Where to get ideas for startups?
1. Live in the future
Be on the tip of MacBook Eyra. Use what yesterday did not exist. Read about new inventions. Think about the products for the new generation.
The future is for wearable gadgets, cutting-edge machines, DNA tests and materials as thick as an atom. What products and services should arise around such pieces?
Think about change, ending the sentence “If you are in the future …”: for example, “if you are in the future, all cars are electric” or “if you are 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 energy, construction of bridges. Usually, a company in such areas is created only after many years of experience in strangers. Become such an insider – and open your way to a large market with a high threshold of entry.
Michael Bloomberg worked on IT at the Salomon Brothers investment bank. In 1981, he was fired, receiving compensation of $ 10 million. With this money, he created the 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 fortune 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 at once in two different things. Medicine and sales, IT and government contracts, cooking and retail. At their intersections there are a bunch of unique features.
3. Solve your own problems
Find a problem that bothers you to live. Pay attention when you cannot find a ready-made solution for something. And problems arise when something changes in your life. Become a parent – so many new features you will see, will not find it.
In the B2B sector the same. You have one company, and it cannot solve any problem of its own. A second company is created to solve such problems, and then this second suddenly becomes larger than the first.
Patrick Collison founded the Stripe payment system, tortured to connect other inconvenient payment systems to his previous projects. Flickr appeared when developing an online game required a convenient way to store custom images, and the game itself was safely closed.
4. Look for pain points
See where people lose time and money, inefficiently work, suffer, lose everything and generally look like in the picture of Munch. And then go 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 what makes people hate. Search for rental housing, parking, obtaining visas, moving, visits to doctors. Find a way to solve these problems better.
Use modern technology to rethink how to do everything. How should workers fulfill their duties in the era of smartphones? How should hospitals work in the digital age?
Monopolistic leaders have almost no incentive to develop. To challenge this is very difficult, but sometimes it works. Virgin Atlantic began as an attempt to provide better service than British Airways.
6. Tie cheap resources to wealthy buyers.
Buy cheaper, sell more expensive. This simple formula works for centuries, and now it becomes even easier to connect the product and the buyer from different parts of the world. In China, a bunch of cheap production capacity. In developing countries, cheap labor. Somewhere there are abandoned clockwork, which can be removed for a penny. And somewhere in the other hemisphere people have a lot of money and unsatisfied requests. For example, freelance labor 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, higher quality?
In a small business fashionable themes constantly appear. Today coworkings and bubble tea are popular, tomorrow everyone is talking about private kindergartens, and the day after tomorrow comes the wave of SMM agencies. These waves move around the world with a significant delay, and you can keep up with the new inspiration. It is safer than something unknown, and more fun than buying a franchise.
In the US, every college has its own merchandise – sweatshirts, t-shirts and caps. In Russia, this was not accepted. One student decided to change this, founded UniFashion, and now students in his products can be found in any hostel.
Understand a successful business from across the globe. Each industry has its own centers of innovation. The ideas of fashion business come from Paris and Guangzhou, soft – from the Valley, financial – from New York and London.