- I really, really need to re-write that
because that's all like...
So what are we starting with?
- Nine ways to come up with great business ideas,
that's what I'm gonna share in this video.
But maybe you're in a position where you're working
nine to five, and you're like "I wanna do something,
"but I don't know the right ideas to work on."
Or you might have a bunch of ideas, but I feel like
maybe they're not the right ones, and I need to figure out
if there's other strategies to come up with even more.
That's what I'm gonna cover in this video.
When I was getting going, 17 years old, wanting
to be an entrepreneur, and I guess my motivation
was really like I just didn't feel like I was gonna
Like I didn't think anybody would wanna have me around,
I had to come up with ideas.
And this is truthfully the first business idea,
and I say it in air quotes because I'm not sure
if it was very legal, and it was definitely,
but it made money.
So that's my filter.
That it was a product I built, that people paid for,
and it was a simple idea.
Back in the day when I was starting off, I had a computer
and I had a DVD burner or a CD burner, and a lot of
friends would come over to look at my list of music
that I had purchased legally online, and create their
mix CD for their girlfriend, whatever.
And it was just like, frustrating that they would be
in my house, on my computer, doing this process
of going through hundreds of songs and making
those lists to eventually burn.
So what I did was I said, "Look, there's gotta be
"a better way," I'm going to instead create a simple
application, a simple tool, that sits on their computer
that connects up to the internet, downloads all the songs
that I have with the length there, because really it was
like "Okay, how many songs can I put for the amount
"of space on the CD," and it would let them create
their playlist, and then when they were done,
it would send over the "order" and 20 bucks.
Well it didn't take the money, they just gave me
the cash when I gave them the CD.
That was the first product or idea I ever came up with,
and it was really just solving my own problem.
And a lot of you guys are saying well "I'm not technical,
Dan, I could never build something like that."
These ideas, these strategies I'm gonna share with
you, nine different ones, it's to give you the
opportunity to just be creative, think about different
industries, think about your skills, how those could
Talking to the right people to get more ideas,
that's what we're gonna cover.
So the first one is talk to customers.
I think that there's a difference of just asking
your friends "is this a good idea?"
versus going to the mall and seeing somebody
walk out of a store, and just say "Hey, do you
"have a few minutes, I'd love to talk to you about
"this industry, this problem, this purchase
"you just made."
And yeah, some people are gonna be like "I'm too busy,
"I can't talk to you," but you'd be surprised how many
people are gonna be like "Yeah, how can I answer
And you can do the same thing at the farmer's market.
Go to the farmer's market, stand at the door.
People go in, they walk out with product, and you go like
"Do you mind if I ask you a few questions about
"the vegetables I just bought, I'm thinking of starting
"this new kind of food truck for organic vegetables,"
whatever it is!
But you talk to real people that have spent money,
here's why, is those people are qualified.
They've actually proven they had the problem,
spent the money, and now you're getting their advice
on how could that process have been easier
So talk to paying customers, not to people just
asking for good ideas.
Second one is mix and match, okay now this is gonna
sound crazy, because again, this is not just for
software entrepreneurs, that's my background,
this is for anybody.
Just go to the hardware store, and look at the difference,
look in an aisle, and say "is there an opportunity
"to take this product and mix it with something else?"
And you're going, "really Dan, that's the idea?"
I still remember the first time I saw a nightlight
that also had a USB charger built into it.
You go look on KickStarter, a site for crowd funding
different business ideas, and there are so many examples
of taking two or three different use cases, and putting
them together into one physical product.
I call that a mix and match, and really, these
strategies I'm sharing with you is just to get
the juices flowing, to be more creative,
to be the idea person so it's not about, you know,
I only have one idea or I have no ideas,
it's "I've got dozens, 20, 30 different things
"that I think could be an opportunity,"
then it's to filter them down into the right one.
Right now we're just talking about volume not quality.
The next one is interview big companies.
Here's the reasoning behind that, is big companies
usually plan their year or their strategies
their work, for the next 16 months, two years,
so they have that kind of vision of what their
challenges are today, what they're gonna build
in the future, and if you talk to five, six, seven,
eight, nine, 10 different big companies,
you might start to see patterns, and first thing
that people do when I share that strategy,
they go "Well Dan, why would a big company talk to me?"
Pretend you're a journalist, maybe make it real,
you could reach out to them and say "Hey, I'm working on
"this blogpost for this media outlet, and I'd love to ask
"you about your marketing strategies, the way you
"execute your sale strategy. Maybe it's the way
"you manage your infrastructure, maybe it's the way
"you buy a certain type of product, and at the end
"of it I'm gonna put together the research
"and publish it, but I'm also gonna give you
"first access to it," that's a great way to actually
learn from a big company, so before you dismiss it,
that's the approach, and yes some of them are gonna
say no, they're not gonna respond, but the ones that do
are gonna give you a goldmine of information to come up
with really neat ideas for a business idea that you
The next one is searching online.
When I think of great ideas,
usually people have
the pain and they're asking their friends online
about a solution.
So you could check this out, on Twitter, just search
the term "is there an app for," in double quotes
on the search, and you will see a bunch of tweets
of people asking for different apps for different
pains that they're having in their life.
You could use an advanced search operator on Google
for forums, so forums is a place where people go and talk
about different topics from cars to do it yourself
home stuff, to food, and you can actually search
just the forums to see if anybody's talking about the pain
or idea that you might be having to see if there's anything
else that night come up.
Searching online, blog posts, comments using Disqus,
there's an endless, go in on Quora, which is a
Q and A, question and answer site, endless,
endless opportunity for you to look at people talking
about real pains in their life, and also see how people
solved them to see if there's an opportunity for you
to build a business around it.
The next one is, to me, asking what's next.
I come from the technology world and innovation,
but this is true for any industry, right?
Wherever you're at you can look and say "What's next?
"What's coming next?"
You can do the research on that, in the software world
there's a presentation given every year by a woman
named Mary Meeker, that talks about the internet trends
and in that presentation, she shows the research,
the data, the trend lines, on exactly what's coming
over the next 15, 50 years.
And you can easily plot and say, "Oh yeah, I can see
"how that could be a big thing."
And again, we're just looking for quantity of ideas,
it could just give you a bunch of different areas
to then investigate deeper.
So asking yourself "what next," I think is really big.
The next one is your frustrations.
Okay, now if you are a happy zen person that never gets
frustrated with anybody and you're happy all the time,
this one's gonna be tough.
Because I'm gonna ask you to turn on your frustration
radar, where you start thinking about when you're out
and you're maybe getting a car wash or paying for a bill
with some friends, or you know...
Picking up a new product to solve a problem at
your house, whatever it is, just write these ideas down.
James Altucher is famous for sharing his strategy
of every day writing down 10 different ideas for himself
and for other people that he cares about, advisors,
mentors, et cetera.
And just sharing those ideas with them so he starts
working that idea muscle.
And I think that the best place to start
is your frustration.
So that's a big strategy.
The next one is new field, same skills.
Here's how that works, you probably have a skill,
maybe you're a designer, maybe you're a manager,
maybe you're a marketer, there's probably other
industries or fields of study that you could apply
your skills to that don't really have a lot of new
ideas around that, and you could just start talking
to those industries with your existing skill set
and domain expertise, to see if there's ideas
for business in there.
So I like that one a lot, and then the other one
is industries with no innovation.
My brother comes from the construction industry
so he started and there was literally, it was building a
house was still done the way it had been done 50
years prior, and what he did is brought a lot of
innovation, both in how he operated and he managed
the list of contractors and subcontractors,
and his team,
but also the way he communicated and sold to customers.
So I think there's a great opportunity of just looking
and asking yourself, what are the slowest growing
innovative industries, and how can we bring a bit of
new innovation to those sectors.
I think that's a great opportunity.
The next one, I think that's just a big idea
is cheaper versions of something that's existing.
If you look at Uber which is now a 90 billion
dollar company, if you don't know what that is
it's probably because it's been kicked out of your city.
But it's ordering a car on demand, it's kind of like
a taxi app.
But their vision was always to make it cheaper
than taking public transportation.
Yes it started with black cars, then it went
to Uber X, but now they're doing Uber Pool which
is showing, teaching people a new behavior where
you're sharing the taxi or the car with other people
that are going in the same destination, but cheaper
versions of more expensive options today, there's a lot
of companies that do that.
I mean, a lot of innovation, I would argue starts there.
Where it's cheaper than the existing incumbent,
and a lot of people dismiss it because it's almost like
not real and it doesn't have the real big features
that this thing has, it's not robust, but over time
it keeps iterating, iterating and getting better,
better and better, and eventually disrupts it.
So cheaper versions of something existing, and the
last one that I have for you
is finding a new growth niche.
One of my favorite examples, I mean look at yoga
back in the day with Lululemon.
Lululemon was like "Okay, we wanna make clothing
"that is for active and day wear, so it's not just
"like I wear it to go to the gym" and they kinda looked
at yoga's new kind of ascension in the market,
and said "We wanna be the clothing for the yoga
"studios," and sure people bought it that never,
ever did yoga.
Same thing with Cross Fit, right?
Cross Fit is this crazy movement in the fitness
and health space that's grown like almost double
every year, and if you have let's say a booking
software or a supplement, or even a t-shirt
or kettle bells or whatever it is, and you kind of
tag onto the Cross Fit, that's a huge opportunity
for great new ideas.
Those nine ones that I shared with you today is really
for quantity not quality, in another video I'm gonna
share with you guys, how to go through the ideas
that you might have and figure out the best ones
to pursue, I wanna invite you guys to subscribe to my
newsletter, and as per usual I'm gonna challenge
you to live a bigger life, and a bigger business,
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