What are the best ways to think of ideas for a startup?
Let’s begin with this very relevant quote by Steve jobs (of course we all are familiar with this name right?)
“I’m convinced that about half of what separates successful entrepreneurs from the non-successful ones is pure perseverance.”
- Steve Jobs, Co-founder of Apple Inc.
Every dream starts with a baby step, all you have to do is be patient and go along with that dream, don’t leave it halfway.
But many people are struggling to find that one “billion-dollar idea”. If you are one of them who are struggling with the same then you’re at the right place.
We will try our best to guide you through this journey. Keep reading.
Tips to Begin the Journey of Finding that Billion-Dollar Idea
1. Start Analyzing the Problems People are Facing Around You
Start looking out for unique and foolproof solutions for problems people are facing.
Always try to find problems that are faced by a larger segment of people rather than a smaller segment of people.
Just be aware, keep your eye and ear open all the time, pay attention to what are the problems that most of the people are facing.
To start with, you can interact with your family, friends, or colleagues.
Keep in mind, the problem doesn’t have to be a big problem (because let’s be honest most of them are already solved, and you’ll face a lot of competition there). Focus on small, yet daily problems.
Let us consider the example of UrbanClap (now, Urban Company). It was launched in 2014 with just a handful of service professionals in Delhi.
The basic idea behind this startup was to solve the problem of having a variety of services under one roof at your doorstep.
The idea was to make the whole process easy for both customers and the service professionals who are struggling to find potential customers although they are highly skilled.
The startup simply brings these two (the service providers and the customers) together.
So it doesn’t matter what problem you are focusing on, what matters in the EXECUTION.
2. Start From Yourself
No one can understand or explain the problems and better than you to yourself.
Most successful startups have one thing in common, most of them solved a problem which they were facing personally in their lives.
If you can criticize your solution because you’re facing the problem then you can improve your ideas even more.
We all have been through those college or university years. So we know what exactly we face, like a financial crisis.
We all craved for affordable yet good quality restaurants, cafes etc. If you can solve this problem in a unique and indispensable manner then you just cracked it.
Discuss it with people around you and most importantly with yourself when you were in college.
3. Follow Your Passion
This is probably the most heard phrase for us youngsters. But don’t get cringed out yet.
When you are talking about a startup, you are talking about opening a whole new company from scratch.
Now, you cannot start your company in a field about which you know nothing about or have no interest.
Don’t go for it just because someone said that it’s a good idea for startup, or simply because others are making money out of it, don’t do it just because it’s cool! Do it for yourself, because you like it.
Let’s say you are passionate about biking. Naturally, you will have more interest to learn things related to biking, or motorcyclists.
Think about an idea in this field, because you will never lose interest in it, and that will help you to grow your company in the long term.
You can think of a company that rents bikes for people who want to go on a bike ride, or a company that organizes adventurous bike trips, or anything. (BTW don’t judge these ideas, because personally I am not a bike-person :P, these are just examples).
Let’s say you are passionate about art. You can do something related to that. For example, the ETSY shop.
I guess all the art-enthusiasts have heard about it. This basically a platform that provides budding artists with an online platform where they can sell their artworks.
As an art-enthusiast yourself you will understand better the requirements and problems of an artist.
GoPro co-founder Nick Woodman came up with the idea of GoPro in about 2002 after he failed at his second attempt at entrepreneurship.
He came up with a revolutionary idea which until then was considered impossible.
He came up with the idea of a wrist-mounted camera that will enable one to take high-quality action shots. He pursued his hobby of surfing and the rest, folks, is history.
Likewise, you can be enthusiastic about anything, try to focus on things that keep you busy, something that will never get you bored.
Because otherwise, it will be a burden for you.
4. Improve Already Existing Methods and Technology
It is not always important to come up with a unique idea. You can always find new ways to execute already existing methods or technologies. There’s no shame in it.
And if you look out a bit you will come across plenty of entrepreneurs who have made millions of dollars by creating foreign clones of already existing ideas.
For example, there are tonnes of facilities for people living in urban areas, but people living in the rural side suffer from the lack of most opportunities.
You can serve any such facilities efficiently at a low cost, you will be amazed to see a good amount returning from your startup.
You can come up with ideas to provide easy travel communication to people in rural areas (just like Ola and Uber).
5. Perseverance is the Key to Success
When you’re starting your company, remind yourself to be patient, never give up, give it some time.
Everything takes time. Don’t expect your startup to boost up from the very beginning, take it slow, be prepared for the delay you are going to face before you see satisfying results.
Easier said than done right? Take an example from startups that changed the world, that made people billionaire.
None of them were successful overnight. Facebook was first developed only for Harvard students, and now there’s not a single person who doesn’t know what Facebook is.
When starting a company, don’t try to appeal to everyone. Rather just focus on that small percentage of people who really are in need, those who would appreciate your idea in the truest sense, those who would love to try their hands on your product.
More theoretically, this is the Pareto principle, or 80-20% rule, which suggests to work and focus on 20% of people who are in need of your product and leave the rest 80% for now.
If you can completely fulfill the requirements and satisfy these 20% of people, they will automatically help you grow. And once you start gaining that pace, it is exponential growth.
6. Start Thinking
Once you are ready with the “idea”, you have to start analyzing and getting insights about your company.
Talk to other people, everyone has something or the other to offer, you just need to be attentive enough to grab that information.
People say coming up with the idea is the easiest job, the toughest in the implementation of the idea in its most efficient way. And it’s true.
Implementation requires skill, and that’s where most people fall short. Make sure you have enough knowledge in the field you are diving into, or else you will be lost soon.
And as your company grows you will start developing dependencies on various things.
You need funding to fulfill those dependencies (for example, to hire a programmer). But don’t worry yet.
Start small, once you start understanding things better, you will know things you need to figure out.
Why Do Startups Fail?
It’s good if you know your positive as well as negative sides, it will help you to improve.
It’s better to know the possible problems beforehand right? So you can prepare yourself well.
As we all know there are plenty of startups that fail each year, we don’t even ever come across these names (simply because they failed and never received the limelight). And it’s scary.
Prepare yourself for the failures, the ups and downs, people will call you crazy, you will see a lot of desirable phases. But all these will come to an end.
You will see people appreciating you for not giving up, you will grow up as your company grows, everything will be back on track soon.
The Most Common Reasons for the Failure of a Startup are :
1. Hurrying Up Too Much
Take time to understand your audience. Learn what they want, what they don’t. As said by Bill Gates
“Your most unhappy customers are your greatest source of learning.”
Take time to understand things better, evaluate the problems faced by the customers, pay close attention to the feedback.
This is one of the most common reasons why startups crash. Because you can’t run a company without a penny in your pocket.
A startup demands more than you expect, you money to pay people working, to buy infrastructure required, or as applicable.
So be wise while spending your valuable money. Use your funding wisely, because you will run out of money soon. And with no market growth, investors will simply say no to you.
3. Compromise on Quality
This is another mistake that newbies make. With the urge to make more money, people often cut down on quality, this can also happen due to a shortage of money.
But if you think in the long term this will harm your company, and once you start losing your most faithful customers, it’s very difficult to earn them back, because there’s already much competition out there.
So, find a perfect balance between quantity and quality. Don’t compromise on quality, otherwise this will be a dead-end for your startup.
As you now understand what might be the problems once you enter this world, you will be better prepared for it.
Tips for Becoming a Successful Entrepreneur
Here are some points to note down for aspiring entrepreneurs. Keep these small yet important things in mind, because the journey’s gonna be long my friend.
1. Practice Writing Down Ideas
whenever some idea crosses your mind, just pen it down. Keep a small diary with you all the time. Because you know, ideas are all around us.
2. Start Reading Books
reading books is a great habit. You gain the most while reading a book. You learn various small things that you wouldn’t have even paid attention to otherwise.
Start reading books by famous entrepreneurs, because motivation is very important.
3. Don’t Forget Why You Started
this will always be a constant source of motivation for you. Remember those dreams when you just began. Don’t give up, remember why you started this.
4. Build a Great Team
It is very important to have a team loyal and faithful to the cause. Because that’s going to last.
You won’t win the race alone, you need a team by your side, a team that is equally enthusiastic as you are for the startup.
5. Learn From Complaints and Customers
try to address the problems faced by your company. Nothing starts off as perfect and foolproof. You have to make your plan foolproof by constantly improving it.
6. Ask for Help Whenever Required
there’s no shame in asking for help. Ask for support, don’t hesitate to ask for advice.
Discuss your problems with others, often you get a new perspective when you discuss your problem with other people.
After all we all are learning, there’s more knowledge in sharing. Build a healthy community.
7. Face and Overcome Your Fears
taking risks is a part and parcel of a startup. Overcome your fears, because what will happen at most?
You will fail, in return, you will take home a lesson that others don’t have because they never dared to.
8. Spend Your Money and Energy Wisely
These two resources often limit other resources. You might have time, but your energy will limit how efficiently you use your time.
Money is one of the most limiting factors when you start your company, so make a well-balanced plan on how much to spend where.
9. Make Sure You Understand Your Field
don’t dive into an ocean which is unknown to you. Knowing your field from inside will be the key to your success.
The more you gain knowledge in your field, the closer you are to your dream.
Ready for the Journey?
The world has witnessed revolutionary ideas, ideas that were small once. Baby steps are extremely important.
Set small goals, because the destiny you are searching has hurdles and as you move forward the hurdles are bigger, but you’re stronger as well.
Focus on nearby goals, rather than fantasizing about destiny. These small goals will make your dream come true.
Hope you find this article helpful. Share this with your friends and family, people who you think need it. Good luck!
“Failure is an option here. If things are not failing, you are not innovating enough.”
- Elon Musk, founder and CEO of Tesla Inc. and SpaceX