There’s nothing magical about starting a company. In all likelihood, you will not have a
Eureka! moment in which you discover the next world-changing business idea.
That’s not to say you won’t discover the next world-changing business idea — you’ll just have to be proactive about it.
Neil Blumenthal, a cofounder and co-CEO of billion-dollar glasses brand Warby Parker, recommends a specific strategy for finding a business idea. In an interview with Business Insider at the Success Makers Summit in April, hosted by American Express OPEN, Blumenthal explained how it works:
“Every day, write down a few frustrations. And then at the end of the week, you’ll have maybe 10 problems. By the end of the month, maybe you have 40 to 50 problems. And then you can spend time thinking about: Is there a viable business in solving any of these everyday frustrations?”
Blumenthal said he and his cofounders didn’t use this exact technique — the inspiration for Warby Parker came when cofounder and co-CEO Dave Gilboa lost an expensive pair of glasses. The cofounders asked their friends if they’d ever had a similar experience and discovered that overpaying for glasses was a relatively widespread problem.
But Blumenthal emphasised that “successful entrepreneurs are pretty methodical about the problem they’re trying to solve.” He went on:
“Sometimes, it’s not that they just started it in high school or college, because they have actually needed to live a little and experience a little bit of life to identify where there are problems that need solving.
“For every Mark Zuckerberg and Facebook, there’s 30 other entrepreneurs that started their business after working for several years.”
In other words, coming up with a solid business idea — never mind actually building the business — probably takes more time than you think. A combination of patience and a can-do attitude is a must.
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