How to decide on a startup idea?

Many people want to be entrepreneurs but not everybody has a plan. This article explores ways to decide on a startup idea.

The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. For an entrepreneur, that first step is coming up with that game-changing idea. In today’s era, many people want to be entrepreneurs but not everybody has a plan. They know they want to start a business, but they don’t know the first steps to take. So, in this article, we explore ways to get an idea for a startup and act upon them. But before we get started, let’s first understand what a startup is.

Understanding Startups

“Ideas are easy. Implementation is hard.”- Guy Kawasaki, AllTop Co-founder

The term startup refers to a company in the first stages of operations. Startups are founded by one or more entrepreneurs who want to develop a product or service for which they believe there is demand.

Rooted in innovation, a startup aims to remedy deficiencies of existing products or create entirely new categories of goods and services, disrupting entrenched ways of thinking and doing business for entire industries.

What is a business idea?

A business idea is a concept you may come up with to provide offerings, like products or services, to a customer or client base. The objective of most business ideas is to form a company that makes a profit, connects with a target audience, and can provide a unique solution to a customer’s needs. A business idea is the first step toward forming an official business that continues to grow in success.

How To Decide On A Startup Idea?

You might have been told to pursue big ideas, find your passion and iterate rapidly. That’s valuable advice, but there are some other important considerations that you don’t hear very often: tackle a small market that has a real chance of being huge in the future.

Whether big or small, here are ways of generating startup ideas.

  • Notice Ideas Organically: If you’re not starting a company right now, this should be your preferred approach. While it is possible to sit down and explicitly think of startup ideas, the best way to have startup ideas is to notice them organically. There are great startup ideas all around you, and when you have a prepared mind, you see them everywhere. To have startup ideas organically, you first have to know what a good startup idea looks like, so you notice them when you encounter them. Then, you just keep an eye out for things that seem missing in the world.
  • Join an Existing Startup: Many of the most successful startups came from ideas that the founders had while working at someone else’s startup. If you’re working at the forefront of some field, really any field, you’ll see good startup ideas before other people. It’s particularly helpful to go work at an existing startup. If you’re planning to start a startup way in the future, this is the desirable way to go about it.
  • Solve a Personal Problem: Think of things you wish existed or someone else would build for you. One of the better ways to come up with great small business startup ideas is to try to solve a personal problem; some sort of pain point that you have to deal with all the time, and just wished that there was something out there that could make your life just that little bit easier. Your job as an entrepreneur isn’t to complain, but to find a solution. Solving a problem that you already know exists, guarantees that there are others out there that are experiencing the same thing and are looking for a solution only you can bring. And just like that you have a guaranteed user base you can start selling to.
  • Revive Broken Industries: Any industry that seems broken is probably ripe for disruption. Pablo Picasso famously said, “Good artists copy, great artists steal.” In this modern age where the majority of entrepreneurs are aiming for disruptive innovation, it’s hard to deny the fact that there have been other incredibly successful entrepreneurs who have made their millions off creating foreign clones of pre-existing ideas. However, simply copying a pre-existing product isn’t going to cut it. You must provide value beyond what already exists. You have to legitimately fix a problem that your predecessor couldn’t solve, and not just be a cheap gimmick that possesses change for the sake of change.
  • Follow Your Passion: Passion is a key ingredient to success. If you don’t have passion as an entrepreneur, you have nothing. The constant element found in the success stories of those who followed their passion wasn’t just a singular desire to make money off their hobby. It was coupled with a passion for change, to create meaning. That said, remember that not everything you’re passionate about doesn’t necessarily make a good place to look for a startup idea or have a clear path to being a big business.

The Next Steps:

Don’t fall into the belief that having a great idea is all you need. If you have a great idea, then you’ve successfully completed the first step of becoming a successful entrepreneur.

Now set some goals, build yourself a clear vision, and let your idea take shape. Work hard to turn your idea into a reality and let it change the world.

If you’re a budding entrepreneur struggling to figure out how to move from the ideation stage to the product development stage, you can join the I2MF program to turn your idea into a sellable product.

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