Searching for a good business idea? Tell your friends!

by Jason -- October 27, 2014


A common challenge amongst aspiring entrepreneurs is “I don’t have a good idea”. In the following, I’ll discuss my process of searching for business ideas and the tremendous value of being public about my search.

Six months ago I announced publicly that I was going to start a new business. I had one idea, but I was open to others. After telling friends and coworkers, an interesting thing happened — they told me about business ideas they had as well! These conversations weren’t about them building these companies, but rather trying to convince me to work on their idea. And frankly, I was completely open to this.

Some of the ideas weren’t for me, but many addressed very interesting problems. I started a list and as I had free time I would investigate them.

The fact that my friends & former-colleagues are heavily involved with the startup world I’m sure led to more ideas in general. However, even many of whom are not necessarily “startup people” were pitching me ideas as well.

One major counter-argument to this approach is that if you find an idea through a friend, it’s not your life’s calling. Are you really going to be passionate about it? I don’t see this being an issue. When you start researching a problem and talking with potential customers, you very quickly become invested in the solution.

For my previous idea, WeShip, I didn’t have a direct connection to the packaging & logistics industry. But when I spoke with shipping managers, it was exciting. Hearing them complain about FedEx and UPS made me want to create WeShip even more!

There are plenty of places to find your business idea. One additional place should be your friends/colleagues. Make your intention to start something new public – you may be surprised by the results.

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