15 years ago, companies like Tesla, Instagram, Snapchat, Uber and many billion dollar companies you know of today didn’t exist. Groundbreaking innovations will continue springing up, there’s no doubt about that. Some of the world biggest corporations you know started from a garage. Apple was started in garage, Google, Disney, Amazon, Harley, were all started in a garage as well. The world is never tired of new ideas. Opportunities are spread everywhere. As aspiring entrepreneurs, we tend to complain lot about dearth of ideas. We want to create something but we can’t just think of what to create that will make a difference.
Sometimes, you might be feeling like all the good ideas in this world have been taken but that isn’t the case at all. That business you see thriving in your locality, at some point in time never existed. The owner had to think before coming up with the idea and now that the business is thriving, everything may seem too easy. Every product or technology you enjoy using today at some point in time never existed. The human world is full of opportunities if only we can think. There’s value you can add to this universe. As our lives continue to unravel, so will challenges. How we solve the challenges can give birth to opportunities.
The founder of facebook, Mark Zuckerburg after graduating from school wanted to create a platform where he and his colleagues can keep in touch each other owing to the fact that they can no longer be together like before. Out of that curiosity, he created facebook. And now because of facebook, you can always stay in touch with distant friends and families. You can know what’s going on in their lives without being physically part of it. You remain forever connected in the virtual world. Zuckerburg wanted solving a personal problem for himself but he ended up solving problem for the whole universe. And now thanks to him, the pain of getting disconnected with your high school friends has been cushioned. To create a problem solving product, first and foremost, you have to:
Try to identify problems
Take a closer look at your life; what challenges are you currently facing? not personal challenges but challenges that pertain to your daily life struggles. What’s making your life more difficult? Are you finding it hard to commute to work? What challenges is your environment facing? Life is full of adversities and behind those adversities, there are solutions you can call opportunities. Think hard on how you can come up with a solution. Do you know how pipeline for transporting oil products was invented? I bet you don’t.
John D, Rockefeller one of the greatest if not the greatest entrepreneur to ever lived was in to petroleum refinement. He relies on railways to transport his products all over America and beyond. After a certain point in time, the group of the railways moguls teamed up and decided to hike up the price of transports fare for Rockefeller product. The move was a deliberate attempt to force Rockefeller to pay more on logistics. He refused to budge. One day he was walking around in one of his oil refineries observing operations. Then the idea hit him, if oil in refinery can be transported over short distance, then it can be done over long a distance. He got to work immediately and that helped him to cut out railways from his business for good. His ingenuity hit railway business moguls like Vanderbuilt hard and their businesses suffered because of that.
Behind challenges, adversities, there are opportunities. Kerosene in the olden days America before the advent of electricity was the only source of lightening for homes. People use it to light up their homes. Thomas Edison saw this as ineffective and made the attempt to commercialize electricity with direct current. That idea threatened Rockefeller’s kerosene business. He tried all smear campaigns to discredit electricity, advertising it as dangerous for human safety. But that didn’t work so he had to think of how to save his business from collapsing. After all his effort to smear electricity proved futile, he started looking into other options beyond kerosene. Diesel use to be a waste product in oil refinery then. With the help of his team of scientists, Rockefeller discovered diesel to be useful product and that’s how his business was saved from collapsing. His curiosity to find solution gave birth to the diesel that is been used to power big engines.
Study readymade opportunities.
Sometimes we don’t need to create something new that the world has never seen. We need to take a closer look at existing opportunities. Study and look for gaps in those opportunities. Not all services you get every day that is perfect. Not every product you use is completely flawless. Identify those loopholes and see if you can buffer solution to those gaps. After Edison Thomas had succeeded in making DC electricity popular in America, his protégé Tesla came to him with an idea which he thinks will make electricity more safer for human consumption. Edison dismissed the idea. Tesla decided to resign from working with Edison to pursue his own idea. Tesla introduced alternating current AC which later on eclipsed Edison’s DC current and became the future of electricity. Creation of facebook was what trailed the blaze for other social media platforms to come into existence. Try to gain inspiration from already existing opportunities and offer something similar or unique entirely that boost consumers options.
You have to take risk
To invent anything, you must have the stomach for risk. No great accomplishment comes without risk. You have to willing to experiment your ideas even if there is no assurance it will succeed. Your idea no matter how brilliant it is can flop. If unfortunately it does, gather yourself together and re-strategize again and give it another go. When Rockefeller introduced pipeline, there was no assurance it was going to work. He took the risk and it worked. Also when Tesla was trying to market electricity, many rejected his idea because they feel it’s unsafe. Victims of electricity hazard were use as examples to target his initiative but he never budge. He failed at the beginning but he later succeeded. Go out and try your ideas, you got this.