Getting the right startup idea that would be worth pursuing is, obviously, one of the most important steps in starting your business. I’m not a very creative person and coming up with ideas wasn’t always easy for me. And I was definitely not alone who was struggling with finding the right idea. If you are like me, I have a solution for you. Here are the 5 different ways that work for me when a need to come up with new ideas.
I’ve met two kinds of startup founders. The first type are the ones with a very vivid imagination, visionaries who are sometimes too impractical and therefore need to have someone who are very practical and business oriented by their side.
The latter guys are not very creative though and as I mentioned, I’d consider myself not creative as well. They enjoy implementing and executing already existing ideas into life rather than generating new ones.
Both types can experience difficulties with finding the right idea. Being too creative is also not very good sometimes, as you could come up with an extremely crazy solution for crazy guys like you who are so exceptional that the market they form will be tiny. Or you would even not be able to stick with one idea and keep changing it to make make it perfect.
Here are the 5 ways that help me find the right startup idea when I need it.
1. Think about your own problems
What are you struggling with every day? Which of these problems lies in your competency area? Where is it that you can influence the way things are?
Like the founders of Airbnb who wanted to make extra money in expensive San Francisco. There was a design conference coming on, so they bought three air mattresses to their loft and wanted to rent them to the conference participants. To find those people, they created a simple website – airbedandbreakfast.com. The first three guests, a woman and two men, paid $80 each. The business is now worth over $30B and is disrupting the whole hotel industry.
You might think, the problem I have is not that significant to start solving it. What if I am the only one who is having it? In our 7-billion-people world, I bet you are not the only one who is having it. Throw away your fears and go validate your assumptions. Even when it’s a simple tool that will help you do your work better. It will very likely help the other people doing similar work better as well. There is not much to lose, but a lot to gain. Not only financially, but also to learn new things and get experience, what is crucial for running a successful business and startup.
2. Look at your nearest ones
Start with your parents, siblings, friends. What problem they are struggling with? Similar to solving a problem for yourself, is there anything you would really love to fix for them and make them happier?
3. Ask random people
I’d do that for example in clubs or at meetups. Go to the targeted events where there are higher chances to spot out startupers, entrepreneurs or professionals from the industry that you are interested in. There are people who can’t really find the team to execute their idea and these are the places where you can meet the guy/lady with an idea and join their team.
4. Participate in hackathons
Whether it’s StartupWeekend or some other hackathon, it can be great for a start, too. You’ll have a chance to join the team with an idea you’ll like after a short presentation and meet interesting people who may become your business partners in the future. Many hackathons are organized by larger corporations that share the topics that they are looking the solutions for.
5. Use Google
If neither of the above works, you can still search for the existing ideas. The idea is usually worth 1%. It’s the execution that is responsible for the 99% of the company success. Therefore, there are websites where people directly share their ideas without any obligations or awaiting anything in return.
What has worked the best for me in terms of finding a startup idea was communication, no matter offline or online. I believe that if you want to be an entrepreneur, you have to go ahead and find places, events and meetups where people meet. Either entrepreneurs or the people from the industry that you are interested in. Doing this makes me feel I get much more control over what’s going to happen, even though things may look like a coincidence.
I’d love to hear more about what your biggest challenges are when you are looking for the right idea for your startup. Share it in the comments.
(image – Pixabay)