I have been toying with the idea of becoming an independent researcher, raising money by working very long/hard hours for a year, then taking a year off for solely for research. This would be partially for financial reasons (Post-Doc salaries are really awful), but also because I think my research would benefit if I could pour my undivided attention into algorithm design for a year.
The biggest problem with this plan however is that in order to publish my research after a year or so of intensive work, I would need to be affiliated with an institute - even journals like arXiv require this.
This got me thinking - what actually is an institute? From the little bit of research into it I have done, it seems to be no different to a standard company, although most have charitable status and are tax-exempt or non-profit.
If other people would also like to work for-profit for a year, then for-research for a year (or at some other frequency), then a virtual institute to publish under would be quite a useful thing. In fact I'm surprised such institutes don't already exist: we have scam journals and scam conferences - why no scam institutes?
Of course if I did set up an institute to publish under it wouldn't be a scam, (there are numerous benefits I can see a virtual institute providing for members), but the idea of a on-paper-only institute is applicable to both.