You don’t need a brilliant idea to start a startup

Many a times we always think that a startup constitutes a brilliant idea that can revolutionize the existing market space. The reality is an idea doesn’t have to be brilliant over the top idea for it to work in the world today. If you have a stunningly original idea then you have a good reason to go forward with it. However even if the idea is not brilliant or original, it doesn’t mean it won’t work. Google wasn’t the first search engine, Facebook wasn’t the first social network and an idea doesn’t need to be amazing either. You just need to make something better than the competition for it to work. Even a bad idea can become a great startup if it is something that can be used by the users. It’s important to understand the pain points of users to bring out these ideas. Even if the idea doesn’t work, it enables us to embrace the failure and come up with better ideas.

Adam Grant in his talk on TEDx says that “The greatest originals are the ones who fail the most, because they are the ones who try the most,” Grant says,“You need a lot of bad ideas in order to get a few good ones”

Once you come up with the idea, the best way to get the feedback of your idea is actually making the users use it. These users will provide the necessary feedback you require to make further iterations to your idea. When you have an idea you have to talk to potential users. It’s important to see how people engage with it and find out if it’s service they might pay to use. The biggest cause of failure is people building something that works, but no one uses or they’ll look at it once and never come back to it.

So what do you do if you don’t have an idea? Many people want to have an idea, to become an entrepreneur, with visions of being their own boss, and making lots of money (for them or others). But how do you find a good idea?

The way to get startup ideas is not to try to think of startup ideas. It’s to look for problems, preferably problems you have yourself — Paul Graham, Y Combinator

Some of the points that can be considered when finding startup ideas are:

What do you need? Ideas come from where there is need, whether in a current job or in your daily life. Understand your peers and see if they have the same need.

Think Big. Is your idea scalable? Have a target, which may be quite narrow to start, but be able to broaden your scope as your idea develops.

Be the kind of person who has great ideas. Be good in your field, so you can find and exploit the gaps. Live and breathe in the field you want to create a startup, and you’ll begin to notice the opportunities. Live in the future, and then build what’s missing.

Be a techie. Now this doesn’t apply to everyone, but you’ll stand a much better chance of getting a tech startup off the ground if you know what you’re talking about. Also being about to create revisions on your own means you will get to a MVP (Minimum Viable Product) much quicker. Hack as often as you can.

Open your eyes. Notice what’s there, and find what’s missing. It may be obvious, or you may need to look hard, but it will be there. Be curious, ask questions, observe. If it bothers you, look into it. You might be on to something.

Give yourself time. Rome wasn’t built in a day, and good ideas need time to bake. Just be ready.

Learn by doing. If you want to be an entrepreneur, get out there and do something. Get involved in cool projects, programming, interdisciplinary events. Broaden your mind and meet people from all backgrounds. Go to work in a seemingly unrelated field.

Don’t be afraid of competition. It means you’re on to something. Unless your competition has the market cornered completely with a very satisfied customer base, there is always room for one more. Look at what they are doing, and make it better.

The best ideas, be it small or big, are those that can be used by the users and the users find value in using your idea.

Final Thoughts

There’s no correct approach to come up with startup ideas. You may discover something worth settling in the shower or towards the end of an extreme brainstorming session to generate new ideas. You can’t anticipate when motivation will strike, however you can do things to enable you to create good ideas.

A considerable number of online startup advice these days will tell you not to hurry into a startup because the best idea is one that happens naturally. Be that as it may, this isn’t a reason for you to be lazy. Be proactive in searching for problems and ideas.

Finding an underlying idea is like unearthing a strain of gold. In case you’re a mineworker, would you congratulate yourself and move on? No! You need to discover how profound that strain goes. So take your mental pickaxe and continue burrowing until the point that you gather all the gold.

Continue going sufficiently long, you might just find diamond