How do you come up with ideas?
By - Firedup_Ambition
Here are the 3 things that I do for idea generation & validation.
**Look for problems that people will pay you to solve**
You want to make sure that the idea you pursue will make for a successful business. The best place to start is with the problem you'll be solving for customers.
The good thing is that people like talking about their problems and pain points online. Go to where your target customers hang out online (Reddit is great for this), and search those forums for pain point terms like "i wish", "i hate it when", "does anyone else".
Hint: the more emotional the pain point is expressed, the more likely you'll be able to get someone to pay you to solve this problem for them.
**Get in the habit of coming up with a lot of ideas, and start scoring them.**
Come up with good startup ideas like Ed Sheeran comes up with good songs - [start with sludge and clean out your pipes](https://harrisoncomedy-blog.tumblr.com/post/37623593253/ed-sheeran-clearing-out-your-pipes).
Get in the habit of writing down your ideas, and do it several times a day. It doesn't matter if they are bad, eventually you'll get good at spotting good opportunities.
I've got a rubric that every idea goes in, it's a simple spreadsheet with a row for each idea, and a column for the following criteria that I score on a binary 0/1 basis:
monetization MVP-able personal fit existing skills interesting tech opportunity cost stickyness uniqueness feasability
It doesn't need to be anything complicated, but just get in the habit of writing down your ideas and having a system to evaluate them.
They will get better over time and you'll know when something is worth pursuing.
**When you have a good idea, write it out**
[Here's the template](https://www.notion.so/_Template-0a88405b7d1545cd81c0703a09c8649d) I use for writing down the problem/solution for an idea that's passed the rubric, and an [example of it filled out](https://www.notion.so/Zoom-TidBits-a813918c9309409fa80fee3713a4b90a).
An idea for a product is nothing without an idea of the market and your potential distribution channels.
Make sure you consider how you'll find customers before you go and build the product.
Now that you have an idea of where your customers hang out, GO TALK TO THEM. Validation interviews are one of the most crucial stages in a startup's lifecycle. Don't assume you know better and that it'll "just work" - you need to have proof before you dedicate years of your life to something.
Hope that's useful. It's a process that's worked for me, although I'm sure it's not the only one.
Coming up with ideas isn't the hard part, picking the ones worth spending time on is. While it's not perfect, reading The Lean Startup is a decent place to start as it gives you a framework to assess the value of your business ideas so you're not wasting as much time and money on the ones that aren't likely to pan out...
Look at everything as it could be a potential business. Are there parts missing that could use a solution? How could I fix this and earn a profit from it?
Amy particular Ralphs?
Did what someone else was doing and took market share. Became better than others over time.
Ngl I have the same question myself
I started my company by taking an emerging hot topic tech and saying “ok how could I apply it to the industry I’m familiar with?”
This is not the best approach because it’s too high level. “The industry” has systemic problems that are complex, and “the industry” has no budget to fix them.
The approach I take now is to start with a narrower market segment within the industry, identify the smallest problem possible I can address that they have, then solve that with a bias toward solving it with the tech we have built already.
Honestly, ideas are a dime a dozen.. I have a sheet with 100's of ideas that would be successful if I had the time to dump into them. Time is the bottleneck for success.
At this point new ideas are just distractions my mind comes up with not to do real work like coming on to reddit..
Can you send me that worksheet if it’s not a problem with you? 😁
A lot of them are related to current solutions my company has already created or is working on. but if you tell me what industry you would like to go into I will give you a new idea to launch from.
I see this post just after I finished this article in Ycombinator.
[How to Get Startup Ideas](http://www.paulgraham.com/startupideas.html)
Not coming up with ideas is a much larger problem - Everything can get better, choosing which specific thing to make better and understanding the market you are about to enter and the associated costs before you can take profits is much harder for me.
I fell for the building too many bridges to success HARD when I started out a few years ago and it's taken real time and dedication to narrow focus on just one idea.
My process for narrowing down the list of potential ideas to just the one I am currently working on involved a good deal of spitballing numbers in excel until I landed on one that had enough cushion for my margin estimates to be wrong and still profitable!
If you're interested in Ecommerce, here is the process I used to grow multiple 7-figure brands: https://ecommercesellerpro.com/product-research/