How many of you have not started up because you just don’t have an idea?
I was always of the belief that good ideas always come to people, like ‘Eureka moments’ or in the form of an inspiration. While I still experience those moments of sudden revelation, that’s not how an aspiring entrepreneur should be. One of the most important lessons I learned during my MBA is that “Ideas should be sought actively”.
This post might be of most use to people who say that they don’t have a good idea or to those who think they cannot think about killer ideas and therefore choose to do stuff that everyone else does. If one looks around and genuinely fishes for ideas, not having an idea just cannot be a possibility.
Before we go on any further, one thought that you should keep aside while thinking about an idea is its ‘Financial feasibility’. Thinking about financial feasibility stops your creative thinking. Once you have an idea, finances can be thought about later.
So, here are a few things that could help you come up with ideas. If you really use one of these methods, you will be surprised at the ideas that you could come up with.
- OBSERVE (TWEET): Be mindful of your surroundings. Don’t just live in the head but observe people, their behavior patterns and situations. There was an interesting case of a startup I read recently who came up with the idea of ladies’ soft shoes vending machine. He came up with the idea when he frequently observed his girl friend complaining of sore feet after a long night at the disco; her stilettos caused the sore feet. Similarly, he observed other girls always complaining at the disco exit that their feet hurt. So, the guy came up with the concept of vending machines at discos that would provide soft shoes at the price of a single drink.
- PAIN POINTS (TWEET): What are your frustrations and pain points in life? What are the things you hate around you and silently wish that they could be better? Think about your irritations and convert them into an idea. In most cases, unless you wished that roses smelt like chocolates, a lot of other people would share your pain point too and that means there’s a market. Jessica Kim from Babbaco.com says that she started building activity kits for kids when she herself looked to spending quality time with her kids.
- OPPORTUNITY (TWEET): Whatever industry or job function you may be working in, there will be opportunities to change processes, create better and value added services. ElevateDirect, a startup in London where I had worked for a few months, is a great example of an opportunistic idea. Contracting especially in the IT workforce is hugely prevalent in the UK. Traditionally, there are middlemen who sit in between contractors and employers and charge pretty hefty commissions on contracted employees from the employer. ElevateDirect founders worked in the contracting recruitment industry and spotted an opportunity to create a direct platform that cut out middlemen.
So, if you are really interested in starting up and don’t have an idea; stop waiting for the ‘Eureka moment’ but observe and identify pain points or opportunities in your immediate surroundings, through research, industry trends and news. Hunt like a hunter and you are sure to find your idea. (TWEET)
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
NIDHI KAPOOR – Co- founder of FounderMates
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