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10 Sources of Business Idea inspiration

10 Sources of Business Idea inspiration

    1. Idea Machine: Write 10 ideas everyday

    Use idea generation as an exercise to flex the creativity muscle.

    In the book Originals by Adam Grant: "Triple the number of ideas you generate. Just as great baseball players only average a hit for every three at-bats, every innovator swings and misses. The best way to boost your originality is to produce more ideas."

    Source: Choose Yourself & Originals

    2. Audience Driven Ideas

    Define your audience: Your audience is a group you are part of where you have a high degree of insider knowledge: professional/job, industry, hobby groups, interests, etc.

    1. Discover their critical problems: user interviews, infiltrating forums/communities, and groups.
    2. Devise a solution
    3. Idea
    4. Validate and test your idea with your audience
    5. Revise based on feedback
    6. Launch MVP

    Source: Embedded Entrepreneur

    3. Scratch your own itch

    Look at your current job, hobbies and all jobs you had in the past and see if you identify critical problem areas: inefficient processes, makeshift solutions, constant complaints; you hear the statement "I wish someone could make a solution for this."

    • What unique skills did you learn?
    • What seems to be broken?
    • What did you develop in-house (at your work)?

    4. Improve current products

    Look at current products and services on the market and see if you can improve them—research common complaints and issues on Google searches, Youtube reviews, G2, Amazon reviews, etc.

    Are you able to add new features to current products to improve them?

    5. Repurpose ideas from other industries

    Import ideas from markets that have been successful and see if they can be repurposed in another market.

    6. Read Books to identify models and best practices that lead to ideas

    • Digital Transformation Handbook: Platforming
    • Data Science Strategy for Dummies: Create Data Products (repurpose data for monetization): e.g. carriers sell user location data to cafes to identify the best locations for foot traffic
    • Blitzscaling: Network effects, Platforming
    • Innovation Stack: Create an innovation stack

    7. Copy recent successful startups

    Go to an angel list and look at the top new companies and look at what they did. Do you see a cluster of companies that seem to be popping up often? You can be confident that the idea has been pre-validated, vetted and funded.

    8. Look at Industries that are broken

    You can look for idea inspiration in industries that are broken. Such as the healthcare industry. In the United States, there are a lot of inefficiencies and high costs associated with healthcare. There are also a lot of people who are uninsured or underinsured. This creates many opportunities for entrepreneurs to come up with ideas to improve the healthcare system.

    Source: YCombinator - Paul Graham

    9. Regulatory Changes

    New Ideas can arise from regulatory changes

    • Open Banking in the US (and coming soon to Canada) allows new FinTechs to tap into the data held by banks and other financial institutions. This will enable them to provide innovative products and services that were not possible before.
    • GDPR-like regulations are being adopted in the US (California Data Privacy Law) or the upcoming Canadian Consumer Privacy Protection Act (CPPA) soon. Create new compliance, legal services and automated tools for companies to adhere to these policies.

    10. World Changes

    Look for things that have changed in the world recently: a new technology, a new developer platform, a new regulation, a new problem. What are waves that you could ride?

    Source: YCombinator - Paul Graham

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