One means of arriving at a brilliant new-venture idea is to accumulate a list of ideas. That is, as you go about your day-to-day life and encounter something disturbing, illogical or irritating, make a note of it. Give it some thought, and make a list of existing solutions for it. And then – even more important – make a list of potential solutions that no one else offers.
You can make the resulting list even more elaborate, and potentially useful, by creating a spreadsheet. List each of your disturbing/illogical/irritating items, along with their existing and potential solutions. Then (on the same spreadsheet) rate each against the points of the lists given in previous chapters. Points such as uniqueness, profitability, competition, scalability, potential for your business becoming a second mover, and so on.
Whatever other points you decide to include and rate, be sure to include this one:
How does the subject fit in with your personal interests and passions?
If you’re passionate about a subject, chances are you also have considerable knowledge, expertise and talent in that area. These are priceless resources when it comes to launching and building any enterprise.
If you don’t have any particular passion for a subject or area, chances are slim that you will have the drive and persistence to blow through the barriers and survive the stresses of launching a company, and making it a success. Some of the world’s best products and services were born out of inspiration and passion.
In general, you want to be special
You don’t want to be number 100 in a market crowded with competitors. You can only survive a crowded market if you can tweak your offering in one or more of the ways described earlier. If you can do that, and so differentiate your company and its offerings, you have the potential to move out of the “copy cake area” and into the “unique area” (see Section 1.2.1).