Saturday, February 3, 2007

Do you have a good idea?

How do you know when you have a good idea? There are two methods (that I personally know of) that might turn on the light-bulb above an entrepreneur's head.
  1. You think of a solution to a problem that (potentially) plagues many people. You may not necessarily be one of those affected people, but you believe strongly that people will find your service or product useful.
  2. You run across a problem and think to yourself "there has to be a better way". You create a service or product to fulfill your desire... In the process, you realize that your product or service will benefit many other people who share a similar problem.
If you take a look at the majority of the 800 pound gorillas in the tech industry, the founders started with one thing in mind - fix a problem that they have run across. Rarely does a huge success come from someone trying to monetize a market that they know nothing about. Only those who experience a problem can create a successful solution.

So, if you run across a problem, identify it as potentially common, and figure out a solution, you could very well have the next million dollar idea. If you're simply seeking a market to monetize, and create a solution to a problem that you have never experienced, you're probably setting yourself up for a failure. Make solutions for the problems which you know... When you're doing math, always find and read the problem before writing the solution.

Here are some examples;

Problem 1: I keep losing my bookmarks when I upgrade my PC, and my bookmarks are only available on my PC.

Solution 1: Delicious

Problem 2: It's hard to find stuff on the web, so I'm going to organize all of my findings.

Solution 2: Yahoo!

Problem 3: Current search engines are corrupt and I can't find 90% of the information I'm seeking (plus I'm need a thesis)

Solution 3: Google


Anonymous said...

Great post. Also, since you are the end user of your product, you know how to make it better.

Robert said...

Yep, you got my point :)

We're working on a service that I'm excited about -- not because of the market potential, but because I would like to use it.