One of the more common refrains I hear is “I want to be an entrepreneur but I don’t have a good idea.” Yes, it’s true that an idea is important, but it’s also true that it isn’t as hard as it seems to start systematically evaluating ideas. Ideas come in all shapes and sizes and most entrepreneurs pivot at least once before hitting on something that works.
Here are a few thoughts on finding a startup idea:
- Look at operational challenges or technical inefficiencies at work and ask if a new product or solution could help
- Ask friends and coworkers what problems they run into on a regular basis
- Read Sand Hill’s list of recent venture fundings
- Write down a list of the top five trends in your industry and how they’ll play out over the next 5-10 years
- Research the top five trends in technology and evaluate how they’ll affect your industry (top 10 tech trends for 2014)
Now, start collecting ideas your ideas in a Google Spreadsheet and refer back to it on a regular basis. Finding an idea can take time but with effort something strong will emerge. Of course, once an idea is in place, the hard part is customer development and proving there’s a real need in the market.
What else? What are some other ways to come up with startup ideas?