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Finding Your Next Testable Idea

There are so many places to look for business ideas that it can be overwhelming to decide. Always looking internally can be problematic though, as your ideas need to be tested against reality.

“A testable idea is better than a good idea — Michael Schrage

If you can get out of your own head for a moment, then I suggest seeking out ideas in the following areas.

Testing Ideas in Multiple Tabs

Think of every day scenarios where people need to open up several internet browser tabs to accomplish a customer job.

Have you booked a trip on your own? Chances are you had several browser tabs open at the same time. You were checking hotel prices and locations, flights, car rentals, weather, things to see and places to eat. Before you know it, you’re drowning in a sea of browser tabs.

This space is often a great place to play for testable business ideas.

Identify customer jobs that require multiple tabs and design experiments to simplify the experience.

Testing Ideas for High Retention, Low Satisfaction

Look for products and services that people use repeatedly, but do not enjoy.

This is a main reason that ride sharing startups destroyed the taxi industry.

Customers did not enjoy calling and scheduling a cab, waiting for it to maybe eventually show up, having it be dirty and then finding cash to pay. Ride sharing disrupted that entire business model by having an app on your phone to request a car, based on your location and with a cashless transaction.

Reflect on a few products or services that feel like the taxi experience to you.

Chances are they exist everywhere in the B2B world. Many startups have quickly disrupted establish B2B companies by simply applying B2C user experience to an existing product everyone hated using. How would you test a better experience?

Testing Problem Size Over Market Size

Do you know how many investors passed up on AirBNB in the early days? We know of at least seven, because AirBNB founder Brian Chesky published them in a Medium article. We can speculate the total number and reasons, but it’s clear that one theme stood out.

“The market isn’t big enough.”

Even some of the sharpest investors in Silicon Valley couldn’t get past the fact that they were assessing ideas based on what percentage they could get from the Total Addressable Market (TAM).

What they got wrong, was that the problem AirBNB solved was much larger than the market.

In a way, they created a market.

While AirBNB competes with hotels to an extent, the inventory and problem is so much bigger than that, because any home owner can essentially become a hotel.

Look for large problems to test and don’t get too focused on the size of the market right away.

If you found a testable idea but don’t know where to begin, feel free to contact me. Stay safe everyone.



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