Discover more from Jason's indie hacker journey
How to get good ideas
In the mood for new ideas recently
Saw this tweet from @thematt_ross and it got me thinking about where good ideas come from:
The origin of good ideas according to @tferriss:
What are the nerds doing at night and on weekends
What are rich people doing now, that everyone might be doing 10 years from now?
Where are people cobbling together awkward solutions.
Love those tricks. It’s a good to see what early adopters like nerds, and rich people who can afford to be ahead of trends are doing, There’s a higher chance that something they are doing will catch on and go mainstream as it gets more affordable with high volume.
A good example is private chaffaeurs. Rich folks had that all along. Then Uber came along and with a mix of tech, demand and excess capacity of idle cars, they made private drivers mainstream and now everyone can have one at the drop of a few clicks. The personal secretary to virtual assistant movement is also another example.
Similarly for awkward solutions. Workarounds are the best, especially if people are paying to awkwardly mash together a few paid services to do it. It shows validated demand, a willingness to pay, and a desire for a better all-in-one package.
It’s about watching people with the specialised skills or the wealth to do things that normies can’t do.
What other ways can we come up with good ideas?
Listen to what people complain about, especially for products and services. Read reviews of popular apps/websites, find a recurring complaint or a 1 star review, and make an app that addresses that specific complaint in your website’s copy. Try finding them on Google Reviews, Amazon, or any marketplace.
Unbundle features. This is opposite of the bundling idea from “cobbling together awkward solutions”. Look at Craiglist, eBay, Etsy, Amazon, classified ads on your newspapers, bulletins, aggregated feeds on any topic, and you’ll find a sub-niche that you could build something for.
Find a community, participate in it, and make something that helps them. The riches are in the niches, they say! Go to Reddit, find a community that you’re interested in, scroll through the top posts and replies, see what they comment on, complain about (see #1) or give ideas on. Or just read through subreddits like r/Business_Ideas or r/Startup_Ideas to see which idea resonates with you and aligns to your skillset.
Similar to the point about niche communities, serious hobbies are great untapped opportunities. Someone who’s serious about a hobby wouldn’t mind paying good money for solutions that help them enjoy it more. Craft, sports, anything.
Scratch your own itch. Observe your daily life and work. Find moments of friction or frustration. A deep painpoint that perhaps a few other peers similar to you might share. Build something for yourself. Then share it, get people pay for early access, and iterate from there.
Look through failed tech startups. Revive one that resonates. In most likelihood, that startup had an app or product that serves hundreds or thousands of users. That might not had been enough for the startup to survive, but it would for you, a solo indie dev. Google is infmaous for doing this. Many in their Google graveyard are known to make hundreds of millions of revenue. But by the billion-dollar benchmarks of a trillion-dollar valued company, hundreds of millions is considered too small to pursue. But great for us indies! I still miss Google Reader btw.
So how do you come up with good ideas?
Thanks for reading Jason's indie solopreneur journey! Subscribe for free to receive new posts and support my work.