Generating ideas for innovative products or services that stand even half a chance of making money is really tough, until you’ve done it, and then you’ll wonder why on earth it took you so long.
What most people don’t seem to appreciate when struggling with this first step is this: We are all so good at overcoming problems that recognising them as such is nearly impossible. Perhaps this explains that all too familiar “why didn’t I think of that?” feeling.
Side note: Not all problems are worthy businesses and not all businesses solve worthy problems.
Side note to side note: The world is full of people ready to tell you why your idea is good/bad – they will almost always be wrong as many times as they are right. These are your decisions to make, if you can’t make them don’t – go get a job working for someone who will.
Here are the 3 tools I’ve found most useful to help to generate ideas:
1. A stack of crisp, plain paper and my favourite pens/pencils.
2. Read/listen to case studies on other innovative and exciting startups/founders.
3. Maintain a heightened sense of everything that frustrates me, no matter how petty.
In February 2015 I quite my job to build my own business. As I write this post we are 24 months into developing a business around something that frustrates me and everyone I know off every, single day: plastic food storage containers. Stowwi.com will be the home of our unfolding story which I sincerely hope you will join with us for.