I chanced upon this story on the Indie Hackers forum, about how a guy stumbled upon this opportunity to sell this very special variety of onions to a very niche crowd of fans. His name is Peter Askew, and he would sometimes buy interesting domain names to build businesses off them. What started out as a random bid for the domain of VidaliaOnions.com became a nagging idea that keep coming back to him. Eventually, he reached out to a farmer, got a deal going, started small, then saw demand for online orders for the onions sky-rocket. And the rest is, as they say, history.
It's a typical tale of an indie hacker making it - we read so much of that on the Indie Hackers forum. But what's cool is the unusual serendipity of tech and agriculture, of how a business is built around something modern intersecting with something traditional. And I love love looove it.
These days it feels like everyone is making products for other developers, makers, entrepreneurs. Makers making things for other makers, indie hackers building businesses serving other indie hackers. So this story was so refreshing, and inspiring. I too wish to sell onions off the internet. OK, not onions exactly. But something traditional. I love the idea of bringing something valued for it's history and legacy, into the present day. I love the modern interpretations of beloved traditions - interpretations that stick to the values and principles of that tradition, but delivered in a medium that's new yet appropriate. Interpretations that amplify this tradition than dilute it. There's something comforting about knowing where something comes from, the rich history, the colourful culture, the generations that passed through keeping the flame alive.
If not onions, what would it be? I'm coincidentally on the lookout for opportunities now, as I'm wanting to code my own product, but I don't want to make another to-do app or curated list for other makers. Maybe there's traditions in my home Singapore that I treasure, that can benefit from such modern interpretations. Or maybe, I can look further afield, to other cultures and traditions that I love, like kintsugi in Kyoto? Following my curiosity sounds like a fun way to approach this.
If not onions, what would it be, for you? What traditional goods could benefit from something like this?