By February 13, 2014 0 Comments Read More →

Your Product Idea (1)

Find Your Product IdeaPart 1: Find Your Product Idea

Contrary to what you might think, it’s usually not difficult to come up with a great product idea for your new company.

Start by keeping notes about the products and services you’ve encountered in everyday life that really stink.

  • Are you frustrated because your car mechanic ripped you off? Then maybe the Internet needs a better way to find honest repair shops.
  • Is it impossible to find parts for your vintage wristwatch? Maybe you should start an online parts store for antique watch enthusiasts.

So long as you’ve found a problem that you can help solve, and you’ll be happy devoting lots of time to it every day, you’re off to a good start.

Online Success Story

Over the past few years I’ve started two online businesses. The first is a legitimate success.

The successful business was prompted by my urgent need for a particular kind of DIY home repair tool. It seemed impossible to find the tool I needed in local stores.

I did find the item for sale on a few websites, but they all gave too little information about how to select and use their tools. And when I purchased those products I received loose parts in a brown box without any instructions. There was no after-sales service and no warranty.

Because I was a frustrated customer it was easy to write down a simple plan to design and build more reliable products, sell them on a website that shows lots of information, and give the kind of service that customers would expect.

Until that time I’d never run a business. I started out building the products on nights and weekends, in a room over our garage. Then I launched a primitive-looking but informative website that used simple PayPal “Buy Now” buttons to receive payment.

Today the business is thriving. Our customer service, manufacturing and shipping have moved to a new facility with a staff of talented people. We have a much more sophisticated eCommerce website. And I genuinely enjoy running the company.

Unfortunately that experience didn’t teach me all that I needed to know about what makes a good product idea.

Next… Part 2: Good vs. Terrible Ideas

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