To become an entrepreneur means to embark on a long and difficult journey. And it begins with one (very first) step.
Being an entrepreneur means setting a new vector of movement, challenging all that is obsolete and “turning the river back.”
And the most difficult thing for us is the birth of an idea that is capable of changing the rules of the game. But it is precisely at this initial stage that most of us get stuck.
“How to come up with the very idea to start a business?”
The question is simple and at the same time complicated. After all, the idea of the idea is discord. Each of them is unique in its own way, the essence of each is different from the others and good in its own way. And for each idea – its own time.
We bear some of them for years, and some strike us unexpectedly, like thunder from a clear sky.
But how do you get inspired by a really great idea?
I managed to identify 5 ways that contributed to the birth of truly great ideas.
1. Predict the future
An entrepreneur’s job, by definition, is to create change, be it local or international. An entrepreneur is always trying to change the world in any way possible.
Your task as an entrepreneur is to create a future for the world that so far only you see.
“An entrepreneur is always looking for change, responding to it, and using it as an opportunity.” – Peter Drucker.
The disruptive technology that underpins a startup has become a very popular concept these days.
In fact, it means always being one step ahead, creating a market in which you have no competitors and changing the usual state of things.
But how to look into the future, bypassing dubious visits to fortune-tellers with crystal balls?
I hasten to upset you – you cannot know the future. But what you can really do is learn how to apply strategic forecasting.
Forecasting is a systematic process, which consists in collecting information about the future, forming a short-term and long-term vision, which is aimed at solving pressing issues. This process is designed to mobilize all the opportunities on the market.
Forecasting arises as a result of the merging of trends that underlie recent developments in the areas of political analysis, strategic planning and future research.
This concept brings together various sources of knowledge that help to gain strategic vision and the ability to think ahead of schedule.
In other words, strategic forecasting is, in fact, the ability to make reasonable and logical assumptions. And at the same time, it is much more than trying to foresee the next market trend.
Strategic forecasting is a look at past trends that may be relevant in the future. To fully master strategic forecasting, use all the information that is relevant to date. Also use strategies that will help you shape a clear vision of the future.
It is likely that after reading all this, you had one thought: “It’s easy to say …”
Therefore, I will try to summarize: strategic forecasting does not predict the future, it either plans a likely result, or tries to influence it in order to achieve the desired result.
Watching a huge number of startups and high competition for investor money, the creators of Kickstarter predicted the future and decided to make a contribution to it. They realized that very soon there would be too many new companies on the market that needed start-up capital but did not have access to investors.
So they created a platform where new projects are funded by first buyers. Today it is the largest and most popular crowdfunding platform in the world.
YouTube, in turn, has relied on video as a convenient format for presenting and consuming content. During the launch of YouTube, they did not yet know that in the future everyone will have a device with a large screen and fast Internet in their pocket. But they made a smart bet and won.
2. Solve your own problem.
One of the best ways to come up with a great idea for a startup is to try to solve a personal problem. That’s it – not just a problem, but a personal problem. It must be something that you have to deal with constantly. And you would really like to finally solve this issue and, therefore, make your life easier.
And if you are truly a true entrepreneur, you do not complain about the problem “nowhere”, but simply take and solve it.
It would seem that this concept as an idea for a startup is a great option. And then a surprise awaits you – you can’t imagine how many people solve non-existent problems.
I will give as a good example a social network for pet owners. In theory, the idea is a good one, because millions of people get pets every year, therefore, it seems that the market is an unplowed field.
But in fact, the idea does not solve any specific problem. Of course, some pet owners can use a similar resource. But, in fact, there is no motivational component in this idea that arouses people’s need.
They can just as well use regular social networks – for people – and not experience any discomfort.
The danger of such an idea is that when you present it as your friends (they are animal lovers), they will not tell you the truth. You will not hear the honest: “Yes, I would never use such a resource.” On the contrary, they’ll tell you: “Yes, it’s cool, I probably would try it too.”
And even at the startup startup stage, this idea will still sound believable to many people. They may not want to use this social network in person, but they easily assume that others may very much be delighted with your product.
Now summarize this reaction to your idea across the entire population of the globe, and you get your honest “0” users.
Inventing a solution to a problem that supposedly (exclusively in your opinion) exists means one thing – you have not done a single good market research.
A solution to the problem, which certainly (and you are sure of it!) Exists, gives you a guarantee that there are other people who are experiencing the same difficulties.
How to be sure that a problem exists? This should be a problem that you personally experience.
I will give a vivid example. Developed by brothers Brett and David Kopf, the Remind mobile app raised as much as $ 60 million in just five rounds of funding. And the idea was as simple as 5 kopecks – to establish comfortable communication in the format of “teacher-student-parent”.
The essence of the application is simple and clear:
- teachers, students and parents install the application;
- teachers send students (and parents) notifications of exams, assignments, rewards, and more.
Firstly, this approach allows parents to always be in the know about the life of the child outside the home. And secondly, the outdated “pass the note to parents” approach is gradually becoming history.
Since the start of the school year, US schools have more than 300,000 downloads per day. And what is most surprising, this idea arose from Brett Kopf’s ordinary remark: “I would like to have an easier way to get reminders about tasks and upcoming exams in advance.”
The man was determined to change the status quo and solve the problem that he personally faced. And the fact that it was precisely his problem helped him find the best solution.
3. Find your passion
Passion is the key to success. But what is passion? This word is so widely used that it has practically lost its original meaning.
“They say that you need to have a great passion for what you do. And this is really true. Because without a strong passion for business, any normal person will quickly abandon him. If you don’t like what you are doing, you will one day give up this business. ”- Steve Jobs
To begin with, what passion is definitely NOT: it is not a dream or a hobby. This is why the phrase “follow your passion” is often misunderstood. Simply, many no longer understand what passion really is.
For example, your culinary hobby does not mean at all that you should certainly become a culinary specialist, and even more so, a restaurateur.
What I can say with absolute certainty about passion is that it is an incredibly strong emotion. She lives within you and leads to some goal. Passion gives rise to confidence, curiosity and can motivate you like nothing else.
Passion lives side by side with obsession because of its all-consuming and purposeful nature. This is the feeling that awakens in you when hope is lost, but the fire is still burning inside, causing you to continue the struggle.
Passion is a desperate need for perfection, it is ambition, almost fanatical devotion. It is an original force that does not allow you to stop, despite the hard struggle. And, most importantly, passion is the desire to make your dreams come true.
If you do not have entrepreneurial passion, you have nothing.
If you do not feel passion and obsession with your business idea, you should not even spend time on its implementation. Otherwise, at the first difficulties or distractions, you will want to quit this business.
The unchanging component of all success stories is a constant passion for change. Just wanting to make money on your hobby will never be enough for great success.
Another striking example to you in the piggy bank. The original GoPro camera idea first came to Nick Woodman in 2002. And by that time, he had already failed twice with his startups. Deciding to take a timeout, he and his girlfriend Jill went on a 5-month trip to Australia and Indonesia.
It was there, while surfing, Woodman decided to create a camera that mounts on his wrist. It would allow you to take high-quality pictures, which was previously considered impossible.
From that moment on, passion seized him. He began selling shell shell belts bought in Bali directly from his 1972 Volkswagen Westfalia minivan along the California coast. So for a long time he earned his starting capital. He then spent eighteen hours in his room designing the first prototypes of the camera. He spent several months working on an idea before showing it to the world.
“I was so scared that I would fail again that I was absolutely doomed to success” – Nick Woodman.