How to come to the idea of a startup.
To notice the ideas of a startup, you need to weed out two things: unattractiveness and unpleasant tasks.
Most programmers, in order to start their own business, would just like to write a brilliant unique program code, push it to the server and receive big money from users. They prefer not to engage in tedious work and not to be embroiled in the “dirty stories” of the real world. And, moreover, this is a very rational preference, because this does not mean slowing down your work. But such a choice is so widespread that the space for convenient ideas of a startup was cleaned up pretty quickly. If you let go of your mind, walk a couple of blocks down the street to sloppy, boring ideas, among them you will certainly find very valuable specimens who literally sit there and wait for them to be realized.
The presence of unpleasant tasks is so dangerous that I wrote a separate essay that it causes “blindness from hostility.” I gave a very vivid example: I suggested using Stripe (payment system, ed.) As a sample of a startup that won after sifting off unpleasant tasks. Thousands of programmers had the opportunity to see this startup idea; a thousand programmers knew how difficult it was to make profit before Stripe. But when they were looking for a startup idea, they didn’t see this particular Stripe idea, because they unconsciously avoided dealing with payments. In fact, the second part of the programmers did not suffer so much; for fear of contacting the payments of many people makes them keep away from their ideas. Stripe, on the other hand, comparatively smoothed out other areas that are usually given very hard, such as attracting users. It was not worth making a titanic effort to declare themselves to the users, because the users themselves were desperately waiting for the very product that was being prepared.
Sifting off unattractiveness is like sifting off unpleasant tasks, except that “unattractiveness” keeps you from working on problems that you despise, and not on those you are afraid of. We overcame this “unattractiveness” by working on Viaweb (a website that allows users to create their own online stores without technical knowledge, was sold for $ 49 million to Yahoo! in 1998 and renamed Yahoo! Store, approx. Ed.). In this project there were interesting things about the architecture of our software, but we were not interested in the commercial part as such. We saw that there was a problem that we had to solve, no matter what.
Sifting off unpleasant tasks is more important than sifting unattractiveness. Unpleasant tasks are something intangible, illusory. This is the worst form of indulgence. Regardless of what you came up with, the idea of a startup will be very time consuming. Even if the product does not entail a large number of “unpleasant tasks”, you still have to deal with investors, hiring and firing employees, and so on. So if you think it’s a great idea, but the fear of facing “unpleasant tasks” keeps you away from it, then you shouldn’t worry. After all, any successful idea carries a lot of tedious.
Sifting off unattractiveness is not as useful as sifting out unpleasant tasks. If you are a leader in a rapidly changing field, your opinion on what is attractive will be directly related to what will be valuable in practice. The older you are, the more experienced you are. Plus, if the idea is attractive to you, then you will work on it with great enthusiasm.
The best way to discover startup ideas is to become a person with such ideas and embody all that interests you, but sometimes you can’t afford it. Sometimes an idea is needed right now. For example, if you are developing a new project, and your original idea turns out to be a failure.
Now I will talk about the tricks that will help come to the ideas of the rap, by your demand alone. You just need to be more disciplined. When using systematic methods, you may not even notice the idea until you have proof that something is really missing. But when you make a conscious effort to generate the idea of a startup, you need to remove any limitations of self-discipline. You will have a huge number of new ideas, most of which will be bad. You need to learn how to filter them immediately.
One of the greatest dangers of not using a systematic method is an example of such a method. Systematic ideas are like inspiration. There are many stories about successful startups that started with what seemed like a crazy idea. But the founders of such companies “just knew” that this idea was promising. If you also think about the idea, while trying to come to the idea of a startup, you are probably mistaken.