I wonder if there will ever be a business that rents "man caves" for guys who just need to get away from the house. I imagine these man caves to be about the size of a small storage unit and infinitely customizable. You'd have your big screen TV and Internet connections, of course. Beyond that, you can customize it with beer on tap, video games, moose heads, and whatever else your guy-brain desires. The basic items, such as seating and the large screen TV, would be directly provided and installed by the operators. But you could bring in your own furniture and finishes too.

I would think $200 per month would be the right price for this little paradise away from home.

Along a similar vein, I wonder if there will ever be a business that offers "artist condos" in a large shared space. I'm seeing this as a large open space with plenty of sunlight and views, with each rented area delineated by short walls. Each renter would have a storage locker for valuables, but items such as easels would stay in place. Security cameras and a security guard at the door would keep things safe.

I can imagine a coffee shop in the middle of the chaos. Everyone would be doing their own art thing - from quilting to sculpting to painting to whatever - and meeting near the coffee shop for social time.

While I'm at it, I also have in mind the perfect bedroom design for a young boy. Imagine a rectangle with the door on one short side and a bed on the far end. The bed would be raised like the top of a bunk bed, with a desk area below.

On the two longer walls, I'd put ground-level car seats (or booth seats) facing each other. Directly above both seats would be flat screen TVs. While gaming, you would be facing your friend(s) and looking at the screen above their heads. They would be doing the same. I see a two-seat bench on each side. The TVs might need to be slightly angled down to make the viewing work.

I'd also add accent lights along the ceiling because small spaces benefit a great deal from the right lighting. And of course you'd have a good speaker system in the room.

I'd also build into the room some way for the lights and music to be controlled from the kitchen, so mom and dad can summon the kid away from his distractions. Just push a button and the lights blink and the music stops, so the kid knows it is time for dinner.

Those are my random ideas for today.

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May 27, 2013
For a nerd-centric but artsy version of the man cave/art studio combined, check out "hacker collectives" on the internet. some cool stuff happening out there.
May 27, 2013
For the mancave I'm seeing a grownup version of the bounce house for children's parties. Something more for a special occasion -- like a Superbowl party or a poker night -- than a quasi-permanent feature. And a good deal more profitable than $200/month.

Not inflatable -- a specially designed bounce house for adults is a whole other idea -- but possibly a good sized truck, either carrying a self-contained mancave or unfolding to fill a yard with recliners, big screen, pool table and bar. Part of the pitch would be that all the food prep and cleanup is included. The man makes a phone call, points to where he wants it set up, and says when to take it all away. No work before, no mess after. This could solve the old sitcom problem of how to throw a party unsuspected while the wife's away (see Laurel and Hardy in "Helpmates").

You could market it as an instant sports bar, and maybe have some exclusive content on the big screen -- satellite Q&A with an announcer or athlete, perhaps. Or toss in an interactive presentation by a business consultant so the whole thing becomes a tax writeoff.

Local eateries can field a professional-level barbeque setup, including the expertise as well as the hardware. Or a one-chef pizza operation to keep fresh ones coming at a party. oven There are already catering operations to be sure, but the trick would be to market a small version, making it cheap enough to be almost an impulse buy for a household event.

I periodically see a truck for a service that does outdoor movie shows in the backyard; how about a deluxe version that includes snack bar, motion chairs and all the !$%*!$%*! of a mansion-level home theater?

Further variations: a portable jazz piano bar with musician and bartender; a DJ with a complete disco instead of just a sound system; an arcade with those physically huge sit-inside games; a pot party with 60s light show and music (if all your guests happen to require marijuana for medical purposes); and a house of ill-repute (here's where we reinvent inflatables).

Considering how alcohol-powered parties can and do go tragically wrong, another angle would be a private drunk tank: Guests would be bedded in a luxury RV divided into specially equipped sleeping capsules (like those Japanese airport hotels). They'd sign a release at the outset of the party consenting to be comfortably locked up (by burly but polite hosts) once they got wobbly; come the dawn valets would minister to their hangovers and help them clean up. Better than letting them try to drive, or crash in your living room sofa with uncertain stomachs.
May 25, 2013

Something like that. The answer to your first question boils down to: cities dont want you to live there unless the place you live provides them more money in taxes and fees than what you cost them in services. The answer to your second question boils down to: cities see hotel taxes as a good way to get money out of folks who dont vote there.
May 25, 2013

Will the animation pager ever have new content?
May 24, 2013
This raises the question: Why isn't it possible to rent a tiny efficiency apartment anywhere outside of New York City? There are people who can't afford rent, but typically nothing priced under $1000/month is available except as a sublet.

A related question is, Why is it impossible to provide hotels in America like the ones in Japan that have just enough space for a bed and a TV and cost $20 a night?

I suspect state regulations specify minimum requirements for rental units.
May 24, 2013
The most brilliant idea you mention is the app that can pause/lock the XBox/game system. This is a parent's dream. "10 minute warning". "5 minutes until system lock", "Time for dinner!" I love it.
May 24, 2013
Very well put Raymee! The external man cave would be for extra curricular activities assisted by blondes and brunettes ;)
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May 24, 2013
I can see the mancave could work, and I agree with your price.

What I do wonder though is whether this would actually be profitable, compared with the rental price for the apartments you could squeeze in there, and whether you need to provide some convenient lie that isn't that the guy wants to get away from his family. A lot of men have a garden shed which they can claim to be doing something useful, or a hobby room, which is nominally creative. In practice these are the same as your man-cave but we do need our rationalisations.
May 24, 2013
I think that was the basic idea behind men's organizations like the Elks, Lions, Masons, etc. While these clubs do community work and whatnot, it seems that their primary purpose was simply to provide a sweet hangout for guys that was not overtly debauched.

As such. I think Scott could probably take an afternoon to write the charter of the Ancient and Exquisite Order of Dilbert, with himself as Grandmaster, and allow people wanting to provide mancaves license to use the name and charter for a small fee.
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May 24, 2013
My man cave comes with a gorgeous redhead and accommodates everything important to me.

I call it my *house* and the redhead *my wife*.

Just a thought - Own your world or the world ____s you.
May 24, 2013
I'm a big fan of the bunk-bed thing you described. It's commonly called a Loft Bed. I built some for my kids years ago, but they wanted nicer furniture, so I bought a pair from "Rooms 2 Go" that were better built and had a real nice design -- a small stairway on the side with drawers in each step, and an integrated (but very small) desk. It made it easy for cats and dogs to climb up into the bed with the kids, which they like.

It was like this one: http://www.roomstogokids.com/product/Girls-Bedroom-Sets/Creekside-Taffy-Twin-Full-Step-Bunk-Bedroom-w-Chest/8600091P/ but it had a desk at the end instead of the armoir, and I never used the (unattached) "lower bed" and I had the desk facing inward.

Also, since the girls shared a room at the time, it was possible for them to both have their own beds, both have their own desks and computers, both have their own dressers, and still have some floor space to play in. Total cost was higher than I liked -- $2800 or so with bunkie boards and mattresses. But It served them well for years.

I imagine that this would be an exceptional setup for super-efficient boarding like a modern orphanage or something. Put a drape over the "underneath area" and a kid could have their own mini-room with no more floor space than a bed.
May 24, 2013
See "Artist Cooperative" in WikiPedia.
May 24, 2013
The area that I live in (Frederick, MD) has quite a few spaces for rent geared towards artists. A close friend of mine has a roughly 200 sq ft space in a place called the Blue Elephant where she stores all of her stuff. Outside of a lock on the front door, there are no doors. And no thefts. I guess the artist community is a bit different than the general public.
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May 24, 2013
If you want to rent or buy a man cave, there are many companies that make posh little versions of sheds that are suitable for use as a home office, studio or writer's get away. They tend to run to modern little huts with lot's of windows and built in space-saving ideas. They often are featured on green websites like Treehugger, which often seem to be upper middle class catalogs of notions and stuff that sort of seems like a great idea, even if it involves spending more than $10,000 for a piece of cool artist-designer furniture or some electronic gadget.
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May 24, 2013
From a series of musings in which Scott Adams re-invents the wheel. Yes, there is such a thing as a rentable man cave. It is called a garden shed. In Europe and even the UK, cities are surrounded by large areas covered in tiny garden plots, many with sheds. People can rent these and grow a few flowers or vegetables or just relax, pottering around in their little sheds away from home. The British are really big on renting tiny beach cabins and on trailer camping also.

It's clearly a good idea because it's been done on a continenal scale for over one hundred years. Your guarantee of success.

As for artist studios, these can also be rented in urban areas, not to mention music practice rooms. They are also a very successful idea. The café is a nice touch but probably not original.

In short, it's been done, but there's no crime in that. I am reading a great book on "The Half-Life of Facts" and it is full of evidence that facts die or get lost or are simply ignored on a continental scale all of the time. Even fire, an invention so basic that a cave man could invent it was probably invented about a million times before it finally caught on. My guess is that the thousands of cave men (and women) who invented fire became the Tribe's Fire Maker and kept the secret so closely that they often died without passing it on to an apprentice fire-maker.

And so it goes and so it goes. Keep the sparks flying, Scott! You are following in the footsteps of humanity. It doesn't matter how many times you re-invent the wheel. One small improvement can make you rich (ask Mr. Firestone). Hmmm ... fire stone. What if you put rocks in fire and heated them up to cook on? Or you could put them in a soup and make stone soup.

Brainstorming is one of the great ways to generate ideas that you would never think of normally. It is also the reason why there's plenty of work for copyright trolls, both with corporations and free-lance.
May 23, 2013
As I get close to retirement, the thought of staying home all day under the watchful eye of the wife is, well, a bit terrifying. I imagine the feeling is mutual. After all, the home is her domain.

What I will need is a small, retirement-sized office that I can get away to. It will have to be a stealth man cave, in case she stops by. It will have to look like it had the potential to make money so that she couldn't complain about rent. So I'll have to come up with a plausible name. If I said I was starting a "think tank", she'd see right through me. Not plausible. Some kind of investment counseling would be better.

I could get a nicer place if I went in with other guys. 4 total is probably the right number. If we had 5, then golfing would be awkward.

It would have to be within walking distance of a cafe. A microbrewery would be ideal.

Maybe one guy would be an accountant and we could work out some tax scams.

And maybe a cute intern to run down to Starbucks and stuff.

May 23, 2013
Man cave, artist studio, game room (and I would add wood shop) - all these fall into the broader category of "Things I would do if I had a basement". I wonder if there isn't some kind of AirBnB type business opportunity for people to rent out spaces in unused basements to people who live in apartments or houses on slabs/crawlspaces.
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May 23, 2013
This is almost the same: http://www.garagetown.com/gallery.html
Kind of like a really nice storage unit with amenities.
+10 Rank Up Rank Down
May 23, 2013
They call it the Bunny Ranch.
May 23, 2013
In the Minneapolis / St. Paul area, several old warehouses / manufacturing plants have been minimally remodeled and converted to artist's studios. You can't sleep in them, but each artist gets a room with real walls and a door with a lock. At least some of them rent in the $200 / month range. I see no reason why some guy couldn't call himself an artist and make a man cave instead. At least one of them has a cafe in the basement, thus meeting the coffee-and-conversation requirement. Many of the "artists" are people who retired and found out that staying at home all day with the spouse wasn't as satisfying as they thought.

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