Finding startup ideas is a subtle business

Read PG's “how to get startup idea” made me think deep about startup ideas or even side projects that anyone might start.

Finding startup ideas is a subtle business, and that's why most people who try fail so miserably. It doesn't work well simply to try to think of startup ideas. If you do that, you get bad ones that sound dangerously plausible. The best approach is more indirect: if you have the right sort of background, good startup ideas will seem obvious to you. But even then, not immediately. It takes time to come across situations where you notice something missing. And often these gaps won't seem to be ideas for companies, just things that would be interesting to build. Which is why it's good to have the time and the inclination to build things just because they're interesting. Via link

My Learning

  1. Build something that solves a problem, this seems obvious at first but many times hard to execute. When you shared an idea with your friends, they will often say it's a great idea but what they did not tell you is that it might not be something that they would actually use.

  2. Start looking for the idea in your area of expertise and something you need. Love cycling, start looking within the domain. This is because you will know more of this market more than any other things.

  3. Do not worry about crowded market. It only means the current solution is not good enough. You still stand a chance.

  4. Be a big fish in a small pond.

  5. Building something that would become a utility. This comes straight from Jeff Paine, it just so happened that when I read this article I'm reminded of this. Something like DuckDuckGo is amazing, they are in the search market. A market dominated by Google, but because Internet traffic is so big even if they manage to get 1% of the market share (which they did), it means a lot. And they offer privacy as their competitive advantage and it also become a utility for people who are concern with their privacy.