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How to find a business idea

June 23, 2019

I don’t know about you, but I find it really difficult to come up with an idea for a profitable internet business. For this reason I have been searching for recommended strategies for coming up with business ideas and would like to share them with you.
We’ll have a look at the two basic approaches: the notice approach and the observe approach

The Notice Approach

This is one of the most frequent recommendations that you will encounter. Typically it’s phrased along the lines of:

Scratch your own itch

Solve your own problems

Sounds familiar? This tells you that you probably already know about something in your life that annoys you or that is cumbersome to you. Now if it bothers you then it’s very likely that there are always people like you around the world that have the same problem. Maybe some of your fellow problemers (totally made that word up) would be willing to pay for a solution to the problem.

Can you think of something you could improve when you are getting up? Getting ready for work?
On your way to work?
At work?

With friends?
Before sleeping?
When trying to sleep?

Now if you’re like me, you might read the question and your mind goes blank. “I’m just not the creative type” you’re thinking to yourself.
Recently I’ve read something interesting that really helped me:
Nobody is not creative. We’re all born with one or another form of creativity. Remember when you were a child? Remember how you used to play games? Came up with the weirdest ideas? Dreams? Hopes? Excitement?
That’s the creativity you are born with, you just forgot how to use it. Start believing in yourself again, start training your creativity muscles!


Do New Things Variation

When you’re trying new things you’re not only getting exposed to more potential problems, but there’s something really important at play here. During the time when you’re just starting out with something everything is still new to you. You don’t know yet about the standards. You’re not yet used to the way it simply is. This makes it far more easy to come up with ways to improve something or to recognize if something is missing.

Start and Iterate Variation

This variation kind of overlaps with the previous variation.
Here you just start doing something. Solve a problem that seems simple, which you would simply discard if solving this exact problem and the potential you saw now was everything you could ever do. Pick something super straightforward, start a blog, do affiliate marketing, whatever! Once you get started you’ll definitely uncover obstacles along the way. Solving these obstacles could become your main business!

The Oberserve Approach

This is another approach that might seem easier to some of us. It’s all about observing and doing very specific research.

Step 1: Pick group that hangs out in internet a lot. Good examples for this are niche subreddits or facebook groups about a specific topic.
Step 2: Observe them online.
Step 3: Uncover their problems.
Step 4: Solve their problems.

This approach has the advantage that you can be sure that there is an audience for whatever problem you’re trying to solve, because you started out by validating your idea. It’s really helpful if the problem is something you also care about. However it’s not mandatory that you’re also experiencing this problem. It could simply be that for whatever reason you could imagine that solving the problem for this audience could give you joy.

More to come

In a future post we’ll have a look at some specific exercises for coming up with business ideas. Stay tuned ;)

A blog by Manuel Kruisz a Freelance Software Developer based in Vienna

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