Top 10 Surefire Ways To Come Up With A Million Dollar Idea

By | March 30, 2007

All of us are aiming to create a business one day. But what’s the first step? Well, it is coming up with an idea. Here I have listed the Top 10 Surefire Ways To Come Up With A Million Dollar Idea. However as a caution, an idea is only the first step to make a Million Dollars and an idea by itself is worth $0

1. Look at trends
Trends point to where the market is going. Where the market goes, there will be new opportunities. Because trends have not solidified yet, the number of people knowing about the trend is much less. This means less competition if you are entering the market. It is much easier to see where the trends are pointing to if you have in-depth knowledge in a market. Often we will not think hard about most trends in life. We just develop a blind spot to them. Hopefully by highlighting this to you now, you will be more aware of the opportunities that might arise in the future.

Links:
Trends website http://www.trendwatching.com/
Tech trends for 2007 http://www.cioinsight.com/article2/0,1540,2060865,00.asp

2. Solve your own problem

Do you see a problem somewhere? If you have that problem, it might be a good problem to solve. There are some criteria you should put your idea through first to determine if a solution could earn you money. Some I can think of are
1) the size of the market,
2) the pain of the problem and
3) the current solutions.

3. Combine 2 solutions

Even see the mentos and coke experiment? That is one prefect analogy to combining 2 solutions to make another solution. Coke and mentos seeks to provide you with something to drink and eat. However, combined together, they might just propel you to YouTube fame and a guest appearance on Mythbusters.

There are many more such examples.
mIRC+email = Instant Messaging
Games + Virtual World = World of Warcraft
World of Warcraft- Game= Second life

4. Narrow down to a field

Which is harder?
1) Come up with an idea
2) Come up with an idea that solves ensure that my blog gets more traffic through viral marketing.
Creativity is much harder if there are no limitations. Limitations allow us to see a problem and then come up with a solution.
So when coming up with an idea, it might be easier to identify a market first. This market might be
1) where a problem you think exist,
2) market with huge inefficiencies,
3) market where you expertise lies in or
4) a market where not many solution providers want to go into.

5. Brainstorming

Brainstorming seems cliché. But done right, the “aha” moment comes and leaves you with an affirmation of brainstomring’s usefulness. Generally it allows your mind to roam free. Brainstorming is a good way to come up with innovative ideas.

There are some accepted rules on how to keep a brainstorm session going into its top gear.
· Postpone and withhold your judgment of ideas
· Encourage wild and exaggerated ideas
· Quantity counts at this stage, not quality
· Build on the ideas put forward by others
· Every person and every idea has equal worth

Share your ideas online
http://www.halfbakery.com/

6. Ask why?

Ya, I know its Enron’s Slogan but asking why is a very effective way to gain a new perspective on an issue. Keep asking why things are done a certain way and sooner than later, you will discover that the reason behind it is not completely logical. Even watched a show where a kid kept asking why no matter what the parent answered? This is what we should be doing.

Look at your keyboard now and ask a “Why” question.

Did you ask a why question? Read on if you did.

Did you ask yourself why the keys are laid out in that manner?
The answer might not be what you think. Answer here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/QWERTY

The morale is to continuously see if the assumptions made in the past still apply. If they do not, maybe it is time for a change and a business opportunity.

7. Get to know new technologies

New technologies = New solutions. The market might not be ready for these solutions yet. So if there is a new technology, it is up to you to find the correct market. In this case, innovative thinking really needs to happen as you have to define a market out of the zillion ones out there.
Most university and research labs have technology licensing arms where you can browse their Patents Available for Licensing (PAL).
http://web.mit.edu/tlo/www/industry/PAL.html
http://otl.stanford.edu/flash.html
http://www.exploit-tech.com/industries/science.asp

8. EQ modeling

I chance upon this blog and it had an interesting way to think up of new ideas. Basically you create a list of variables that make up an existing product. After which, you move the intensity of the variables and you will have a new product.
Click on their website for a much more detailed explanation (recommended)
http://headrush.typepad.com/creating_passionate_users/2005/11/how_to_come_up_.html

9. Read a lot

Reading is about the most efficient way to get a lot of information. So remember to expand out of your comfort zone so that you can cross pollinate ideas. Also aim to read in-depth analysis and reports as they can help you discover new trends or products. Come back to Todaysten.com to ensure that you learn something new everyday. Bookmark us now.
New products: http://www.coolbusinessideas.com/

10. Have a shower

Somehow showers seem to induce the best ideas in me. I guess for the most of the day I am always occupied and doing something. My brain seems to have no time for itself. The shower cubicle is a great place to link multiple thoughts together. I think it has to do with the interaction of warm water and your brain. Try it for yourself.

I hope that this post has been able to help you get started on thinking of ideas. However before embarking on your next idea, do some due diligence to ensure that you are not wasting your time. My next post will be on how to evaluate ideas.

This is Part 1 of Top 10 Startup List. Part 2 is at
Part 2: Top 10 Test to Ensure that Your Idea is Worthy

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One thought on “Top 10 Surefire Ways To Come Up With A Million Dollar Idea

  1. -:-queen pat -:-

    Interesting points you got there! Well, I find the last point amusing – showering to get my million dollar idea. One more way I personally feel is to model after someone who already has a million dollar idea. Haha.. We can always try to improve it and well, potentially surpass the person whom we modelled after.

    Cheers!

    -:-queen_pat-:-
    http://www.PatriciaLin.com

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