6 Ways to Find a Killer Startup Idea

Tuesday, 22 May 2012 Written by Josh Haynam

startup ideas article

Need Inspiration for the Next Great Startup?

It's an awesome time to be an entrepreneur, but what if you don't have any good ideas for a startup? Coming up with a great idea is just the first step on the journey of starting a business, but it's a crucial and absolutely necessary component of achieving success. Here are six ways you can break through your creativity block and come up with something awesome.

1. Solve a problem you've faced

As you go through your day, what is the most annoying thing you routinely have to do? Is there a better way to do that thing? There's a startup idea! Mili Mittal didn't know how to cook, so she built a website that teaches people how to cook and socially connects them. It's now called Mor.sl and is growing enormously fast. Solve a problem, and you've got an idea.

2. Make life easier

If you can make things a little more simple and straightforward for people, you'll be rewarded with success. Startup ideas don't always need to be radically life changing; if you succeed in creating a community around your simplification tool, your startup will grow. A great example of this is Jason Shen, founder of Ridejoy. He decided that in order to make carpooling a little more efficient, he would create a network of ridesharers. Ridejoy was born, and today it is a fast-growing and awesome startup.

3. Make communication easier

People need to talk to each other, that's just a fact of life. New and innovative ways of accomplishing this age-old pastime will do well. Take Pair for example. This startup gives couples a way to communicate privately and without the hindrance of other friends. The app is simple, and yet received $4 million in funding to help couples talk to each other.

4. Turn your hobby into a business

Sometimes your great startup idea is in the last place you'd look...right under your nose. Successfully scale your hobby, and money will come. The founders of Grooveshark pulled this one off perfectly. The founders were crazy about music and decided that this passion should be their work. While still in college, the two built and grew the world's largest online streaming music site. Hobbies can be more than just a way to pass the time.

5. Ask people what you're good at

Stephanie Shalofsky was a normal working girl. She spent her days at a desk in an office doing logistics. One day she decided to help a friend organize her house, and upon completion that friend wouldn't let Stephanie go home without promising that she'd turn her organization skills into a business. That's exactly what Stephanie did, and now she no longer has to help other people make money, she's self-employed and doing what she's good at.

6. Find a new aay to use existing tools

Look around.. Are there assets within reach that aren't being utilized? Odds are there's waste all around you. Find a new way to use what already exists, and you've got a startup idea. Parking Panda did just that, Nick Miller took the driveways that aren't being used and connected them with people looking for parking. He didn't build the driveways or sell the space himself, but he did find a new way to use stagnant space.

Josh is passionate about startups. He started young founding two businesses in high school. Now he's a writer, and the founder of Entrepreneur Stories. You can reach Josh on LinkedIn.

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