Googler Discusses How To Discover Start-Up Ideas

Googler Discusses How To Discover Start-Up Ideas

By Doug Caverly – Tue, 07/20/2010 – 2:30pm.

Creative examples go beyond standard “solve a problem” advice

Established businesses may not need new ideas; it’s hard to argue with a product line that is already profitable.  On the other hand, even successful products an be improved – think where we’d be if people hadn’t started adding seatbelts, power steering, and eventually airbags to cars – so a post from one Google employee about finding startup ideas may be worth a look.

Matt Cutts, the head of Google’s Webspam team, is more or less regarded as an unofficial spokesperson for Google, which is obviously a pretty big and successful outfit.  But his post does a good job of making suggestions that every small business owner (and would-be small business owner) can follow.

Cutts recommended, “[W]alk around your house or apartment, and look for ‘hot spots.’  A hotspot can be an area of high information density, clutter, stress, disorganization, or any place that has a suboptimal solution.  Then think about a web or cloud solution to that hot spot.”

He later continued, “You can make it easier to organize something (can you convert something physical to digital and store it in the cloud?).  You can sell niche versions of a product (e.g. Threadless for T-shirts), you can let people make something that they couldn’t make before (CafePress for T-shirts, LuLu for books), you can pool people with similar interests (a blog like Craftzine, or a forum for book lovers or body builders), you can review products in a particular space, you can teach someone to do something.”

Not bad advice, right?  A list Cutts supplied of more random ideas/subjects that people have turned into successful businesses may get some creative juices flowing, too.

Good luck coming up with something interesting if you decide to pull out the figurative drawing board.

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