Good Ideas Come From Internal Challenges

David Cummings on Startups

One of the best ways to come up with entrepreneurial ideas is to look at internal challenges. Every company has problems and opportunities that aren’t being met, some more obvious than others. Here’s a simple exercise: take the three smartest people in your organization that you have good rapport with and ask them about their three biggest challenges. With these nine challenges in hand, whittle them down to your three favorite. Now, reach out through friends and acquaintances to do customer discovery (example guide) as to which one has the most opportunity. Voila, there’s a potential business idea.

Here’s how my entrepreneurial endeavors evolved:

  • Built websites in high school and college and couldn’t find a good content management system, so Hannon Hill was born
  • Had limited visibility into sales and marketing effectiveness at Hannon Hill, so Pardot was born
  • Had a tough time connecting Pardot to other cloud-based apps…

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