Sometimes a good idea is ahead of it’s time or it causes such a disruptive business model competitors hold it at bay through litigation. Think Napster. It’s not that digital music was a bad idea. Shawn Fanning took such a Maverick approach he caught everyone off guard. One idea that falls into this category is yoonew. Yoonew was a startup based in New York City founded in September 2004 by MIT Sloan students Gerry Wilson and Hagos Mehreteab. Yoonew was a sports ticket futures exchange market specializing in championship sports tickets and ticket derivatives for large sporting events such as the Super Bowl, World Series, Stanley Cup, Final Four, and US Open.
Their approach applied elements of the securities and financial markets to the online ticket selling business. How did it work? If a fan believes his or her favourite team will reach the championship game, he or she can purchase ticket futures months in advance at a low price that is market based. If the team actually makes it to the “big game,” the fan is guaranteed tickets. If the team is eliminated and the holder has not re-sold or “traded the commodity,” they lose their investment. The holder can also “short” the seat as well.
Like most dot coms with great ideas, yoonew raised capital, went to market, received a lot of press coverage from major networks, and were on their way. Then something happened. Traders used the site to such an extent that it reduced the usability for their intended customer.
Maybe the business model should have been business-to-business. Nevertheless, as a sports fan and technology enthusiast, I can’t help to think that yoonew, which ceased operations in 2010, was merely ahead of it’s time.
ESPN just reported that the average ticket price is between $2,100 and $8,000 for Super Bowl XLV tickets. In 2007, a systems analyst used yoonew and paid $537 apiece for two futures contracts for the New England Patriots for upper-deck seats at University of Phoenix Stadium in Arizona. Since the Patriots made it to the Super Bowl, he ended up with two tickets for the Super Bowl XLII.
If yoonew were still operational the average fan could of saved anywhere between $1,000 – $5,000 on a Super Bowl ticket. Like any business you need capacity, but in this case they may have needed a little extra time.
NOW WATCH: Briefing videos
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.