Thomas Edison was a 'better idea' man. He saw what others were doing with certain products and he believed there was a better use for the product or a way to improve the product beyond its original purpose.
Online business is filled with individuals who have seen a better way to use an existing product or how to create the next phase of usefulness for a product that may have been around for a long time.
The Internet is not just fertile soil for dreams it is also the perfect place to recast an existing idea into something that has new uses or to reintroduce an old idea to a new audience.
In the 70's Mood Rings were an enormous fad that eventually faded, as did the era of disco. As with all things there is always a concerted effort to recycle. Both would come back into vogue in certain arenas. In fact if you want to you can find Mood Rings available for sale online as entrepreneurs take a piece of nostalgia and recast is as a memory item for those who survived the original fad and want to share it with children or grandchildren.
Internet radio stations with a dedication to a certain era are fueling the tie to nostalgic purchases. Candy from an earlier time is available in online retro-candy shops. Everything old is new again.
I'm certain Thomas Edison would have approved of a new use (Internet) for an old product (Mood Rings, etc.). It may not be as earth shattering as the light bulb, but it is a progress that provides a connection between what once was and what is now.
If you've been contemplating a business based on updating an old idea move forward with it. Check to make sure you are not violating any existing patents then bring something new to the market.
For some this means jeans being remade and bejeweled for use as a purse, for others it might mean a duct tape wallet or even mulch made from recycled rubber tires.
Ideas are meant to be explored - it is the stuff of dreams. Pursue your idea and spend some time in research and development to discover if there is a market for your idea.
You may not need to reinvent the wheel; maybe it's a matter of finding a new use for the wheel and helping others implement the idea in a new way.
When you get right down to it the Internet is often a marketplace of thoughts that can be bolstered as those most interested in the idea invest trust in what you have to offer.
Old, new, nostalgic - it all comes down to the individual and the interests they express. Because there are so many people who use the Internet it is more likely that your idea will find a receptive audience there than it might in a more sparsely populated area.
If you have a dream, if you have an idea - pursue the potential of marketing that idea as an online business. Dreams hold little value until they are released. Good ideas remain useless if they are not developed. Startle the world with your next big idea.