My Neighbor is a Snitch


Hope everyone had a great weekend! I spent mine back in Michigan with some great friends playing board games, spreading the ashes of my late fish, and overdosing on playoff football. There’s nothing like chillin’ with the homies.

This was me before the weekend:

Anyways, I have been feeding you guys great idea, after great idea, after great idea and it’s time to change that. I decided to keep it lighter for everyone this MLK day.

Everybody has bad ideas.

An idea that absolutely, positively wouldn’t work

Back when I lived in Chicago, I never paid for a designated parking spot. I was born in the streets, raised by the streets, and I parked in the streets.

And it sucked, I often found myself circling a few blocks just to squeeze my car into a questionably small spot every day (everyone knows if you’re not bumper bumping you’re not close enough). To make it worse, half of the spots taken were by cars with flat tires that you could tell hadn’t been driven in weeks or cars that didn’t have correct permit.

Half the cars on the street were parked illegally, and for a law-abiding citizen like myself I found it annoying how none of them ever got tickets.

Out of this spite spawned a horrible business idea. Wag! for giving tickets.

How would it work?

Wag! is the dog walking app where anyone can sign up, provide some general information, and then interview to walk your dog. All you do it leave a key in a lockbox outside and the person you choose will come walk your dog while you’re at work, on a date, or travelling.

What I’m pitching is something similar, but for parking enforcement. Create an app or a platform where anyone can sign up, go through a background check, interview, etc. that empowers them to give tickets.

Wait, what?

That’s right, turn the entire street into parking enforcement officers.

Let’s say you work from home, which is by my guess a lot of you, and everyday you go for a walk to take a break from work. Anytime along your walk you see a car parked illegally you take a picture of the license plate, a picture and description of why it’s parked illegally, and submit it. Just like that the car gets a $25 ticket, and you earn a commission off of each ticket you give, let’s say $5.

Boom. Now you, and whoever else is signed up have a ~side hustle~.

The pros and cons

As with any idea, there are pros and cons. Let’s talk about them.

Here are some of the benefits I thought of:

  • Better enforcement of parking laws. Increase the number of people, catch more criminals.
  • Extra revenue for the government. Increase the number of ticket givers increases the number of tickets, which increases the money coming in.
  • Encourages exercise: If I knew I could make a few bucks I’d start walking more.
  • Outsources/decentralizes one aspect of government work

And here are the cons:

  • As the title suggests, my neighbor is a snitch. This would definitely increase the divisiveness of any given street lol.
  • Verification process. I don’t know what giving a ticket entails, but I’m sure there is more to it then just snapping a few pictures.
  • How to make sure the picture is taken in real time
  • Adding hundreds, if not thousands of government employees. Again, I don’t know what it takes to hire a government employee, but I am sure it’s more rigorous than I assume.
  • Many more I am missing


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It’s the thought that counts

Regardless, this definitely gives you something to think about on your next walk. Even though this idea is subpar, the process I took to get there and the thought itself ring true.

I identified something that was a struggle or problem in my life and thought of a solution for how to fix that problem. That logic is how half of the products and businesses in the world are born, so I should get a participation trophy for that.

And like I said, the thought itself I find to be accurate. Remember way back when we were talking about different ways the government could be decentralized, making it faster and more efficient? Well, I think this is one of those ideas. It just happens to be a bad one.

This idea came from a place of selflessness, helping the city stay clean and keep the criminals off the streets (and their cars).

from, matt

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