Where can I get business ideas to help me start my own company?
June 8, 2007 12:51 PM   Subscribe

Where can I get business ideas to help me start my own company? Anything computer-related would be preferred.
posted by dcrocha to Work & Money (5 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
Chances are that if you need a business idea to start your own company, it'll fail pretty damn fast. 'Anything computer-related' is just about as broad as you can get. If your primary focus is starting your own company, maybe you should go to business school first? If your primary focus is an interest in a single technology, you'd probably already be exploring that. FWIW.
posted by devilsbrigade at 1:33 PM on June 8, 2007

Ideas are cheap, pull one out of your ass and go for it, or don't. It's up to you. Don't get caught up on getting a great idea, just pick one that you can add value to the customer and then... add the value. If you can program, do that, if you can only type, do data entry, there are lots of different things that all involve sitting in front of a screen.
posted by cschneid at 2:25 PM on June 8, 2007

Best answer: One of the easiest ways to start a tech business is to start out doing something consultative or services-based. Try to provide technical services to a focused market with well-formed, yet unmet needs. An example here is to put together a software services business tailoring to, say, manufacturing businesses. Maybe businesses want to update their custom/homemade inventory systems to integrate new technological capabilities, like wireless and RFID. Basically, one part integration, one part software. I'm just pulling one off of the top of my head - it's not necessarily good.

Then, evaluate each contract and the intellectual property that it produces (make sure that your contracts leave you some control over the resulting code/processes/work product). Was the customer enthusiastic? Was it profitable? If you had to do it again, would you be ahead of the curve, because you already have some stuff built? Good. Go find another client with the same problem, brag about how you solved it for the last client, and this time, add a little more to your intellectual property. Rinse. Repeat. In essence, your clients are paying for your development costs on the product that you will one day zero in on, and develop into a market player - whether you're looking to get bought, or take over the world by yourself.

I've always felt like the initial idea is a lot like someone's initial major in college. These things change. The important elements are that a) you get good people (starting with employee one - you), b) you give them something challenging/fun to work towards, c) you keep the pulse of your customers, and d) you think ahead at least two steps.

Cheers, and happy hunting!
posted by rush at 2:43 PM on June 8, 2007

I have an idea, but no time. Do you do php coding? Graphic design? Email me (shouldn't this be in jobs?)
posted by ODiV at 2:43 PM on June 8, 2007

Oh, and learn about differentiation. You'll eventually want a unique selling proposition. Try reading "Differentiate Or Die."
posted by rush at 2:45 PM on June 8, 2007

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