For those of you who have successful businesses, how did you come up with your business idea?
I'm trying to think of a business idea but none of the ideas I've come up with so far (currently about 30; I keep a list) are anything I'm terribly enthusiastic about. If I'm going to put all my time and energy into something, it can't be something I have tepid feelings about.
If you want to give me some advice, that would be fantastic, but I'm mainly interested in how YOU came up with YOUR business idea.
Solve a problem - Either your own or someone else's.
Our Virtual TimeClock software was created more than a decade ago after a consulting customer asked me to look into the availability of employee time clock software for his computer. Well over a hundred thousand employees in over 50 countries now use Virtual TimeClock every day.
The primary way: Find an itch and scratch it for them.
Said differently, the traditional way I've seen ideas happen is by making yourself exposed to people who have problems. Sales people, in consultative domains, are a good example. By selling one thing, you often hear of other peripheral problems. Many of those are often the start of a niche product. Devs who don't hide in a closet, and actually interact with business users, are another source.
The reason I stated those examples above is because each led to one of my two startup involvements.
The second way: Adapt scratcher to a similar, but new itch.
A third startup I am interested in launching is to adapt one of my above ideas to a different market, with some market-related changes.
In response to the "steal from others" comment, check out this ChangeThis manifesto, called The Fallacy of The Great Idea. It argues that "starting up with a tried and tested concept is very sensible. The real key to success is focus and brilliant execution" rather than a great and completely original idea. I found this manifesto quite empowering. Trish
By starting with an initial idea and evolving it constantly over the years with much hard work listening to the market. This is how most ideas are formed, it isn't the romantic ideal of a light bulb appearing over someone's head in the middle of the night.
I exactly know the position you are in .. because I have been there.
Here are some resources for you to get over this feeling
1) Book - How to get rich
2) Video - http://www.biznus.tv/videos/4019/Dharmesh-Shah In short - instead of spending a long time thinking about the idea, just pick the best idea from the list of 30 or so ideas and start doing something.. you will learn from it and along the way you will see more and better opportunities..From my experience - just make sure that the techonology and domain are something you are really interested in even if it is not the best idea that you have..
In some cases it may be a combination of fear of failure and first time entrepreneur phenomenon ( http://www.gabrielweinberg.com/blog/2010/08/first-timer-entrepreneur-symptoms-and-cures.html )
Plus another link from this community that might help you - 5 tests my next business idea will have to pass - Can you add more ? Good luck..
The best ideas are the ones you steal from others!
I am with Keith. The best idea is the one that solves a problem, not the one you think could work, or it's cool or whatever. Just give customers what they want.
The best business ideas are the ones you create for yourself...based on a solid understanding of who you are, where you have been, what you are trying to achieve and so on.
Any idea can become the 'next big thing', but if you don't have the skills, resources or personal desire for that business idea then it is almost destined to fail.
Choose a business idea that is right for you...then make it the 'next big thing'!
You can start with the niche that is not too small and not too big. Talk to the professionals in this niche, try to understand their problems and find a way to solve one of them.