Entrepreneurship is a word that is creating a buzz among college students these days. There has been a steady raise in the number of student entrepreneurs in the country. The fellow mates around you are either thinking of a startup idea or are already developing one.
Looking at all this, you are absolutely inspired to try your hands in the world of entrepreneurship. However, you do not know how to come up with the startup idea that will strike the chord for you.
You feel like “startup Gods” didn’t bless you with a magical idea that was “love at first sight” but you do want to start something of your own someday, what do you do?
Here are some ways on how to develop startup ideas:
Ideas can hit you in the most abrupt ways. Maybe you came up with an idea or two in the shower. Or maybe a buddy had a decent idea that you modified to make your own. Or something clicked while doodling in a meeting or just walking down the street. As the ideas can occur in most random situations, you can’t have a control over them, but what you can do is make sure that you are ready with a pen and paper to note it down when it occurs or be observant. Keep a background thought process running, keep looking for things that seem to be missing or problems that you will like to fix. Every time you do something (anything at all) pay attention to what sucks. But also pay attention to good things too. Give yourself some time, keep an open mind and you might find an idea that could make great companies.
Coming up with good ideas is a skill. It’s not something you’ll be good at if you’ve never practiced coming up with good ideas. Just like you won’t be good at playing the piano the first time you sit down at one. And just like you need to practice to get good at the piano, the best way to get good at coming up with ideas is to come up with a lot of ideas. Hang out with people who have lot of ideas. Get involved in brainstorming sessions. Note that, the most successful brainstorming sessions happen with people who work through ideation as a defined process in an organized way, in order to arrive at a problem statement and come up with plausible solutions.
The Professional Approach
It is possible that you don’t have any aspirations to become an entrepreneur until you start working. So, you are interning at a company or have taken up a job and you realise you can do a better job at this. You see some flaws in the process or the product and have established better ways to solve the problems. It could be some hitch in the manufacturing process reducing the efficiency, or a bug in the software or anything that could be improved but the firm has different priorities so they don’t want to work on the flaws you pointed out. This could turn out to be a startup idea. Sometimes, it might also happen that you suck at your job or you hate doing that work every single day. You start thinking about the things you would do instead and there some idea can click.
Differentiate the good one from the bad ones
Just because you can generate ideas, doesn’t mean you can differentiate the good ones from the bad. So, stay curious, experiment with everything, read a lot and most importantly spend time with successful people with all walks of life. If your idea seems to be obvious, then there must be some competitors already in the market. Don’t let that bog you down. Instead, validate your product; offer something better or unique than your competitor but don’t be afraid to try.
In the end, if you are able to find a good idea, make sure it fits your skill set. It should be something you get excited about, only then you will have found something worth spending time on.
Article by Shaktiman Singh, design intern at CIIE
Edited by Hina Nainani