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Ways to come up with startup ideas – Get really good at something

Posted on:February 25, 2024

Getting really, really good at something is a fantastic way to come up with startup ideas.

Chances are, no matter who you are, you already possess remarkable skills in certain areas. These could be the more obvious talents, such as playing musical instruments, writing, cooking, or public speaking. Indeed, these abilities can pave the way for a successful business venture. Many of us are already earning a living by doing what we excel at, and top experts in various fields often receive financial rewards and recognition.

But It’s not just the more conventional skills you can apply. In my opinion, you could get really good at almost anything, and parlay it into a venture. It’s hard to even come up with examples because of just how infinite the possibilities are!

Even if you’re not great at anything yet, that’s okay. New things to excel at appear all the time. There are new products and technology to learn how to use, recipes and styles to perfect, and workout routines and dances to master. You might find a new game or a sport that others haven’t discovered yet. It’s endless!

However, the path to getting good is generally the same: focused, deliberate practice. And time and effort. Even if it’s just a little bit of time every day or week. Sure, some things may require prerequisite skills or knowledge, which could put you at a disadvantage. But there’s likely something you can find to stand out in.

Ok, so you’re getting good at something. Now what? Why is that going to lead you to an awesome idea?

Well, there’s pretty much always a way to take something you’re good at and turn it into a business. At a minimum, you can start by teaching others how to excel in that skill. You could sell your time with lessons and tutoring, offer courses, write books, or create videos to help people avoid the mistakes you made along your path to mastery. Depending on your talent, you could make money just by doing what you’re good at. Or you can start a company making other types of products for practitioners of whatever that skill is. Maybe it’s physical products. Maybe it’s software or an app.

Either way, being highly skilled in an area puts you in a great position to think of ways to improve even more. During your learning process, you’ll face struggles and think, “I wish this product existed; it would help me a lot.” Even if ideas don’t come to you right away, you can still note the problems you encounter. And eventually, you’ll likely think of tools and resources that don’t exist yet. That is until you create them with the startup idea you’ve uncovered!

Furthermore, becoming an expert helps you truly understand your target customer. These customers are either part of the world you’re now knowledgeable in, or they want to learn like you. One of the toughest challenges in any business is lacking deep industry or domain knowledge. But as an expert, you’ll have that understanding.

Even without other skills (say industrial design or software engineering), you can build a brand with yourself at the center. You can become the face of your company and hire others to handle different aspects of the business.

Now, there is a bit of a paradox when it comes to picking the things to get good at. The more people interested in a skill, the more competition you face to be one of the best. If you’re the best at something but no one else cares, it might be hard to leverage your expertise. But the good news is: if there are more people interested in something, potentially the less important it is to be the very best. You may not have to be in the top 1% or .01%. Maybe the top 10% would do. Whereas in the smaller pool, you literally may have to be the best to get any attention.

Regardless, there are some ways you can work around that conundrum. One way is to get good at something before it becomes popular. If you’re initially ahead of the curve, you’ll have a much better shot at staying out in front. So spot an emerging trend and master it early on.

But another, and probably better approach is just to get good at things you enjoy. That helps with sustaining the momentum of learning. If you love what you’re doing, there’s no real loss. Even if it doesn’t turn into the next big startup idea, the happiness you gain is worth it. Turning a hobby into a business might not always be the best choice anyway, as it could feel more like a job.

So while this method can help you discover startup ideas, choose wisely and be aware of the competition. And remember that a successful idea isn’t the only good outcome – the journey itself is worthwhile too!