Billion-dollar thinking: Why budding entrepreneurs should be looking within for startup inspiration

startup inspiration

Developing a startup idea from conception through to execution and implementation is a process fraught with challenges and potential pitfalls. There are, however, a number of steps entrepreneurs can take to aid the process and help achieve the first step of inspiration.

Alex Kistenev, co-founder and chief executive of Standuply, writes in a Medium blog post that many novice entrepreneurs fall into the trap of simply trying “to invent the next ‘you name it’ idea”.

“Experienced entrepreneurs know a better way,” says Kistenev.

“All they need to do is to look inside their inner self and talk to other people to learn what remains broken in the world around. Then fix that problem in the best possible way.”

Look for inspiration within and discover what drives you

Kistenev recommends budding entrepreneurs search within for inspiration, identifying a particular need on their own. For instance, asking what the hardest part of their day is, what their challenges are at work and what they try to avoid.

It can also be worthwhile identifying business opportunities via hobbies, listing activities that you enjoy and then pinning down why you like them.

Kistenev recommends identifying problems in relation to these activities and then describing how you would go about solving these problems if you had access to all the resources required to do so, calling on friends to give input too.

What would the minimum viable solution look like and what would be needed to build a prototype and get to work?

Get expert advice

Canvassing the opinions of professionals in your targeted area and identifying the challenges that they face will provide further insight.

Kistenev recommends asking questions such as what their day-to-day responsibilities are and what consumes most of their time.

Following a dozen discussions, “you may spot some repeating answers”.

“It could be what you are looking for,” Kistenev writes.

“Ideally, 25–30 talks of this kind are needed to gather enough data to start seeing repetitive patterns.

Complaints on forums such as Twitter or the feedback sections of different websites, which “are cues for potential startup ideas”, Kistenev says.

Analysis can be key and train your brain

Applying fresh analysis to existing products can also provide ideas insight.

Kistenev recommends an exercise that involves taking a product and coming up with ways to increase its sales or changing its business model entirely.

Meanwhile, self-development and greater knowledge aids creativity, with ample information available for new entrerpeneurs via various online platforms.

“There is no silver bullet, the great idea can reach you everywhere: when you drive, go jogging, or during a brainstorming session,” Kistenev writes.

“Nobody knows when it will happen next time. Stay focused and keep watching as hunters do.

“Sometimes you know it’s so close, so close that you won’t quit. You may get tired, feel disappointed, or frustrated, but do not ever, ever give up! Keep going and some day you will see that the gold is in your hands.”

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