how could someone provide value doing something different.

I appreciate all of your inputs. It's interesting to hear how other experienced entrepreneurs think
 

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For example I have coworkers that drive over a 100 km everyday to get to work.
So the Madrid bus system does not help your coworkers since they live so far away, but a shuttle could... just sayin'
 

MHP368

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there must be a moment when it starts to be less eco friendly, isn't it?
Right , because Madrid wasn't properly designed. Its been awhile since I looked st the numbers but they've studied this in depth and a city like Manhatten new york is just leaps and bounds more friendly on the environment then those same people spread out in small communities. Even with food and sewage and electricity for all those millions its just terribly more efficient to concentrate them.


So the problem is nimbyism preventing affordable housing , you can do it in a way that avoids "white flight" as it was called in the US. Make it nicer AND more convenient to live in or near madrid itself.


Again though , this isnt a fastlane problem , its a government policy initiative.
 

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LittleWolfie

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This has already been solved on paper, car free "commuter villages" connected by rail with cowork and mixed use locales.

Legislation at least in Europe is quite favourable towards high public transit high density can be achieved with Victorian era layouts.

Bicycle, four story houses/apartment blocks and trains with bicycle carriages.

The environmental tradeoff of commute versus density is much higher with car traffic than bus/bikes/boats.

Just get the capital.
 

SamRussell

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The only problem is a lack of freedom which cause, amongst other problems, unnatural movements in market values.

If a bunch of people all want to live on top of each other, why is that a problem?
 

BJdeMarco

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May 10, 2019
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I also live in Spain. It's true people are pretty old here and it is scary to think the population will be even older in the future.

A lot of people however like myself have moved to Spain because of its great life quality. Btw I had an office job in Spain and the did let me work from home:)

Anyway, one thing I have started to see more and more are coworking places. The big cities already have a lot of them however I do believe you could pull it off in some of the smaller cities as well. Then promote digital nomad retreats or something like that.

Then there are all the old people so maybe an agency for caretakers could be a great idea.

That would not solve your original problem at all but I dont think that is something worth focusing on.. That being said, good thread, some interesting stuff
 

zippot

PARKED
Apr 3, 2019
1
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Hello everyone,

I am new around here. I am almost done reading Unscripted and it has made me already change the way I think about business. Until now it was just about finding that get rich quick with no effort idea. It's no surprise I haven't found it after 10 years of wannapreneurism.

Now it is all about providing value. I'm not sure yet which is my meaning-purpose or where can I provide most value, but for now I am getting my creative juices flowing. I have identified a social problem that concerns me quite a bit even though I am not sure how to solve. Let me tell you:

Overconcentration of population in Spain
In my homecountry, Spain, there is an increasing problem overconcentration of the population in a few cities (Madrid, Barcelona, and a few others). According to the UN, by 2030 , around 50% of the spanish population will live in just 13 cities.

This trend has already spiked the real estate prices to an all time high in these cities. While we expensive real estate, the salaries of the average people are not high enough to support it. The average age for a Spanish person to leave his parent's house is 29 years old (vs much lower ages in other countries). Basically young people in Spain can't afford to leave their parent's homes with the shitty salaries and expensive housing.

Spain is not a huge country by any means (compared to USA), but we have plenty of space for the current population (around 47 million). To this day, around 60% of the municipalities have 1000 or less citizens. And in small towns the average age of the population is quite higher. Younger people leave the small towns due to the lack of employment opportunities. So the the smaller towns will keep decreasing in population until complete abandonment.

¿Solution?
There is not an easy solution to this problem. It's the chicken and the egg problem. No businesses want to open in small towns due to declining and aging population, and young people won't stay due to lack of businesses to offer employment.

To me the solution is the remote jobs. We live in a digital era, and many jobs can be done remotely nowadays. However, companies in Spain are not keen to adopt this model yet. If somehow companies could be convinced to allow employees to work from home, many of them would be happy to flee the the cities, revitalizing smaller areas and relieving the high demand on the real estate prices in the bigger cities.

¿Can you think of any business ideas around this problem?
BONUS statistics: Spain has one of the highest life expectancies in the world and one of the lowest natalities. Basically, we are all going to be old in a few years...
I have an associate who lives in the Dominican Republic who speaks Spanish and is building a website that compares electrical goods because the site is in Spanish there is a lot less competition and he is finding success much quicker than the english speakers , use your strengths and start a spanish website I thought the upwork agency in spanish was a excellent idea
 

BJdeMarco

New Contributor
May 10, 2019
11
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I have an associate who lives in the Dominican Republic who speaks Spanish and is building a website that compares electrical goods because the site is in Spanish there is a lot less competition and he is finding success much quicker than the english speakers , use your strengths and start a spanish website I thought the upwork agency in spanish was a excellent idea
I have both spanish and english comparison websites and I would have to disagree. The spanish market is only slightly less competetive it is still incredibly hard to hit the top 3 for competetive keywords.

English is still the way to go. 400million in the U.S. 60million in the U.K. and who knows how many more in the rest of the world. The purchasing power is so much stronger. I have articles that rank on page 3 or 4 and still make money in the u.s.

Of course everything depends on the niche you are in but this is my general impression after 3 years of experience.

All that being said, a comparison website is not going to make you rich unless you really are on of the best SEOs out there. That is also why I am on this forum, blogging about products just doesnt give you the best chances and it can quickly become a full time job even if you outsource the writing.

Also it is not really a business unless you build a brand.

This is kind of unrelated but another interesting thing I read the other day is, that in a business, when you look at SEO and the 80/20 rule, SEO really is a 20 it is a ton of work for little impact. If you have your own product/service i guess its better to just go with paid traffic instead of spending time and money on SEO.
 

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