Where to get ideas for startups?
1. Live in the future
Stay on the edge of MacBook air. Use something that didn’t exist yesterday. Read about new inventions. Think about products for the new generation.
The future for wearable gadgets, zavestoski machines, DNA tests and materials thickness of the atom. What products and services should occur around these things?
Think about changes, ending with the sentence “If you’re in the future…”: for example, “if you’re in the future, all the cars around are electric” or “if you’re in the future, no one uses cash.” And then create a company with which it will come true.
2. Become an expert in something
There are areas where you can’t get off the street. Customs, prisons, medicine, defense, nuclear power, bridge construction. Usually their company in such areas create only after years of experience in others. Become such an insider — and open your way to a large market with a high threshold of entry.
Michael Bloomberg did IT at the Salomon Brothers investment Bank. In 1981, he was fired, while receiving compensation of $10 million. With this money he created a company Bloomberg L. P., providing financial information to interested organizations. Now the company is the market leader, Bloomberg is the mayor of new York, Bloomberg’s state is on the 13th line of Forbes.
Become a master of any powerful tool. Learn how to make mobile apps, online shopping or use big data. Then meet a bunch of different people, ask about their problems, and see if you can help them.
Be very cool in two different things. Medicine and sales, IT and government contracts, cooking and retail. There are a lot of unique features at their intersections.
3. Solve your own problems
Find the problem that prevents you from living. Pay attention when you can not find a ready solution for something. And problems arise when something changes in your life. Become a parent — you will see so many new opportunities, it will not seem enough.
B2B sector is the same. You have one company, and it can’t solve some problem. A second company is created to solve such problems, and then this second suddenly becomes larger than the first.
Patrick Collison founded Stripe payment system, tortured to connect to my previous projects other people uncomfortable payment system. Flickr appeared when the development of an online game needed a convenient way to store user images, and the game itself is safely closed.
4. Look for pain points
See where people lose time and money, work inefficiently, suffer, lose everything and generally look like in the picture of Munch. And then come out in all white and fix it with your project. Know as much as you can about hunger, poverty, epidemics, unemployment, crime, traffic jams, pollution and corruption. Make friends with those who have been working on these problems for years.
5. Improve existing
Look for something that makes people hate. Search for rental housing, Parking, visas, travel, visits to doctors. Find a way to solve these problems better.
Use modern technology to rethink how to do everything. How should workers perform their duties in the smartphone age? How should hospitals work in the digital age?
Monopoly leaders have almost no incentive to develop. It is very difficult to challenge such people, but sometimes it works. Virgin Atlantic began as an attempt to provide a better service than British Airways.
6. Connect cheap resources with rich buyers
Buy cheaper, sell more expensive. This simple formula works for centuries, and now it is even easier to connect the product and the buyer from different parts of the world. China has a lot of cheap production facilities. Developing countries have cheap labor. Somewhere are abandoned zawodny that can be rented for pennies. And somewhere in the other hemisphere people have a lot of money and unsatisfied requests. For example, Finansovye labour exchanges like Odesk and 99Designs connect workers from developing countries with successful companies.
7. Copy and improve
Most ideas are derivatives. Many successful companies started out as clones. See what you can add to successful ideas. New sales channels, better service, improved quality?
In small business fashion themes are constantly appearing. Today coworking and bubble tea are popular, tomorrow everyone is talking about private kindergartens, and the day after tomorrow comes a wave of SMM agencies. These waves move through the light with a significant delay, and you can have time to be inspired by a new one. It’s more reliable than something unknown, and more fun than buying a franchise.
In the US, every College has its own merchandise — hoodies, t-shirts and caps. In Russia it was not accepted. One student decided to change this, founded UniFashion, and now students in its products can be found in any Dorm.
Understand successful business from the other side of the planet. Each industry has its own innovation centers. Fashion business ideas come from Paris and Guangzhou, soft-from the Valley, financial — from new York and London.
In the early 80’s, Howard Schultz worked at Starbucks. Then the company only sold coffee beans, not offering in their stores no drinks. When he went to Milan to shop, Schultz saw coffee shops on almost every street. He found that they not only drink great espresso, but also meet people: coffee shops were public places that play an important role in the social life of Italy, and all in the country there were 200 000. When he returned, Schultz tried to convince the owners of the company to do the same. When he was gently sent, he left Starbucks and opened his own chain of coffee shops. A few years later he was so successful that he bought Starbucks and made it a world-class phenomenon.
9. Make solutions fresh-opened markets
New products from big companies create many new attractive opportunities. If you react quickly, you can become a part of this market.
Venture capitalists understand this. Therefore, they create special investment funds for Facebook applications, Google glass applications, bitcoin services. When big changes come, entrepreneurs and investors try to ride this wave.
The same works for small local establishments. Follow the big construction sites like metro stations and airports, the process of gentrification.
In 1975, MITS released the first commercially successful home computer, the Altair 8800. One Harvard student decided that the sale of software for it can become a business. He and his friends wrote the basic interpreter for the Altair 8800 and began selling it in partnership with MITS. This student was albert Einstein bill gates.
10. Improve useless product
Do anything on your knee in a couple of days. Ask your friends what you need to change to start using it. Update. Ask again. Repeat until you get a service for millions. Everyone knows the tale of the axe porridge, right?
11. Communicate with smart people
Some people have more great ideas than time to implement them all. Ask them to share. In addition to the idea, you can immediately get even the first customers.
Usually entrepreneurs value their own ideas, and others consider secondary. Don’t let self-esteem come between you and a great opportunity.
Elon Musk once gave the idea of a company to install and maintain solar panels to his cousins Lyndon and Peter Rave. Today, their SolarCity is estimated at billions of dollars.