How To Come Up With Your Winning Business Idea (9 Strategies Total) | Dan Martell

How To Come Up With Your Winning Business Idea (9 Strategies Total) | Dan Martell

– I really, really need to re-write that because that’s all like… So what are we starting with? (upbeat music) – Nine ways to come up
with great business ideas, that’s what I’m gonna
share in this video. But maybe you’re in a
position where you’re working nine to five, and you’re
like “I wanna do something, “but I don’t know the
right ideas to work on.” Or you might have a bunch
of ideas, but I feel like maybe they’re not the right
ones, and I need to figure out if there’s other strategies
to come up with even more. That’s what I’m gonna
cover in this video. When I was getting going,
17 years old, wanting to be an entrepreneur,
and I guess my motivation was really like I just
didn’t feel like I was gonna be employable. Like I didn’t think anybody
would wanna have me around, I had to come up with ideas. And this is truthfully
the first business idea, and I say it in air quotes
because I’m not sure if it was very legal,
and it was definitely, but it made money. So that’s my filter. That it was a product
I built, that people paid for, and it was a simple idea. Back in the day when I was
starting off, I had a computer and I had a DVD burner or
a CD burner, and a lot of friends would come over to
look at my list of music that I had purchased legally
online, and create their mix CD for their girlfriend, whatever. And it was just like,
frustrating that they would be in my house, on my
computer, doing this process of going through hundreds
of songs and making those lists to eventually burn. So what I did was I said,
“Look, there’s gotta be “a better way,” I’m going
to instead create a simple application, a simple tool,
that sits on their computer that connects up to the
internet, downloads all the songs that I have with the length
there, because really it was like “Okay, how many songs
can I put for the amount “of space on the CD,” and
it would let them create their playlist, and then
when they were done, it would send over the
“order” and 20 bucks. Well it didn’t take the
money, they just gave me the cash when
I gave them the CD. That was the first product
or idea I ever came up with, and it was really just
solving my own problem. And a lot of you guys are
saying well “I’m not technical, Dan, I could never build
something like that.” These ideas, these strategies
I’m gonna share with you, nine different ones,
it’s to give you the opportunity to just be
creative, think about different industries, think about
your skills, how those could be applied. Talking to the right
people to get more ideas, that’s what we’re gonna cover. So the first one
is talk to customers. I think that there’s a
difference of just asking your friends “is this a good idea?” versus going to the
mall and seeing somebody walk out of a store, and
just say “Hey, do you “have a few minutes, I’d
love to talk to you about “this industry, this
problem, this purchase “you just made.” And yeah, some people are
gonna be like “I’m too busy, “I can’t talk to you,” but
you’d be surprised how many people are gonna be like
“Yeah, how can I answer “your questions?” And you can do the same
thing at the farmer’s market. Go to the farmer’s
market, stand at the door. People go in, they walk out
with product, and you go like “Do you mind if I ask
you a few questions about “the vegetables I just bought,
I’m thinking of starting “this new kind of food truck
for organic vegetables,” whatever it is! But you talk to real people
that have spent money, here’s why, is those
people are qualified. They’ve actually proven
they had the problem, spent the money, and now
you’re getting their advice on how could that
process have been easier for you. So talk to paying customers,
not to people just asking for good ideas. Second one is mix and match,
okay now this is gonna sound crazy, because
again, this is not just for software entrepreneurs,
that’s my background, this is for anybody. Just go to the hardware store,
and look at the difference, look in an aisle, and say
“is there an opportunity “to take this product and
mix it with something else?” And you’re going, “really
Dan, that’s the idea?” I still remember the first
time I saw a nightlight that also had a
USB charger built into it. You go look on KickStarter,
a site for crowd funding different business ideas, and
there are so many examples of taking two or three
different use cases, and putting them together into
one physical product. I call that a mix and
match, and really, these strategies I’m sharing
with you is just to get the juices flowing,
to be more creative, to be the idea person so it’s
not about, you know, I only have one idea
or I have no ideas, it’s “I’ve got dozens,
20, 30 different things “that I think could
be an opportunity,” then it’s to filter them
down into the right one. Right now we’re just talking
about volume not quality. The next one is
interview big companies. Here’s the reasoning behind
that, is big companies usually plan their year
or their strategies their work, for the next
16 months, two years, so they have that kind
of vision of what their challenges are today,
what they’re gonna build in the future, and if you
talk to five, six, seven, eight, nine, 10
different big companies, you might start to see
patterns, and first thing that people do when
I share that strategy, they go “Well Dan, why would
a big company talk to me?” Pretend you’re a journalist,
maybe make it real, you could reach out to them
and say “Hey, I’m working on “this blogpost for this media
outlet, and I’d love to ask “you about your marketing
strategies, the way you “execute your sale
strategy. Maybe it’s the way “you manage your infrastructure,
maybe it’s the way “you buy a certain type
of product, and at the end “of it I’m gonna put
together the research “and publish it, but
I’m also gonna give you “first access to it,” that’s
a great way to actually learn from a big company,
so before you dismiss it, that’s the approach, and
yes some of them are gonna say no, they’re not gonna
respond, but the ones that do are gonna give you a goldmine
of information to come up with really neat ideas for
a business idea that you could pursue. The next one is searching online. When I think of great ideas, usually people have the pain and they’re
asking their friends online about a solution. So you could check this
out, on Twitter, just search the term “is there an app
for,” in double quotes on the search, and you
will see a bunch of tweets of people asking for
different apps for different pains that they’re
having in their life. You could use an advanced
search operator on Google for forums, so forums is a
place where people go and talk about different topics
from cars to do it yourself home stuff, to food, and
you can actually search just the forums to see if
anybody’s talking about the pain or idea that you might be having
to see if there’s anything else that night come up. Searching online, blog posts,
comments using Disqus, there’s an endless, go
in on Quora, which is a Q and A, question and
answer site, endless, endless opportunity for you
to look at people talking about real pains in their
life, and also see how people solved them to see if there’s
an opportunity for you to build a business around it. The next one is, to
me, asking what’s next. I come from the technology
world and innovation, but this is true for
any industry, right? Wherever you’re at you can
look and say “What’s next? “What’s coming next?” You can do the research on
that, in the software world there’s a presentation
given every year by a woman named Mary Meeker, that talks
about the internet trends and in that presentation,
she shows the research, the data, the trend lines,
on exactly what’s coming over the next 15, 50 years. And you can easily plot
and say, “Oh yeah, I can see “how that could be a big thing.” And again, we’re just looking
for quantity of ideas, it could just give you a
bunch of different areas to then investigate deeper. So asking yourself “what
next,” I think is really big. The next one is
your frustrations. Okay, now if you are a happy
zen person that never gets frustrated with anybody and
you’re happy all the time, this one’s gonna be tough. Because I’m gonna ask you
to turn on your frustration radar, where you start
thinking about when you’re out and you’re maybe getting a
car wash or paying for a bill with some friends, or you know… Picking up a new product
to solve a problem at your house, whatever it is,
just write these ideas down. James Altucher is famous
for sharing his strategy of every day writing down 10
different ideas for himself and for other people that
he cares about, advisors, mentors, et cetera. And just sharing those
ideas with them so he starts working that idea muscle. And I think that
the best place to start is your frustration. So that’s a big strategy. The next one is
new field, same skills. Here’s how that works,
you probably have a skill, maybe you’re a designer,
maybe you’re a manager, maybe you’re a marketer,
there’s probably other industries or fields of
study that you could apply your skills to that don’t
really have a lot of new ideas around that, and you
could just start talking to those industries with
your existing skill set and domain expertise,
to see if there’s ideas for business in there. So I like that one a lot,
and then the other one is industries with
no innovation. My brother comes from
the construction industry so he started and there was
literally, it was building a house was still done the
way it had been done 50 years prior, and what he
did is brought a lot of innovation, both in how
he operated and he managed the list of contractors
and subcontractors, and his team, but also the way he communicated
and sold to customers. So I think there’s a great
opportunity of just looking and asking yourself, what
are the slowest growing innovative industries, and
how can we bring a bit of new innovation to those sectors. I think that’s a great opportunity. The next one, I think
that’s just a big idea is cheaper versions of
something that’s existing. If you look at Uber
which is now a 90 billion dollar company, if you
don’t know what that is it’s probably because it’s
been kicked out of your city. But it’s ordering a car on
demand, it’s kind of like a taxi app. But their vision was
always to make it cheaper than taking
public transportation. Yes it started with
black cars, then it went to Uber X, but now they’re
doing Uber Pool which is showing, teaching
people a new behavior where you’re sharing the taxi or
the car with other people that are going in the same
destination, but cheaper versions of more expensive
options today, there’s a lot of companies that do that. I mean, a lot of innovation,
I would argue starts there. Where it’s cheaper than
the existing incumbent, and a lot of people dismiss
it because it’s almost like not real and it doesn’t
have the real big features that this thing has, it’s
not robust, but over time it keeps iterating,
iterating and getting better, better and better, and
eventually disrupts it. So cheaper versions of
something existing, and the last one that I have for you is finding a new growth niche. One of my favorite examples,
I mean look at yoga back in the day
with Lululemon. Lululemon was like “Okay,
we wanna make clothing “that is for active and
day wear, so it’s not just “like I wear it to go to the
gym” and they kinda looked at yoga’s new kind of
ascension in the market, and said “We wanna be
the clothing for the yoga “studios,” and sure people
bought it that never, ever did yoga. Same thing with Cross Fit, right? Cross Fit is this crazy
movement in the fitness and health space that’s
grown like almost double every year, and if you
have let’s say a booking software or a supplement,
or even a t-shirt or kettle bells or whatever
it is, and you kind of tag onto the Cross Fit,
that’s a huge opportunity for great new ideas. Those nine ones that I shared
with you today is really for quantity not quality,
in another video I’m gonna share with you guys, how
to go through the ideas that you might have and
figure out the best ones to pursue, I wanna invite
you guys to subscribe to my newsletter, and as per
usual I’m gonna challenge you to live a bigger life,
and a bigger business, and I’ll see you
in the next video. If you liked this video,
be sure to subscribe to my channel to get
other tips on how to start and scale your business. I also have a free newsletter
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events, and also community contest, and if you want
more information right now and content, check out
these couple videos. I’ll see you next week.

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About the Author: Oren Garnes


  1. Business is a creative sport. To come up with a winning business idea you need to go for quantity over quality. In this video I share 9 different ways I’ve used to come up with my best business ideas.

  2. So funny. I started the same way. I made a collection of songs and called it NoName – can't call something illegal a name right πŸ™‚

  3. Dan, thank you so much for this video! I watched a few of your videos so far, and I have to say, you definitely provide a lot of value, for the time invested in watching. For myself, and many others in the intended audience for this video, we often are stuck in a state of overwhelm in the idea phase. You do a great job of breaking down something that may seem complex, into easy to understand actionable steps. Thank you! My current situation is trying to escape a 10 year career with the same company, in the auto insurance industry (auto damage estimator). I'm very detail oriented, great customer service, empathetic, care more about quality over quantity, good communication, I'm an awesome husband too (just ask my wife Sarah πŸ™‚ Any thoughts on how I could apply these skills in a business or other field? Thanks Dan!

  4. These are great strategies and very tactical. Another tactic is people watch. I once sat in front of a Starbucks during their peak rush hour and counted how many people came, what age group they were in, what they ordered and who they were with to get an idea of who the target customer was. It was really eye opening to watch people's purchasing habits.

  5. 1) Talk to Existing Customers
    2) Mix and Match (Combine 2/3 Ideas)
    3) Interview Big Companies
    4) Searching Online (Forums, Blogs, Q&A)
    5) Asking What's The Next Big Thing
    6) Your Frustrations
    7) Applying Yours Skills to New Field
    8) Industries With Little/No Innovation
    9) Making Something Cheaper
    10) Finding a New Growth Niche

  6. Hey Dan, i have been watching a ton of your videos, but i have one issue that keeps coming back… Coming up with ideas.

    I have tried a couple of businesses (shopify, print on demand, Amazon fba) and every time i keep running into the same problem. How to come up with a good idea.

    Even after watching this video i have questions about ideas.

    Do i have to be an expert in any field to start a software company? Right now I'm in sales and i dont have a lot of experience in that field yet.

    So I look for excisting saas products and try to improve that(i would not know how to do that since i dont use SaaS myself right now)

    I want to do something meaningful and now come up with some crappy idea, focus on that and finding out that nobody wants to use that software.

    How do i pick a niche for the software. Lots of 'gurus' tell to look for problems you run into yourself, but i must say, i dont have a lot (or i dont see them)

    Do you do brainstorm sessions or have think tanks with other like minded people and if so how do i find those people.

    I would love to get a little help here.

  7. Interesting one Dan! I hope other people understand & made videos as you do… not just talking and talking and talking but actually just talking what's needed! It helps a lot πŸ™‚ all the best!

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