Enterprise Ideation: Uncover New Enterprise Concepts


In 2007, a pair of roommates moved to San Francisco. They had been broke, jobless, they usually didn’t have cash for hire.

They wanted to give you a fast hustle. With a convention coming across the nook, they seen that every one the resorts within the metropolis had been bought out.

That’s when one among them got here up with an concept.

They purchased a number of air mattresses, put them of their lounge, and had been in a position to hire it out.

That firm is now often known as airbnb.com.

Final 12 months, I left the internet online affiliate marketing area after 13 years. Everybody began questioning, “Charles, what are you going to do subsequent?

The reality is that I didn’t have a grasp plan. I used to be burnt out from the area and wished to do one thing totally different.

So then I began asking myself, what DO I wish to do now? I didn’t have any loopy concepts in my again pocket.

That’s what led me down the trail of learning enterprise ideation—the method of developing with enterprise concepts.

It may be a disappointing journey as a result of every little thing facilities round both “Observe your ardour” or “Scratch your personal itch.

One other downside is that founders are likely to rewrite historical past. As quickly they develop to a sure dimension, a public relations supervisor is available in and begins altering the story.

It’s kinda like how Fb was based with the noble aim of selling free expression and giving a voice to the powerless. It DEFINITELY didn’t begin as a hot-or-not rip-off.

I dove deep and researched every little thing I might discover on enterprise ideation. I studied one of the best practices of various startups. I in all probability listened to 100+ episodes of How I Constructed This (The pandemic lockdown gave me an excessive amount of free time).

Each origin story is exclusive, however I began seeing some patterns. Most profitable corporations don’t begin with a “Eureka!” second.

Founders are extra like mad scientists.

You give you a speculation for the long run and begin working experiments. It turns into a means of fast iteration in a race to beat the competitors and to turn into worthwhile earlier than the financial institution goes to zero.

That is my try at organizing enterprise ideation right into a easy to grasp framework. By this framework, I used to be ready to determine totally different concepts that I’m excited to pursue.

If anybody’s eager about a extra strategic means of developing along with your subsequent enterprise, that is for you.

Choosing the Proper Market

Within the enterprise capital world, there are a number of most important pillars for a startup:

  1. The Market. How briskly is the market rising? How nicely do the present options fulfill the market? What’s the complete addressable market?
  2. Product. How nicely is the product designed? Does it resolve the purchasers’ issues? Are they dying to throw cash at it? How polished is it? Does it “spark pleasure” when folks use it for the primary time?  
  3. The Crew. What’s the high quality of the CEO, cofounders, and workers? Have they got expertise? Have they finished this earlier than? How nicely do they work collectively?  

Which of those do you suppose matter essentially the most?

Marc Andreessen runs essentially the most influential enterprise capital agency on this planet, Andreessen Horowitz.

His reply?

Personally, I’ll take the third place—I’ll assert that market is crucial think about a startup’s success or failure.


In an incredible market—a market with a number of actual potential clients—the market pulls product out of the startup.

The market must be fulfilled and the market might be fulfilled, by the primary viable product that comes alongside.

The product doesn’t should be nice; it simply has to principally work. And, the market doesn’t care how good the crew is, so long as the crew can produce that viable product.

Briefly, clients are flattening your door to get the product; the principle aim is to really reply the telephone and reply to all of the emails from individuals who wish to purchase.

And when you have got an incredible market, the crew is remarkably simple to improve on the fly.”

– From The Solely Factor That Issues

I’ve been uncovered to lots of of markets throughout my time as an affiliate marketer. I’m telling you, NOTHING issues greater than the market and the timing.

I’ve seen individuals who had been in a position to pull in 5 figures a day with out even understanding learn how to correctly observe their campaigns. How? They had been selling when the market was sizzling, they usually had been early.

Do you keep in mind when the pandemic first began? Even the shittiest comfort retailer in your metropolis was bought out of every little thing.  

An important choice it’s a must to make is which market to pursue. There are two abilities that you need to develop.

  • Figuring out market tendencies
  • Deciding if the market is enticing and price pursuing

A. Figuring out Market Tendencies

People undergo phases of life: baby, teenager, younger grownup, center age, then aged. 

Each market additionally goes by means of phases of life referred to as an business life cycle. Each stage has its personal traits and challenges. 

Embryonic: The business is beginning out. 
Development: A interval of fast gross sales development. 
Shakeout: Gross sales are persevering with however at a slower charge. New rivals are coming into.
Mature: Gross sales begin to lower. The corporate has to reinvent itself with a view to survive. 
Decline: Gross sales and revenue all decline. The business is slowly dying. 

Listed here are some examples of various markets of their numerous lifecycles as of 2021. 

Embryonic: Augmented Actuality, Digital Actuality
Development: Electrical Automobiles, Streaming Providers
Shakeout: On-line Robo Advisors, a whole lot of YouTube Channels
Mature: Good Telephones
Decline: Newspapers, Malls

The cash is being within the earlier phases. That’s why it’s necessary to develop the power to determine tendencies and market analysis. 

Luckily, there are many instruments and analysis on the market devoted to market analysis.

Learn: The Six Greatest Instruments to Uncover Enterprise Tendencies

B. Deciding if the Market is Engaging and Price Pursuing

Not all markets are created equal. Some might be too aggressive. Others are too small. How are you going to inform if a market is value pursuing?

Listed here are among the standards that I’m .

1. Is the Business Rising?

Every part is simpler in a trending market.

There aren’t as many incumbents to compete in opposition to. When the market is rising exponentially, they’re prepared to just accept a “ok” product.

Take into consideration meditation apps. Any first rate meditation app might crush it in 2010 when the market was newer.

Now it’s 2021, and the business is reaching maturity. If you wish to compete on this area, you’ll go in opposition to Calm.com and HeadSpace.com. Manner harder proper?

2. Does your goal market have cash and are they prepared to spend cash?

It is a criterion that most individuals ignore.

It’s robust promoting to broke folks. My good friend launched a complement line focusing on avid gamers. The issue? 15 – 25 year-old avid gamers are broke.

All their cash goes in the direction of new video games, Fortnite skins, and to their favourite OnlyFans mannequin.

Let’s examine two complement markets:

  1. Older ladies who wish to look youthful. Older ladies have means more cash. Trying youthful can be a a lot greater ache level.

  2. Avid gamers who need extra vitality/focus whereas gaming. Avid gamers are usually broke. Whereas they wish to turn into higher avid gamers, it’s not a burning need.

One framework I really like to make use of is the Life Power 8 from Cashvertising. These are the eight fundamental human instincts hardwired into each individual.

Screenshot from the book Cashvertising, showing that there are 8 designs -- roughly survival, enjoyment, freedom, sex, comfort, to feel superior, to protect loved ones and, finally, social approval.

How does the market have an effect on somebody’s Life Power 8?

Trying Youthful for Ladies: Enjoyment of life, sexual companionship, to be superior, and social approval.

Being a Higher Gamer: Enjoyment of life, to be superior, and social approval.

There are a lot of life forces in widespread, however I’m going to give attention to “to be superior.

However the ache of growing old hurts ladies ten occasions greater than the ache of being a shitty gamer for a man. Meaning ladies are means simpler to promote to.

Your product shouldn’t be “good to have.” It ought to create the sensation of “I MUST HAVE THIS AT ALL COSTS.

The simplest means of doing that is to verify it’s focusing on the Life Power 8.

3. Present Competitors

You would possibly’ve recognized an incredible market, however what concerning the current competitors?

Right here’s my recommendation:

DO NOT be afraid of competitors. I repeat, DO NOT be afraid of competitors.

Present competitors signifies that the market is validated. It signifies that there’s cash to be made.

You need to resolve the client’s issues higher than the present competitors does. You’ll be able to’t be a “me too” model and compete on their strengths.

GymShark began in 2012. That they had so many billion-dollar rivals reminiscent of Nike, Adidas, and Reebok. It will’ve been simple for the founder to suppose, “Oh no, how might I probably compete?

However they recognized alternatives out there that the incumbents didn’t. Folks wished higher becoming and better-designed gymnasium clothes. Folks associated extra to their favourite health influencer than billion-dollar athletes.

It’s simple to be intimidated by massive rivals. You need to understand that they’ll’t pursue each alternative. After they’re that large, they transfer slowly like a cruise ship.

I’ve given you guys some standards on learn how to consider a market.

C. Brainstorming Totally different Markets

Nice companies are about predicting a future that doesn’t exist but. Write out an business that you simply suppose might be rising over the subsequent ten years. Then write out your causes.

We’re developing with totally different hypotheses.

Right here’s a fast brainstorming session from me to get you impressed.

  • Decentralized Finance: Trillions of {dollars} printed out of skinny air. Bailouts. The entire Robinhood fiasco. There may be a lot inefficiency and shadiness within the international banking system.

    DeFi goes to vary the world. Wait till folks understand they don’t should accept .5% APR from their “excessive yield” financial savings account anymore. 

  • Digital Households: You’re accustomed to digital nomads. Guys that go to South East Asia to ball on a funds and slay the native Tinder scene.

    There’s a rising need for households to dwell that life-style too. Extra folks can work remotely than ever earlier than. Subsequent, every little thing’s going to turn into costlier because of inflation.

    Why spend $6k a month to dwell in America, when you may spend $2k a month in Japanese Europe?  

    Households have totally different ache factors in comparison with a solo digital nomad. If networking is necessary, they’re much more eager about assembly different households. Digital nomads don’t care about nannies or how good the native faculties are. Digital households do. 

  • Wholesome Variations of Junk Meals: Persons are extra health-conscious than ever earlier than. They need taste with out compromising well being.

    What are a few of folks’s favourite junk meals? How can we make them more healthy?

    Professional tip: It’s a sign every time one thing’s bought out, and persons are reselling by way of eBay. My fiancée loves this Protein cereal from Costco. It hasn’t been in inventory in months!

    Screenshot of eBay.com, showing that Premier Protein Cereal is for sale.

    There’s loads of D2C corporations on the market. However I feel there’s a lot alternative because of the sheer variety of meals merchandise on the market.

  • Grownup: Adulting within the trendy world is sophisticated. You’re doing keg stands on the weekends in your ultimate 12 months of faculty, and the subsequent 12 months you’re anticipated to know learn how to file your taxes and play company politics.
  • Pets/Vegetation: Millennials and Gen z are delaying youngsters, and in some situations, not having youngsters in any respect. Nonetheless, that “nurturing” need continues to be there. Cash is shifting in the direction of each pets and vegetation with a view to fulfill that need.
  • Biohacking: Well being is on prime of thoughts. Then there are the outliers. The individuals who wish to squeeze each % out of productiveness, and those who wish to prolong their lives.

    Regardless that biohacking is fashionable among the many web advertising and marketing neighborhood, I nonetheless imagine it has nowhere close to penetrated “mainstream” society. Persons are beginning to get into it by means of FitBit/Whoop, however the rabbit gap goes deep.

  • Instagrammable Native Experiences: The common individual has a boring life. They go to work, watch Netflix, after which fall asleep. Possibly every so often they’ll journey. However touring is dear and folks don’t get a lot trip time.

    Regardless that everybody’s life is boring, they wish to look as in the event that they’re residing an fascinating life on social media. There’s this strain to maintain importing fascinating content material.

    After I lived in NYC, these “Instagrammable” experiences had been an enormous hit. I needed to e book tickets a number of months out for some of these things.

    Examples: Borderless, Van Gogh Expo, Museum of Ice Cream

I’m making an attempt to get tickets to the Van Gogh Expo in Atlanta. It’s bought out for months. It’s actually projections in an empty warehouse. Their revenue margins have to be insane.

Trying on the Information for Your Markets

After you’ve recognized some markets, you need to use totally different instruments to see in the event that they’re really sizzling. If persons are looking out for the key phrases or partaking in communities, then that’s a powerful sign. 

Some instruments:

I feel indoor vegetation is rising. And Google tendencies validate my conclusions.

Bear in mind, you’re within the brainstorming part. You don’t want to determine the enterprise mannequin. You don’t want to determine if that is inside your skills.

Simply determine as many sizzling markets as you may.

Learn: 10 Methods to Consider a Market by the Private MBA

What Are You Wired For?

I used to be preparing for a speech a number of years in the past.

I used to be nervous. I stored asking myself, “Why the fuck did I join this? That is such a dumb concept. You’re an asshole, previous me, for placing me by means of this.”

I actually didn’t wish to be there. But regardless of all these feelings, I killed it.

The person who spoke after me? He was relaxed earlier than the stage. I’m certain if you happen to let him, he would’ve finished a Q&A for a number of hours. He was a greater speaker than me and he did it with ten occasions much less effort.

He’s wired for public talking—I’m not.

I imagine that with sufficient time and effort, all of us can get good at something. However being wired means you’re genetically encoded for it. It’s as pure to you as respiration.

A lot of success is having the ability to work out what you’re wired for, and dealing in that circle of competence.

Listed here are some questions that can assist you work out what you’re wired for:

  • Should you had been retired and didn’t want cash, what would you wish to do all day?
  • What’s the type of work you might see your self doing at 11pm on a Friday evening?
  • Which type of work do you’re feeling you naturally enter a stream in?
  • Which type of work makes you excited to get away from bed within the morning?
  • What duties do different folks discover troublesome, that you simply discover simple to do?

Listed here are some issues that I imagine that I’m wired for. I don’t want a pomodoro for these items. I don’t have to hype myself up. These items are extra enjoyable to me than occurring social media or enjoying video video games.

  • Copywriting/writing
  • Constructing programs
  • Optimizing/enhancing
  • Analysis
  • Advertising
  • Strategizing/planning

Some issues I’m NOT wired for:

  • Something coping with folks
  • Monetary/authorized duties
  • Self-promotion
  • Extroverted actions

I hate doing this stuff. I’d reasonably be put in solitary confinement than should undergo hours of conferences with folks.

Now think about if I used to be an actual property agent! Holy shit, that will be a residing hell for me. The job requires issues that I’m not wired for! I’d hate going to work day by day.

How do you discover out what you’re wired for? It comes from expertise and reflection. It may well additionally come from suggestions from different folks.

I wish to share with you a Japanese framework referred to as Ikigai. 

Check out the chart beneath. 

Ikigai occurs on the intersection of all 4.

Think about being an incredible Karate teacher and loving it. The issue is what if nobody in your metropolis cares about Karate? 

Right here’s the excellent news:

  • What you might be paid for: The web has made it simpler than ever to monetize. 
  • What you might be good at: Expertise might be developed over time with sufficient focus and energy
  • What the world wants: That is might be found out by means of market analysis and speaking to potential clients
  • What you’re keen on: the toughest factor to determine, and a part of our distinctive DNA. Take into consideration what I stated earlier within the publish. What duties do you look ahead to day by day? 

What Are Your Anti-Targets?

Probably the most inefficient factor on this planet is to achieve your objectives, and understand that you simply by no means wished them.

As a substitute, begin backward. Work out precisely what you need and reverse engineer your method to your objectives.

One train I do is to image a day in your life, however ten years from now. What would your supreme day appear to be?

My typical day wouldn’t have any conferences outdoors of a 15-minute each day huddle. I’d have gamers within the firm who would take the lead on tasks. They’d have a lot autonomy and I’d give them an aggressive % sharing.

I’d solely give attention to technique, planning, advertising and marketing, and solely issues that I’m wired for. I’d have time to select my youngsters up from faculty day by day. My telephone and laptop computer could be shut off after 7pm.

When you get an concept of what your supreme day would appear to be, begin constructing constraints.

I name these anti-goals.

Listed here are a few of mine:

  • I wish to construct one thing that’s sellable/exitable.
  • Nothing primarily based round Charles Ngo the individual or model.
  • I hate purchasers. I don’t wish to run an company. 
  • A rising and trending business.
  • Potential to do $5m+ a 12 months in income.
  • Can run with a crew of beneath 5 full-time workers + a military of contractors. I wish to rent people who find themselves smarter than me.

By having these anti-goals, it eliminates potential enterprise fashions that wouldn’t be a superb match for me.

Brainstorm Out Totally different Enterprise Fashions

There are alternative ways to make cash from a sizzling market.

Should you recognized the keto weight loss plan as a sizzling market, you might be a keto coach, create a keto complement, or begin a keto YouTube channel.

So on this stage, we’re going to brainstorm totally different enterprise fashions for a sizzling market.

Let’s use the “digital nomad household” for instance. There are {couples} with younger youngsters who wish to journey the world and dwell abroad.

I’d first begin with making an attempt to determine what current issues there are in your market. Be part of totally different Fb teams. Discover their subreddits and boards. Eavesdrops and hear.

It’s also possible to conduct hands-on market analysis. Discover some folks in your core demographic and interview them.

I did some fast analysis, and listed below are among the issues that digital nomad households have:

  • What nations ought to I dwell in?
  • How do I discover reasonably priced housing?
  • How do I discover reliable nannies and maids?
  • Worry of loneliness. Folks desire a local people of different expats to be round.
  • Managing totally different paperwork, reminiscent of visas and medical insurance coverage.
  • Monetary backup. What if you happen to’re touring and lose entry to funds? The ATM eats your debit card, your backup card has a fraud alert, and never many companies settle for bank cards.
  • Monetary instability. Some persons are in a position to work remotely with salaried jobs. However some folks wish to do that as a freelancer. This will include earnings instability.  

Begin with the ache factors and brainstorm totally different enterprise fashions that supply options.

Right here’s a cheat code: Discover a comparable market and take a look at all of the totally different enterprise fashions that exist already. No have to reinvent the wheel.

I name this the “Uber of X” framework.

Clearly, the closest market to digital households are digital nomads. What current companies on the market already service digital nomads?

  • The Dynamite Circle is a paid neighborhood for digital nomads.
  • NomadList is a platform that curates one of the best locations to dwell.
  • My good friend JohnnyFD shares his journey round being a Digital Nomad. He’s like a solopreneur media firm.
  • Remoters shares guides round distant work.
  • There are such a lot of relocation companies primarily based in Thailand for a single individual.

Somebody might make a model of NomadList, however centered on standards necessary to households. You don’t want the Tinder Rating (sure, that’s an actual factor), however as an alternative give attention to faculties and security.

When you brainstorm enterprise fashions, you need to begin eliminating a few of them. Maybe the startup prices could be out of your funds. Or it’s not inside your capacity to launch this.

You wish to slender the listing all the way down to what’s attainable for you proper now.

Discovering Your Beachhead

Amazon began off by solely promoting books.

Bonobos spent years perfecting the Males’s Chinos.

Lemonade Insurance coverage began by solely promoting renter’s insurance coverage.

Amazon now sells every little thing, however they began by solely promoting books. Everybody fails as a result of they’re making an attempt to do too many issues without delay.

The beachhead technique relies on capturing a small a part of the market. What’s one portion of the market which you can seize?

Learn Extra: Beachhead Methods: 4 Methods You’ll be able to Compete with a Smaller Finances

This will also be a differentiator.

I subscribe to a number of enterprise newsletters. It’s laborious to face out. However listed below are two which might be laser centered:

Chartr.co focuses on visualizing knowledge. They make superb visuals and charts.
TheHustle is hilarious and has superb storytelling.

Anker is one among my favourite electronics firm. They began in 2011 and solely bought battery chargers. They constructed their repute from making reasonably priced and badass battery chargers.

Now they promote every little thing together with audio system and headphones. However keep in mind, that empire was constructed from their preliminary single product.

Discovering Product/Market Match

You need to have recognized a number of totally different markets, and a few potential enterprise fashions. Which one do you have to give attention to?

Strive all of them.

That is what I name firing bullets.

Learn: Fireplace Bullets, then Cannonballs

As a substitute of going “all in” on an concept, run small assessments to see which of them get essentially the most traction.

Think about that somebody’s beginning a restaurant.

The conventional methodology could be going “all in.” They concentrate on cooking Thai meals so it is sensible, proper? They borrow six figures and spend a 12 months constructing their Thai restaurant.

It utterly flops.

The choice is to fireplace bullets by working small assessments.

The chef has three concepts for a restaurant, however they do not know which one would do they finest.

  • A Thai restaurant specializing in ISAAN meals
  • Fusion Vietnamese banh mi.
  • An Asian vegan restaurant.

So they begin testing totally different pop up eating places to gauge demand. They hire a meals truck and check out totally different meals festivals.

It seems that persons are going loopy for the Asian vegan restaurant.

After all, this could come pure to you if you happen to’re an affiliate marketer. You take a look at out totally different marketing campaign concepts earlier than you laser give attention to one.

Too many individuals fall in love with their concepts.
Your concept is only a speculation. You’ll want to launch and take a look at the thought. Good concepts don’t pay the payments.

You need to execute on the thought and let the market resolve.

Typically the market instantly falls in love. However extra realistically, they don’t. As a substitute it’s a must to hearken to the market and alter the product or concepts primarily based on suggestions.

Within the restaurant instance, possibly folks just like the Asian vegan concept. You discuss to your clients and ask for some suggestions. They don’t like tofu as a lot as you do. Most individuals would like extra protein within the type of seitan.

So that you return to the drawing boards and create some new dishes primarily based on seitan. The market is digging it extra.

You create totally different seitan primarily based dishes. A seitan salad, a burger, a pasta dish, and a seitan primarily based taco.

The persons are going insane over the seitan taco. It’s bought out each time. Congrats, you’ve established product/market match.

Product/market match is a imprecise idea.

One definition of it’s:

“Product/market match means being in a superb market with a product that may fulfill that market.”

How are you aware whenever you’ve achieved product market match?

It’s a sense. Every part’s simpler. Clients are recommending your product and promoting in your behalf. Phrase of mouth is spreading. You’re combating to maintain the product in inventory. Should you shut your small business down, lots of people could be upset.

That is the toughest and longest stage. You’re in a race to determine product/market match earlier than your organization runs out of time or money.

Some suggestions for this stage:

  • Speak to your customers. Folks purchased your merchandise? Attain out to them and ask for constructive suggestions. Most individuals don’t do that as a result of they’re frightened of getting their emotions harm.
  • Pace > Perfectionism. Perfectionism will destroy you. Deal with what issues. Your emblem shouldn’t be going to make or break your small business. Be okay with “Ok.” Rush to model 3.0.
  • Be Cautious of Vainness Metrics. Compliments don’t pay the payments. Folks will let you know that your concept is superb, however have excuses when it’s time to open up their wallets.
  • Deal with What Issues.

Within the Finish…The Concept’s Kinda Ineffective

I simply wrote a number of thousand phrases telling you about enterprise ideation. And now I’m right here to let you know that it doesn’t matter.

What issues is your execution and the way you implement the thought.

I used to have this ridiculous mindset that I had to consider an excellent concept. And once I’d consider these concepts, I’d be discouraged to see that another person already considered it. 

After which I’d hand over earlier than I even begin.

Don’t really feel that it’s a must to be unique. Hundreds of thousands and even billions have been created from copying another person’s concept and executing it higher.

Discover an concept that’s ok to get you excited. Execute relentlessly.

Belief your self that you simply’ll be capable to determine it alongside the way in which. 

Within the meantime, I’m going to maintain firing bullets.

Picture credit score: Pixabay.


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