MBA ASAP – Sources of Startup Ideas

Business success demands business knowledge. Six years and $60,000 worth of business education is not required but it is wise to have such a trained expert on your speed dial. MBA ASAP is a series of blog posts by such an expert to share the fundamentals of building your own brand of success. This post is all about sources of startup ideas.  You say you want to be your own boss. You love the thought of taking the risk, reaping the reward, contributing to society, solving old problems in new ways. If only you had a good concept or a source of startup ideas. The good news is that the resources for startup ideas are endless. Remember that many successful brands were not entirely new inventions from some random genius. Most winning business concepts are spin offs of other success stories. Consider these sources of startup ideas:
  • New Technology
  • New Benefit
  • Personal Experience
  • Hobbies or Passions
  • Accidental Discovery
The list of successful startups that started from accidental discovery is endless. A popular example is the little blue miracle pill known as Viagra. Researchers did not start out seeking a solution for we…you know. The effective ingredient in Viagra was used to treat other health issues including circulation problems in the body. When given to heart patients, the pill had this interesting side effect that we now all know too well, thanks to brilliant marketing. It is common for budding entrepreneurs to leave their day jobs to chase their passions or hobbies. Bicycle shops, R/C toy stores, dress boutiques, quilting stores are all examples of sources of startup ideas stemming from people’s passion for their hobby. Be wary of turning your hobby into your career. Many small business owners say that the day to day drudgery of running a bike shop destroyed their passion for cycling. You might end up spending far too much time helping others pursue their passion while you work far too hard.
We think that we can do it better, faster, and cheaper than the existing solutions. We are often correct. Small tweaks to old designs may mean big improvements. It is common for consumers to discover that they never needed your solution until they stumble upon it. Never under-estimate the wisdom of the public. You will be amazed at how consumers will use your product in ways you never dreamed. Sources of startup ideas are endless. Avoid paralysis by analysis. Be creative. Where do you find inspiration?
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