Where Startup Ideas Come From

Mike Fishbein: Where Start Up Ideas Come From ISBN:1500815896

== Excerpts ==


This book includes four methodologies

I propose to (1) generate an idea based on what market demand data you have or can get quickly, and (2) iteratively develop the product to ensure it meets demand.

Section 1: Introduction to Starting a Business

Chapter 1: What is a Business?

“trade,” as used in the definition above, can be defined as “an exchange of value.”

Chapter 2: Why Start a Business?

Why Not Start a Business? (Here’s Why Startups are So Hard!)

Section 2: How to Get Business Ideas

Chapter 3: 2 Things You Need to Generate Business Ideas and Execute

domain expertise and passion

a secret — in the Peter Thiel sense: something you believe that most other people don't believe.

Chapter 4: Scratch Your Own Itch

  1. How to Identify Your Problems

  2. Develop a Customer Persona and Validate Your Idea

think very specifically about who else is likely to want to use it. The following questions will help us think through it: Why

  1. Scaling Efficiently and Mitigating Risk

Chapter 5: Ask Your Customers

It’s great to come up with ideas, but if they will not help you start a business, and if starting a business is your goal, it may not be as productive as finding problems.

  1. Choose a Customer Segment

How to Choose a Customer Segment

start with a customer segment you want to serve.

  1. Identify Problems and Unmet Demands

Chapter 6: Meet Known Needs

things nearly everyone wants.

the solution will still need to be validated.

In my opinion, the best startup ideas are obvious. They are massive improvements to pre-existing and widespread problems.

“Great companies do 1 [or more] of 3 things: Get you laid, get you paid, [or] get you made.” (Compelling) – Dave McClure, 500 Startups

Examples of Known Needs

  1. Make Money or Save Money

  2. Eating

  3. Save Time

  4. Self Image and Power

  5. Relationships and Reproduction

  6. Entertainment

  7. Security and Safety

  8. Transportation

  9. Shelter

  10. Communication

Business to Business

Non-Essential Problems

if they don’t have an incentive to solve it, they probably won’t be motivated to use or pay for a solution.

The Importance of Domain Expertise

Lack of domain expertise or a professional network can be overcome

Hard Problems

It must also be hard for people to satisfy the need.

Alternative Solutions

a different competitive axis, bundling or unbundling,

Service Automation

Key Takeaways

Chapter 7: Do What’s Working

“Do what’s working” means supplying, or testing, something you know people want. It could mean (1) providing the validated solution to the same problem (replicating), (2) supplying a validated solution for one problem to a different problem, or (3) providing a variation of a validated solution to the same problem (differentiating).

The following chapter describes each of the three variants

All or in Part

Same Problem, Same Solution (Replicate)

“second movers.”

Mover Advantages

are four advantages to being a second mover.

Customer Validation

b. Product Management and Marketing

c. Customer Acquisition

d. Procurement

Second Mover Disadvantages


  1. Different Problem, Same Solution

Different Markets

User Experience

Business Model

  1. Same Problem, Similar Solution (Differentiate)

Examples of competitive axes which you could compete on, which I’ve included in the following section, are product, privacy, price, and unbundling.

How to apply pricing differentiation to your next venture?

d. Unbundle

Conclusion to Chapter 7

Consider Your Goals

Chapter 8: 46 Business Ideas

16 Small Business Ideas

  1. Store Front

  2. Bar and/or Restaurant

  3. Business Consulting

  4. Wholesaling

  5. Physical Labor

  6. Business Services

  7. Life Coach

  8. Wedding Planner

  9. Travel Agent

  10. Personal Trainer

  11. Financial Planner

  12. Tutoring

  13. Executive Recruiting

  14. Agent, Connector, Broker

  15. Artist

  16. Nutritionist

Online Business Ideas

Why Passive Income is So Great

5 Online Business Ideas

16 Sites to Make Side Money

Why You Should Self Publish a Book

Benefits of Writing a Non-Fiction Book

a. Market Your Business and Acquire Customers

b. Acquire Consulting Clients

c. Get Paid Speaking Gigs

d. Get Paid for Corporate Training Workshops

e. Make Money

f. Have a Flexible Work Schedule

g. It’s Fun!

h. Get Press Coverage

i. Network and Meet New People

j. Build Your Brand and Authority

k. Prove Yourself to Potential Clients

l. Diversify Your Revenue

m. Organize Your Thoughts and Learn

n. Improve Your Authenticity and Reduce Shyness

o. Get Paid to Learn

p. Improve Your Speaking and Communication

Why Self-Publish Rather Than Signing with a Publisher

The Bottom Line on Self-Publishing

check out How to Write a Book in 10 Days

9 High Growth Tech Startup Ideas

  1. Goldman Sachs for Private Company Stock

  2. FINRA for Collaborative Consumption and P2P Marketplaces

FINRA is a “self regulatory organization”

p2p (peer to peer) marketplaces like Airbnb, or even Udemy,

  1. Credit Card Company for BitCoin

  2. Operating System(s) for Mobile

  3. Real Money Gaming (possibly with Bitcoin)

  4. Etsy for Food and Beverage

  5. Teach Kids How to Code

  6. Search Engine Based on Reviews

  7. FDIC for Bitcoin

Section 3: How to Start a Business

Chapter 9: The First Step to Take After Coming Up with a Business Idea

So, the first step to take after coming up with a startup idea is to talk to your customers.

Chapter 10: What is Customer Development and Why Should Entrepreneurs Practice It?

Chapter 11: Is Your Idea Worth Pursuing?

Case Study: How I Started 3 Businesses in 3 Months

Key Takeaways and Additional Startup Resources

Additional Resources *

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