Building the Next Big Thing – A Guide to Business Idea Development

Building the Next Big Thing – A Guide to Business Idea Development

Business idea development is a mixture of art and science. There are playbooks to follow that ensure ideas are validated objectively and opportunity cost risks are minimized.

How many times have you heard of successful new business ideas and said to yourself, “Why didn’t I think of that”? Personally, I’ve started seven different businesses, but the ones that never happened are some of my most memorable ones. For example, I often think about Topgolf, the wildly popular golf driving range/sports bar venues that are popping up all over the US. I’ve been playing golf since I was eight years old and socializing in bars since I was 18. Yet never once did it cross my mind to combine these activities into a business. How did I miss that?

My goal with this article is to help you find the next big idea using business and creative frameworks that help you identify interesting concepts and create new business ideas. Hopefully, this will lead to other people kicking themselves as they follow your business success.

There are four steps to identifying a good business opportunity. The four steps are:

  1. Find an unmet market need.
  2. Create a differentiated solution that meets customers’ needs.
  3. Play devil’s advocate.
  4. Get market feedback.

1. Find an Unmet Market Need

At the heart of all business opportunities are customers. In order to have customers spend their money on a product, it has to provide better value to them than existing solutions. Thus, the first step in finding a business opportunity is to identify something that customers want that’s not readily available, or affordable, to them.

Your business idea doesn’t have to be some huge revolutionary concept. In fact, those “big ideas” typically take so much money to bring to market, they’re just not feasible for most entrepreneurs. For example, Meg Whitman and Jeff Katzenberg raised $1.75 billion of pre-revenue capital for their mobile video platform Quibi. Not many people could do that.

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