Isn’t it appalling that every nine out of ten startups fail during the initial years of their launch?
Have you ever wondered what actually goes wrong and why they fail?
Some startups that fail are actually fully funded and expect a bright future.
They made products that no one wanted.
They didn’t focus on their customers from the very start and remained completely engrossed in the product development cycle. And, when it came to selling those products, they realize that no one wants their products.
The result is a complete waste of time, resources, and money. And, to help you avoid these heartaches, I have prepared a list of the best ways to think of unique startup ideas that work.
Identify a Problem
Problems are nothing but wake-up calls for creativity. – Gerhard Gschwandtner
When Whatsapp founders started their company, they wanted to solve a problem of the high costs of global calls. They didn’t worry about revenues nor focused on funding. They only wanted to solve a problem through a solution that works. Later, we all know what happened to Whatsapp. It was acquired by Facebook for $19 billion – the biggest tech acquisition of all time – just after five years.
Try to come up with ideas that make an impact. And once you do that, refine it further so that your chances of getting success with investor pitches increase.
Think of the Future
The best way to think of future is to create it. – Peter Drucker
Have you ever observed that most sci-fi movies eventually become reality?
The reason is simple – the movies are filled with ideas that can potentially change the world. Case in point, The Terminator. The movie was first of its kind that brought the phenomenon of intelligent robots to the silver screen. It was released in 1984. At that time, even simple home computers were a novelty. Today, Boston Labs is working on intelligent robots, and Google and Facebook are working on shared computer vision and machine learning systems to make intelligent robots a reality.
To plan a startup idea, think of how the world will be in the next five years and develop the idea around that. Your best bet would be to research what the present lacks and then capitalize on the idea. As an aside, watch sci-fi movies to get your creative juices flowing.
Observe Market Gaps
You’ve got to look for a gap, where competitors in a market have grown lazy and lost contact. – Rupert Murdoch
One of the best ways to think of creative startup ideas is by observing market gaps. Every product in the market today has a gap that can easily be solved by new ideas.
Remember that app ‘summly?’ It summarized news from multiple sources into a single stream. It was released in 2011, at the time when most news sources didn’t even have their own websites. Due to this disrupting technology and the perfect time of release, it got acquired by Yahoo for $30 million and ruled the app stores for quite some time.
There are gaps everywhere and you only need to observe to find them.
Analyze Your Skills
Today when technology is highly embedded in our lives, we think that all startup ideas should be related to technology, and that without programming/technical knowledge a startup couldn’t be launched. That’s a false notion.
Ideas can be built upon anything. The best way to search for ideas is by knowing your own skills and the problems that you can solve through them. The end result should be to solve problems that are a roadblock to progress.
If you are a digital marketer, hunt for people who are in need of marketers. It doesn’t matter if your startup is not disruptive, at least it is helping people solve their problems, and that’s what truly matters.
Talk to Customers
A Satisfied customer is the best business strategy of all. – Michael LeBoeuf
Products are made to solve customer problems. So why not just ask them their pain points before thinking of the product ideas?
First, analyze a market that you would like to tap.
For example, job recruiters are looking for talented individuals but it is too hard for them to find people that actually fit the job requirements.
As a start, you can talk to recruiters about what type of candidates they want, and how the process can be made simpler. Now, research the market to determine if this problem is faced only by a small number of recruiters or the general HR audience. If the research indicates that the wider HR audience faces the issue, you have a product-market-fit.
Know What’s Trending
The best ways to earn a quick buck through your business idea is by following what’s trending. If you are into merch designing, finding trending ideas is going to be most helpful. One startup made $50,000+ in just two months by capitalizing on this idea. They sold emoji masks to the users by manufacturing them in Chinese factories – the whole story is pretty interesting and great for anyone diving into this business. The big break came when they posted the website on product hunt and received more than 5000 orders.
Knowing what’s trending or what is going to trend in next few months and then brainstorming a unique startup idea around it is a great way to amass huge profits.
Come up with a Low Cost Version
One way to penetrate a market and turn it on its head is by coming up with a low-cost version of a product.
Consider Uber and Lyft, two popular rise-hailing apps. For a ride that costs $20 on Uber, conventional taxis used to charge $50+. This made these apps popular among the users because of the ridiculously low rates. What’s even interesting to note is that, even with such low rates, drivers of Lyft and Uber were still making decent profits out of it.
So, if you can come up with a creative startup idea that’s low-cost and able to storm the industry, you have a successful idea in your hands.
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The Bottom Line
The first step of setting up a startup is the ideation phase. I presented seven ways that can help you develop ideas around user problems. Hopefully, by following these tips, you will think of great startup ideas that will be fruitful for you and the world.
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Arsalan, a Digital Marketer by profession, works as a Startups and Digital Agencies Community Manager at Cloudways. He loves all things entrepreneurial and wakes up every day with the desire to enable the dreams of aspiring entrepreneurs through his work!