Here is a question I got from a Redditer in the r/startup community. The question reads like this:
I've done "build and they will come", again. I have an engineering background. I'm starting to realise that learning plethora of tech won't give me the competitive edge when I want to build something meaningful, especially in the beginning. I'm trying to approach it from a different direction this time and start a conversation about it. So, what pain points do you usually face when you're trying to find the problems that are worth solving?
Here is my answer:
The "build and they come" era for engineers is over. My friend. It was long over. Now it is "build it and hauler to your friends and they might come". Two key words for you my friend: FOCUS. And friendship. Only FRIENDS allow you to listen to their real pains and accept your solutions. So build relations with your heart. If you wan to provide and if you want to make money in today's world, you will be extremely disappointed. I am an engineer turned entrepreneur. I know exactly what you are talking about. People only care about the things they care about during COVID lock down - love and toilet papers. Oh, grocery stores are open, good. Every other pain is forgettable. Build relation. Make friends. That is first step. Problems are scattered everywhere. Let's say during COVID a lot of people are out of jobs. And let's say many wants to do shopify or FBA business. Then they would not be able to handle the calls. Now that is the pain - to help gig workers with customer calls so they can focus on their work. Problems are everywhere. If you don't focus, you only see a white beach. If you focus, you see 1 triillion grains of sand, each representing a problem. Each will make you generational money.
The problem with American education system is (I was a professor), we have highly educated Ph.D. teachers teaching you from dry books or their wet research. We don't teach building skills. We never teach anyone how to FINISH building something, or how to "sell that item by identify value".
Today engineers are commodity - they are the nuts and bolts in a machine. Now you need to start thinking from the reverse. Think about three things. 1. Who I want to be my friends. 2. Solve any problem the friends have. Trust me, they can make you rich. 3. Build and learn and learn and built. Learn on the fly. Build on the fly. After this, you will be as clam as u/rolandopax. The COVID and AI will disrupt the world economy and tech landscape - act on something fast.
I have a list of free business ideas that you are welcome to take a look
Other great answers on that post include the following:
In my opinion, it actually starts with you. What problems have you found in your area of competence? Most entrepreneurs solved problems in their fields. You will probably say I am not build the solution for me but having insights and discussing with people in your field will give you the insights you need.
Right. FOCUS. FOCUS. FOCUS. Focus on any problem, a universe will emerge.
Nowadays the competition is much higher since the startup cost is lowered a lot. The pain point is to brainstorm ideas that are worth solving. When I try to think of an idea, the idea will probably have no traction after launch. Now, I am trying to change the ideation process in another way. Review the problems I have personally. Check how many users are asking the problem online in various communities. When I faced the problem on my own, I can build something to fix it. At least it can help me if no one is interested later. The problem with this ideation method is that the problems are solved many times by other people. Think about a common problem, getting user feedback.
Actually, there is an alternative. Go to a market and listen. The problems in America you don't have markets where you can listen anymore. But you can put ear on any market and 1 million problem sirens will start to ping. Stop sitting in your room and "think".
One of the most difficult things in the world is a forced innovation in my opinion. I used to do same as you, just that I’m a bit of a no actual skill guy, more like a lifetime speculator trying to connect dots most of the time only. Now I’ve changed my approach into finding a life that makes me feel good, calm and happy mentally, physically and financially and only then look into trends, available solutions and potential improvements. This seem to do wonders to me. I guess inner calmness produces a higher quality thoughts. Hence better insight etc
Yes, calm down. There are a billion money-making business building ideas there - calm down and pick one. Don't just "think one".