Good Business Ideas


How to get good business ideas. That's probably the number one question people ask when they want to start a business. I think people believe that coming up with ideas for business start-up is very hard- because 90% Of business startup fail and a good idea is therefore a million dollar idea.

The Good Business Ideas Seem Like Bad Ideas

In 1994, Steve Powell had an business ideas for a new type of home office device. Capitalizing on the new high-speed phone connection called ISDN, Steve envisioned creating the Swiss Army knife of home office devices. His boxwould offerfax, voicemail, intelligent call forwarding, email, video and phone all rolled into one. Initially Steve envisioned the market for his device would be the 11 million people with small offices or home offices (the SOHO market). Steve's technical vision was compelling, and he raised $3 million in his first round of funding for his company, FastOffice. Like most technology startups, FastOffice was first headed by its creator, even though Steve was an engineer by training. A year after he got his first round of funding, he raised another $5 million at a higher valuation. In good Silicon Valley tradition, his team followed the canonical Product Development diagram, and in eighteen months he had first customer ship of his product called Front Desk. There was just one small problem. Front Desk cost $1395, and at that price, customers were not exactly lining up at FastOffice's door. Steve's board had assumed like all technology startups, first customer ship meant FastOffice was goingto ramp up sales revenues the day the product was available. Six months after first customer ship, the company had missed its revenue plan and the investors were unhappy. It was at about this time I met Steve and his management team. His venture firm asked me to come by and help Steve with his "positioning." (Today when I hear that request I realize it's code for "The product is shipping, but we're not sellingany. Got any ideas?")

When I got a demo of Front Desk, my reaction was, "Wow, that's really an innovative device. I'd loveto have one at home. How much is it?" When Steve told me it was $1400, my response was, "Gosh, I wouldn't buy one, but can I be a beta site?" I still remember Steve's heated reply: "That's the reaction everyone has. What's wrong? Why wouldn't you buy one?" The stark reality was FastOffice had built a Rolls Royce for people with Volkswagen budgets. Few—unfortunately, very few—small home businesses could afford it. Steve and his team made one of the standard startup mistakes. They had developed a great product, but they had neglected to spend an equivalent amount of time developing the market. The home office market simply had no compelling need that made Front Desk a "must have," especially at a high price.FastOffice had a solutionin search of a problem. When Steve and his team realized individuals were simply not going to shell out $1400 for a "nice to have peripheral," they needed a new strategy. Like all startups faced with this problem, FastOffice fired its VP of Sales and came up with a new sales and marketing strategy.

Now, instead ofselling to individuals who worked at home, the company would sell to Fortune 1000 corporations who had a "distributed workforce"—salespeople who had offices at home. The rationale was that a VP of Sales of a large corporation could justify spending $1400 on a high-value employee. The thought was the "new" product, now renamed HomeDesk, could make a single salesperson appear like a large corporate office. While the new strategy sounded great on paper, it suffered from the same problem as the first: the product might be nice to have, but there was no compelling problem it was solving. Vice presidents of sales at major corporations were not going to bed at night worrying about their remote offices. They were worrying about how to make their sales numbers. What ensued was the startup version of the ritualized Japanese Noh play I mentioned in Chapter 1. Faced with the failure ofPlan B, FastOffice fired the VP of Marketing and came up with yet another new strategy. The company was now on the startup death spiral: the executive staff changed with each new strategy. After the third strategy didn't work either, Steve was no longer CEO and the board brought in an experienced business executive. What's interesting about the FastOffice story is not that it's unique but it's so common. Time and again, startups focus on first customer ship, and only after the product is out the door do they find out customers aren't behaving as expected. By the time the company realizes sales revenues won't meet expectations, it's already behind the proverbial eight ball. Is this the end of the story?

The way to get business ideas is not to try to think of business ideas

I made it myself. In 1997 I started a company to put art galleries online. But galleries didn't want to be online. It's not how the art business works. So why did I spend 6 months working on this stupid idea? Because I didn't pay attention to users. I invented a model of the world that didn't correspond to reality, and worked from that. I didn't notice my model was wrong until I tried to convince users to pay for what we'd built. Even then I took embarrassingly long to catch on. I was attached to my model of the world, and I'd spent a lot of time on the software. They had to want it!

Why do so many founders build things no one wants? Because they begin by trying to think of business startup ideas. That m.o. is doubly dangerous: it doesn't merely yield few good ideas; it yields bad ideas that sound plausible enough to fool you into working on them.

At YC we call these "made-up" or "sitcom" startup ideas. Imagine one of the characters on a TV show was starting a startup. The writers would have to invent something for it to do. But coming up with good startup ideas is hard. It's not something you can do for the asking. So (unless they got amazingly lucky) the writers would come up with an idea that sounded plausible, but was actually bad. For example, a social network for pet owners. It doesn't sound obviously mistaken. Millions of people have pets. Often they care a lot about their pets and spend a lot of money on them. Surely many of these people would like a site where they could talk to other pet owners. Not all of them perhaps, but if just 2 or 3 percent were regular visitors, you could have millions of users. You could serve them targeted offers, and maybe charge for premium features

The danger of an idea like this is that when you run it by your friends with pets, they don't say "I would never use this." They say "Yeah, maybe I could see using something like that." Even when the startup launches, it will sound plausible to a lot of people. They don't want to use it themselves, at least not right now, but they could imagine other people wanting it. Sum that reaction across the entire population, and you have zero users

Good business ideas that seem bad. It also reminds you that the vast majority of ideas that seem bad are bad.

The probability that a startup will make it big is not simply a constant fraction of the probability that they will succeed at all. If it were, you could fund everyone who seemed likely to succeed at all, and you'd get that fraction of big hits. Unfortunately picking winners is harder than that. You have to ignore the elephant in front of you, the likelihood they'll succeed, and focus instead on the separate and almost invisibly intangible question of whether they'll succeed really big.

The fact that the best ideas seem like bad ideas makes it even harder to recognize the big winners. It means the probability of a startup making it really big is not merely not a constant fraction of the probability that it will succeed, but that the startups with a high probability of the former will seem to have a disproportionately low probability of the latte.

History tends to get rewritten by big successes, so that in retrospect it seems obvious they were going to make it big. For that reason one of my most valuable memories is how lame Facebook sounded to me when I first heard about it. A site for college students to waste time? It seemed the perfect bad idea: a site (1) for a niche market (2) with no money (3) to do something that didn't matter.

One could have described Microsoft and Apple in exactly the same terms

To succeed in a domain that violates your intuitions, you need to be able to turn them off the way a pilot does when flying through clouds. You need to do what you know intellectually to be right, even though it feels wrong.

That's made harder by the fact that the best business ideas seem at first like bad ideas. If a business ideas were obviously good, someone else would already have done it. So the most successful founders tend to work on ideas that few beside them realize are good. Which is not that far from a description of insanity, till you reach the point where you see results.

When you search engine,there are thousands of business ideas such as: Advertising; Arts & Crafts; Autos/Transportation; Beauty/Personal Care; Business Services; Children's Businesses; Computers; Education/Instruction; Entertainment & Events; Financial.......... But my opinion it is not effective because it does not help you how to get best business ideas.So I write a book:"HOW TO GET BEST BUSINESS IDEAS"

good business ideas

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In the book, you discover exactly:

* Where is good business ideas from?

* How to realize best business ideas?

* The very best business ideas tend to have three

things in common:...............

* How to not miss ideas?

* Competition for your ideas

* How to know your big ideas?

If coming up with an idea for a business startup equals coming up with a million dollar idea, then of course it's going to seem hard. Too hard to bother trying. Our instincts tell us something so valuable would not be just lying around for anyone to discover.

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