Up until now I have thought about ideas in the following ways:
-what pain points do I experience? What are the potential solutions?
-what software is horrible to use? How can I improve it?
-what is an old industry that needs disrupting or a market that most people aren't thinking about?
-what would be a 'cool' idea or product? Something I would love to use?
-what am I most passionate about in life?
...the list goes on and on.
Bottom line, I keep searching and searching, but I can't find the right idea that I would feel excited about working on for the next 5 years. A lot of people say "it's not the idea, it's the execution". I agree 100%, however I'm afraid if I pick the wrong idea my efforts will yield a much smaller result. Whereas, if I focused on a good idea the whole process of driving success would be easier. Sometimes I wish God would just slap me in the face with a good idea to work on. I know once I get started on an idea that I am passionate about I'll make sure wholeheartedly that the business is successful. However, getting off the ground just seems like an eternity. Any suggestions on how I should be thinking about the idea generation process? Or better yet, do you have any ideas that you would like to work on, but don't have time and you think I should work on? Your help / advice is greatly appreciated.
I wrote an answer to a similar question today which you can find here: https://clarity.fm/a/2877
The one flaw to your current process is this premise: "Whereas, if I focused on a good idea the whole process of driving success would be easier." This - from my experience - is simply not the case. I'm working on what I believe to be the best idea I've ever had and it has been absolutely the most challenging time I've ever had in a career full of product challenges. So a "good idea" does not make the process any easier.
As I privately advised the person who asked the other similar question: I'd encourage you to define all your own pain points in your life and filter by most pain and also least addressed by existing solutions. Building what you know and what you're excited about building is the best that any of us can hope for. There's no path to greatness that isn't full of challenges ahead.
Happy to do a call to discuss further.
You are not ready to start yet. Execution is scary. Sometimes people stall and make excuses like-not right idea or partners or no money etc. truth is when the passion strikes nothing will stop you. You need that drive to succeed. Be honest with yourself. Also be open and patient and when the time is right you will do it. You seem very passionate and motivated so I think you will know when you know. Until then enjoy whatever job until you are ready for the leap. Start with a small problem you personally want to solve for yourself. See if that solution has a market while you work on the cheapest and leanest prototype. Good Luck.
Having been in a similar situation about 6 months ago I am sorry to tell you that; the magical idea will never show up one day.
Have you ever worked in the enterprise? If so, what would YOU love to see changed?
If you come up with any idea you can run it against this checklist:
1) Does it replace something that people use today? If Yes, you need to look at every integration point of this service and provide a seamless transition (Not easy)
2) Try to cater to fixing a single problem that is cross-cutting across departments (if only sales or HR can use it, you are in the vertical domain knowledge business. That is hard to establish yourself in. Instead stick with a wide problem -- Look at WuFoo for example)
3) Make sure whatever you provide has immediate, measurable value proposition. E.g; Create forms without relying on your IT team, track time 4x faster than using Excel etc.
If you want to bounce your ideas off of me, I would be happy to help.
My name is Mijael Feldman, im Co founder of BOMBAcamp, a lean startup accelerator for early stage startups.
First of all, to get the right idea you should experiment a lot with your ideas until you get a signal from the market (yes the market and not god).
Think about what problem for what little customer segment (segment by behaviour and common pain) and start talking with them to see if your assumption about what is their real problem. Do it fast! If you ser that there is no problem worth to be solved, see why and change problem to be solved or customer segment.
You are going to waste your time if you choose an idea and start building based on assumptions. If you start talking with your potential customers there is less probabilities you are going to waste your time.
If you want to talk deeper about how and where to start, lets get a call!
Start with asking yourself why you want to get into business. Are you wanting to create a job? Meaning, are you wanting to be self-employed working more than full time to take home a paycheck of less than what you might be used to earning? That would be the typical plight of what Michael Gerber coined the Technician entrepreneur.
Or, are you looking to build a self-sustaining, lifestyle empowering enterprise that builds equity and can survive beyon your presence? I gather this might be the case for you.
Next, determine in which areas you have expertise. This might be the most natural path to building an empire. Passion has more to do with the technician developing a business where they will be the owner operator.
I once purchased a struggling hair and nail salon with 5 chairs, 3 nail stations, a massage room and tanning bed. I was not the least bit passionate about it. In this I was also not an expert and had no experience in the industry. One year later I more than doubled my investment when I sold it. Which leads to the next question, do you want to start from ground up? Maybe you should consider buying a business or a franchise?
These are foundational questions that should be asked even before your insightful questions above. When you answer the why and the what of getting into business, sometimes the path becomes more clear.
Finally, your offer to invest the time in someone else's dream? As I always say to my surrounding team, we're never at a shortage for great ideas. If you would like to brainstorm ideas, give me a call - the first one is free with the link below.
P.s. If in fact all roads still lead you to the enterprise software space, I have developed and sold one saas business. I've developed two others and still hold shares in one of them.
I have a painful problem that is possibly the most widespread problem that many of us face on a daily basis and is ripe for a killer solution. I have an idea that I would like to be put through the lean methodology. Im looking for a cofounder to do this and I could provide some seed funding. Send me some background on yourself if your interested to know more. That goes for any budding developer who is looking to startup. PS I am busy on another successful startup so my time input would limited.
I have the opposite problem -- a thousand and one ideas I'd love to get my hands on ... but only 2 hands. However, what I'm personally passionate about and/or qualified to work on won't necessarily be what you'd succeed at and enjoy.
What shortcuts have you already invented for yourself? I mean things that you already do instinctively to shorten a process but which nobody else knows about.
What communities, business fields, or hobby groups are you already a part of? Are they unified by destination sites, dominant brands, common subscriptions, and tools that they all use? Or are they scattered? Do they go to a particular source of information already, or do they ask to each other for recommendations? If the latter, then there may be an opportunity to unify information and services under a single umbrella.
Perhaps this sounds more like social media than software dev. But before building new enterprise software, the user base should be clearly identifiable -- even familiar.
2 cents for what that's worth. Good luck!
Create a AutoCAD plugin that will allow users to verbally control the software and have it draw what they are saying. Make it work cross platform for SolidWorks, ProE and more major brands. The rest is up to you.
Your question is quite common and this is something first-time entrepreneurs often struggle with. I would suggest you divide your question into two parts:
- First focus on something you are passionate enough about so that you can really commit and dedicate enough time on the idea. I find that execution is often related to well the idea you are working on is aligned with your passions
- Secondly, try to be systematic about the ideation process. You have already listed a few things in your question, but you need to enrich it with more insights, not only on the pain points but also on trends and evolving consumer behaviors. There are then various tools you can use to take you through ideation.
To sum up, set a strategic focus, and align it with your passions, get as much insights you can on the focus area, generate ideas, refine and develop paper concepts. Go into validation and iterate from there. I hope this helps.