Startup Idea Generation

This is the second of my crowd sourced blog entry ideas as suggested by Aj Kulatunga. Aj wanted some basic suggestions on how to develop an idea to start a business.

First of all I start by saying, the idea is not nearly as important as people think it is. The problem with a new idea is that we need to go the effort of education people, building a new supply chain and inventing demand. Sometimes ‘selling potatoes’ is a better option. That said, I’ve been asked to give inspiration for idea generation – so here are the Sammartino methods.

The law of the opposite:

Equal and opposite version of existing successful products / markets / services.

Not from here:

Bringing stuff from elsewhere to this market and positioning it as such. Usually imported or licensed version.

The Nth:

The more intense version of something. More power, ingredients, recognition. The Nth degree. For example red Bull is really an Nth version of coca cola. More intense energy hit. Hummer is also an Nth 4 wheel drive / SUV.

Idea Borrowing:

Local versions of overseas success. Quickly adapting successful ideas for overseas markets. Although these days you have to be very quick. That said, it is easier to find them out via websites such as springwise.

The unexpected version:

Eg Extreme Sour Lollies

Selling Potatoes:

Nothing new, existing idea, existing industry, with large existing demand. But must have low barriers to entry. But do it better, try harder, with amazing customer service levels.

Gourmet / Natural version

Has happened a lot in the grocery / supermarket categories. Entrepreneurs have taken advantage in categories like Juice and yogurt.

Extraction method

Take a tiny part of a successful and existing business and just do a micro niche of it. Twitter is this for Facebook. Just taking the status update part.

Danger of trophy IdeasThis link


6 Comments Startup Idea Generation

  1. AJ Kulatunga

    Hey Steve,

    thanks for taking the time to explore this idea. Love your work. This is a pretty good summary of how to come up with ideas for people who want to do a business.

    A lot of people in my workshops are fed up of working an ordinary job and are looking to move over to the exciting world of entrepreneurship, but have no ideas on what they could do as a business. You’ve provided a great framework to generate product and services ideas.

    When the entrepreneurial seed is planted, it flourishes the more you think about it.

    Thanks again for the post!


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  3. Andrew Gale

    Good except, I don’t think you invent demand – demand is created by peoples needs. You create how you are going to attract them with your solution to their demand.

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