Insights, Innovation and Entrepreneurship

    How do I find an idea?

    Finding ideas is easy.

    It’s so fricking-super-easy I shouldn’t even write about it.

    But I will, because for some reason people are stuck in the idea phase.




    Before we start

    Let’s just do a small mind trick before we start, because I really love it.

    If I were to give you 100$ for every idea that you give me, would you be able to generate 100 ideas in a month? (That is an easy 10K$ per month!)

    Okay, back to finding ideas.

    Where ideas originate from

    Well, from a lot of places, but here are some of those:

    • Someone is doing manual work instead of automating it
    • Something is taking too long to do now, it can be done quicker/faster
    • Something can’t be done right now, it can be fixed so it will be done
    • Something is done uncomfortably right now, it can be made beautiful and comfortable to do
    • Someone is unaware he can do something that will benefit him

    In the end, it’s about fixing something broken.

    Okay, so how do I go about finding things that are broken?

    Broken World

    Open your Eyes, the World is broken

    Our world is far from perfect, if you just open your eyes, you will spot broken things all around you, here are just a few examples of broken things I encountered today:

    • It took me 20 minutes to find a parking spot
    • I was being very unproductive today
    • I wanted to buy some healthy home food to serve me for the next few days, couldn’t find something
    • We played around with Siri, it really sucked

    This list was compiled under 3 minutes, without giving it too much thought.

    People share their pain

    In the world we live in, not only do you feel pain, but you share it with the world, you use Facebook, Twitter, Reddit, online Forums, and flat out tell people around them that X sucks.

    Here are a few examples:

    • Open AskReddit, it’s one of the biggest sub-reddit, it has 5M people subscribed, and people are asking none-stop for questions, most of the times these questions lead to something broken or bothering them
    • Open Google, and start free searching, for example I searched “its annoying when you can’t”, and I saw for example: “How to annoy your friends in Facebook” and “How Facebook is Using You to Annoy Your Friends”, it seems that there are annoying things in Facebook that require fixing. I just picked these combination of words and got an idea from it, you can pick any topic (e.g. “Weather app sucks”, “Website lousy UI”…). The concept is to use a negative word in an area or field that interests you
    • Open the webpages for applications and games you use, and check their review page, you will usually find things that they don’t like in their application/game, it means you could have done the same application/game but improved the parts that other people don’t like (so many startups start this way)

    People share their passion

    When people love something, or want something, they show it, when they do, they signal you an area/solution that they want.

    Here are a few examples:

    • Open Kickstarter and check the popular section, the projects that get well-funded are those that people are highly passionate about, you can think of something in the same “areas” of those popular projects (or even do the same thing)
    • Open Reddit (again), and go to one of the subreddit’s you like, and search for things like “I would buy”, “take my money”, reddit is a community that is very vocal on what they will buy (here is an example from 1 month ago in an online game I am playing)
    • Check startups that are being funded/having exit's, you can learn from that what ideas/areas of interests are popular/requested

    Brainstorm yourself


    I like to sometime take a product/application/website that got to my attention, and start brainstorming it:

    • Why is it successful/why is it not successful
    • What would I have done differently if I would have built it
    • Are there features missing?
    • What do I think of the UI/UX?
    • Can the concept be used differently/in other ways?

    And so forth, this brainstorm session usually yields insights on new ideas for similar products/projects, or sometimes even brand new



    Okay, so I just went over with you a couple of angles on how to be creative and generate new ideas, but we didn’t discuss how you should evaluate your idea, decide if to go for it and other things on how to go forward, this will be covered in the next post.