How to Generate Business Ideas: 3 Simple Techniques I Use to Brainstorm Projects
In 2022 I'm deploying the Spaghetti Technique 🍝
I ship micro-businesses and see what sticks.
To collect and manage my business ideas I built an idea bank, which I fill and review on a regular basis.
But how to generate ideas in the first place?
Techniques I Used So Far to Generate Business Ideas
Respond to a Request from a Friend
One day a friend reached out and had a question about a product and workflow that I was very familiar with.
Starting with someone's specific problem in mind is great because you can solve for a very specific context.
This constraint helps to reduce the scope of the project and ship quickly.
TL;DR: Requests for help are among the best ways to think about business ideas because (1) the requesting person perceives you as an 'expert' in an area and (2) has a pain point, which is large enough to go out of their way and ask someone for help. This is the smell of opportunity.
Respond to a Problem or Product Request from Social Media
Another time I got lucky and saw this Tweet in my timeline:
This was one of those fortunate moments where a minimum-viable solution immediately sprung to mind: Replicate a chat interaction via a form.
What followed was a 2-day build sprint to create Draft Crony 🦹♂️
This is the finished result:
TL;DR: Your social media feeds (Facebook; Twitter; LinkedIn; Reddit; IndieHackers) are full of people who are sharing their challenges/problems. Tune in and see if it inspires you.
Solve Your Own Problem
This is probably the most common advice given in entrepreneurial circles: scratch your own itch!
Why? Because you are immediately solving for a concrete problem instead of an abstract one.
My specific problem was to structure my projects while I'm building and shipping micro-businesses. The solution was to create a linked/relational database in Notion to know when/what/how/why of all my projects. I call it an Idea Bank.Get Idea Bank Template for Free
I'm using it in the wild and friends started using it for their own entrepreneurial journeys as well.
TL;DR: If you have a problem, then chances are that other people have the same problem. Solve it for yourself and share it with others.
I hope this was helpful. Happy ideating!
Let's be homies.
- How to Get Startup Ideas (Paul Graham)
- My Studio Approach: 12 Projects in 12 Months (Art Lapinsch)