June 12, 2013
You should not underestimate a great idea. Every business is based on one. Some of the best ideas are very simple ideas that nobody thought of or applied before. Some ideas are indeed revolutionary and we are amazed that someone could come up with something like that.
You cannot get great ideas whenever you want. They do not come on command so you may be wondering how you can also get great ideas. How did these empire builders come up with such amazing ideas, where they find the inspiration and how can you replicate that process?
We had the same questions in our minds and realized that we will find the best answers at the startup mentors who write about launching businesses on the Accelerator blog. We also asked investors, advisers, professors who come in contact with tens of new ideas daily and even get to meet the founders. We even asked some of the founders and entrepreneurs themselves. They had to have an answer! And they did. They all say that they find true inspiration from a variety of sources some of which were the subconscious mind, their own driving passions and everyday puzzles you might also be confronted with.
Here are excerpts of what some of them told us.
Start With What Troubles You
The great majority of ideas for startup come from a problem that needs a solution. The most amazing thing is that, contrary to popular belief, ideas don`t come when you just lay around and contemplate the walls with a cup of coffee in the hand. Ideas tend to come when you are working on something else or when you are doing something.
I can give you a personal example. One of my companies called, earFeeder, came to life because I realized I wanted news on hard-to-get music that I loved. This problem bugged me so much that soon after I started a service that provides band news from the Internet according to the music that you already have on your computer. It also sends you updated ticket deals and exclusive excerpts of information.
Founder and CEO, TechStars
It`s Never Too Late To Start
Most of the success stories out there feature very young entrepreneurs like Mark Zuckerberg from Facebook, Paul Allen and Bill Gates from Microsoft, Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak from apple and many more. You might be inclined to think that only young people come up with big ideas that change the world or make money. The reality is much different. These are just cases that are loved by the media, but the typical entrepreneur is a middle-aged professional who will learn something about a market and will start some kind of company with what he saved up to that point.
Many studies have shown that the average age of a successful entrepreneur in fast-growing industries like health-care, aerospace and computers is 40. There are many more entrepreneurs over 50 than there are entrepreneurs and founder under 25 and many more entrepreneurs that are over 60 than there are entrepreneurs that are under 20.
Vice president of innovation, Sinclair University
Be In The Moment
Don`t try to steal ideas from others or get ideas from other people`s problems. The problems that you are personally invested in are more likely to generate the burning passion that an entrepreneur needs in order to deal with all the problems and obstacles that come with starting a business.
How to solve a problem even if it is a common one? There is more than one way to solve any problem so if you decide to attack a problem that is already solved in a certain way then try to find a new and better way to solve it. Just think of transportation. There are countless ways to solve this problem and most of the more popular ones are making money even if they solve the same problem. Look outside your industry, in a space that is new for you, to see example of creative problem-solving. What others see as common may seem extraordinary to you and this will inspire you.
Feed you creative side with creative task. Business people tend to ignore this important part so you will have an incredible advantage if you cultivate it. Engage in creative activities whenever that is possible.
And there is one more thing you should do. It is obvious enough to be read without too much interest, but try to take a moment to really think about this, because it is the kind of thing that is easy to say and hard to do. And here`s the challenge: Be present in life.
You can surely feel how overloaded we are each day. Even when you just have a cup of coffee you need to reply to emails, juggle tasks and manage schedules. It`s easy to miss the truly important things in life and even opportunities when you are busy mindlessly going about your daily task so take a moment to be present.
Founder and CEO, Sandys Accelerator
For more business ideas tips