I heard so many times people saying: « Someday, I will create my own company. I just need to find an idea. ». I am pretty sure that everyone already heard that sentence from coworkers or family members. Experience unfortunately showed me over time that, most of those people, never tried to follow their entrepreneurial dream.
We all have ideas. Most of the time, our ideas are useless but sometimes some of them might look like a startup or app idea with some potential. No one can be sure about it, no one knows the future in advance and most people give up on their ideas right away after finding them. Often because it is really difficult to evaluate risks (Success is not guaranteed). You have to strongly believe in your newborn idea to be confident enough to quit your current job, becoming financially insecure and throw yourself into the product creation adventure.
Find below some advices to help you find ideas without reinventing the wheel.
Look for something old, Not something new
We often believe that we need to find something new just to be sure that no one else is doing the same and had the exact same idea. We think that our idea will ultimately be a hit, just because we are the only one making it.
I made this mistake with the first open source software I created, I was convinced that people will be impressed simply because they never saw a product like mine before. I realized later that I had created a product that nobody needed. Yes, I was right: nothing similar existed, but it was useless anyway.
Don’t be afraid of competition
We do not have to always search for something new and we do not have to fear about competitors. At the contrary, if you find other people building a similar product than yours, you should be confident and keep working. Why? because it validates that you are going into the right direction. It means there is a good chance you will find an actual market and that people are waiting for this kind of product.
Let’s take a simple example: “email”. Emails exist for decades now. Email clients already existed at least 25 years ago. That didn’t prevent Google to launch “Gmail” in 2007 and revolutionize (again) the email industry. Since then, new email clients are created every year, and their creators are not afraid of competitors. They know that there are billions of potential users for their product. What matters is to understand potential users and deliver a product that will match their expectations. It is NOT to systematically innovate and create a brand new product that does not exist yet.
Execution is key
As soon as you have an idea, even if it seems basic, to be sure that your idea is worth fighting for, « execution » is key. You have to work and experiment your concept to be sure it will find a market fit. Start transforming this little idea into a draft product and meet your audience to validate that your hypothetical product might become something that people actually want.
Without execution, nothing will happen. Work hard!
Give it time
Ask to any product leaders or entrepreneurs, the first idea you have is never the one that you will eventually launch, simply because growing your idea from seed to tree will ultimately transform the original. Generally, ideas pivot and evolve so much that they look completely different at the end compared to the first version. This process takes time, a lot of time, and its often called “incubation” phase.
Tell everyone about your idea
We all think our ideas are valuable, sometimes they are but most of the times, they are not. Don’t be afraid, no one will steal you an idea that recently crossed your mind. Read why here.
Grow your idea with people’s valuable feedbacks. You have to listen and iterate on feedback.
Be passionate about your idea
This is the most valuable advice of all. You really have to be passionate about what you are trying to achieve. First of all, because, when you’re passionate, you make those around you feel excited and enthusiastic. You will see, it will be a lot easier to convince people either coworkers, chiefs, teams or potential investors if they feel your passion. If you are not getting any pleasure in this adventure, you will fail for sure.
During the awesome journey of building a product, you will learn a lot in various interesting areas. For those of you who haven’t yet took the entrepreneurial pill, I strongly recommend to try it as soon as possible.
I did took the red pill in 2007 and since then I never stopped opening a new blank page and build innovative applications from scratch.
You take the blue pill, the story ends. You wake up in your bed and believe whatever you want to believe. You take the red pill, you stay in wonderland, and I show you how deep the rabbit hole goes.