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What Is Your Process for Developing New Business Ideas?: 16 Experts Weigh In

What Is Your Process for Developing New Business Ideas?: 16 Experts Weigh In

Sixteen entrepreneurs, from Founders to CEOs, unveil their personal blueprints for birthing a business concept. From embracing “Shiny Object Syndrome” to the art of market feedback and rapid product iteration, this compilation offers a diverse look at the alchemy of turning ideas into enterprises.

  • Embrace “Shiny Object Syndrome”
  • Unbundle for Niche Market Success
  • Take a Structured Approach to Idea Development
  • Innovate Through Market Pain Points
  • Generate Ideas With the Unique Mixtape Method
  • Collaborate and Brainstorm in Market Analysis
  • Exhibit Resilience and Think Unconventionally
  • Identify Gaps for Digital Solutions
  • Choose Reinvention Over Feature Addition
  • Fuse Passions for Novel Concepts
  • Involve the Audience in Product Development
  • Meet Gut Instinct With Market Research 
  • Use Problem-Solving as a Business Foundation
  • Learn Industry Intricacies for Entrepreneurship
  • Plan Strategically for Market Needs
  • Provide Market Feedback and Rapid Product Iteration

Embrace “Shiny Object Syndrome”

One of the most effective and successful strategies I have for coming up with new business ideas is to lean into “shiny object syndrome.” Typically, it’s seen as a bad thing to get “distracted” by new ideas, but I think those ideas are shiny for a reason and are worth paying strategic attention to.

I’m not saying I follow every impulsive idea through to creation, but I do like to jot down any sparks of inspiration as they come to me throughout the day. Then, I set aside a specific time each week or so to review my shiny ideas and assess how well they truly fit with my goals, capacity, and priorities. Whatever gets through that assessment phase, I then break it down into a more practical to-do list, and I begin actioning the first steps just like any new project.

By intentionally creating space to explore those shiny ideas that people often dismiss, I’ve had the pleasure of creating a second business, co-hosting a podcast, and launching over a dozen digital products just this year.

Michelle Pontvert, Online Business Strategist and Educator, Michelle Pontvert

Unbundle for Niche Market Success

With my personal software companies, I’m all in on unbundling. I like to find features of larger software companies, create businesses around those features, and then generate top-of-mind awareness and bottom-of-funnel organic traction for the business.

I never care about competition because I know potential competitors can’t do bottom-of-funnel targeting the way I can. I find the simplest feature of a big software company. For example, there are large enterprise platforms where one feature is a mood tracker, and another is voice notes.

Let’s combine them—a mood tracker that analyzes a daily voice note to determine mood. You don’t write about your mood; you talk about your day. The sentiment analysis determines your mood for you. That’s the idea—unbundled from a large company.

Next, I generate top-of-mind awareness with daily short-form mobile videos: TikTok, Instagram Reels, TwitterX, Facebook Reels, YouTube Shorts. And I use automation tools to have the videos come out simultaneously everywhere.

While building top-of-mind awareness with low-cost mobile video, I created a bottom-of-funnel landing page for organic search. Some know they want a mood tracker with sentiment analysis but don’t know a brand to give it to them. What do they do? They Google this: “Mood tracker with sentiment analysis.”

These keywords are so long-tail that they tend not to be competitive at all. I rank for dozens of them—just creating landing pages for every use-case keyword imaginable.

Within a year, I had a great MRR. I use this to grow the company with new features, which can then be used for more bottom-of-funnel landing pages and more short-form mobile content.

Wash. Rinse. Repeat. That’s my unique process.

Edward Sturm, Fractional CMO,

Take a Structured Approach to Idea Development

My process for developing a new business idea involves identifying a market need that aligns with my interests, conducting thorough market research, and brainstorming innovative solutions. I then validate the idea through customer feedback and refine it based on this input. 

The last step is creating a detailed business plan, which includes a marketing strategy and growth plan. Adaptability and openness to feedback are crucial throughout this process. This approach has been key in successfully launching and growing my business, Ignited Results, by ensuring our services not only meet market needs but also align with my passions and goals.

Jon James, CEO, Ignited Results

Innovate Through Market Pain Points

For me, I’m constantly staying knowledgeable about the updates and trends of relevant markets. This way, I gain a complete understanding of industry changes and emerging opportunities. I typically start by identifying pain points within the market because innovation often stems from addressing genuine problems. 

Once I’ve pinpointed a potential opportunity, I use a combination of market research and customer feedback to shape my concept. Throughout this process, it’s also important to remain adaptable and adjust the business model based on the data and feedback received. 

Overall, my process involves a continuous cycle of learning, adapting to market dynamics, and embracing innovation.

Matias Rodsevich, Founder, PRHive

Generate Ideas With the Unique Mixtape Method

The process isn’t a cookie-cutter template; it’s more like a mixtape, unique to each idea and situation.

1. Spotting the Spark. Every business idea starts with a spark. For me, it’s often about spotting a gap or a problem that nags at me. It’s like that one crooked picture frame in a room full of straight ones—it just demands attention. When I started my first venture, it was born from a frustration I faced daily, and I thought, “Surely, there’s a better way to do this.”

2. Chewing Over the Idea with Trusted Minds. Once I’ve got this embryonic idea, I don’t rush to market; I chew it over with a few trusted folks. It’s a bit like testing a new recipe with your family before you serve it at a dinner party. Their honest feedback is gold, helping me refine the idea, spot potential pitfalls, and add layers I might’ve missed.

3. The MVP Approach. I’m a big believer in the Minimum Viable Product (MVP) strategy. I build a basic, workable version of the idea and put it out there. It’s like launching a paper boat into a pond; I want to see if it floats and how it handles the waves before I build a ship.

4. Iterate, Iterate, Iterate. Feedback on the MVP is crucial. It’s not about being precious with the initial concept; it’s about adapting, tweaking, and improving. This phase can feel like a game of whack-a-mole, constantly adjusting and evolving based on real-world use and feedback.

5. Building the Right Team. As the idea gains traction, building the right team is key. I look for people who are not only skilled but who share the vision and passion for the project. It’s like forming a band; you need the right mix of talents, attitudes, and energies to make great music.

6. Scale Smartly. When it’s time to scale, I approach it with a mix of caution and ambition. It’s tempting to go big fast, but I’ve learned it’s about smart, sustainable growth. Finding the right partners, whether it’s for funding, distribution, or marketing, becomes crucial here.

7. Stay Agile and Adaptable. The business landscape changes rapidly. I keep my ear to the ground and stay ready to pivot or adapt. It’s about staying true to the core of the idea while being flexible enough to pivot as needed.

From my first venture, which was all about solving personal frustration, to my current projects, it’s been a blend of intuition, feedback, relentless iteration, and smart scaling.

Lilach Bullock, Founder, Lilach Bullock

Collaborate and Brainstorm in Market Analysis

Our unique process for developing a new business idea starts with a deep understanding of the market and its pain points. We believe in the power of research and analysis to identify gaps and opportunities. 

Once we have a solid foundation, we gather a diverse team of creative minds who bring different perspectives to the table. We encourage brainstorming sessions where no idea is too crazy or too small. 

We believe in the power of collaboration and bouncing ideas off each other. From there, we prioritize and refine the ideas based on feasibility, market demand, and potential impact. We then create a detailed roadmap and set clear goals to guide our development process. 

Our entrepreneurial story is one of perseverance and adaptability. We started with a small team and had a big dream while facing countless challenges and setbacks along the way, but we never gave up. We learned from our mistakes, pivoted when necessary, and always stayed focused on our vision. 

Our passion for innovation and our commitment to delivering exceptional software solutions have been the driving forces behind our success.

Alex Stasiak, CEO and Founder, Startup House

Exhibit Resilience and Think Unconventionally

Embracing the mantra “Look Outside the Box,” my entrepreneurial journey was shaped by overcoming two incurable diseases. Frustrated with conventional solutions and a 30-day stint at a clinic yielding no answers, I turned inward, listening to what I believed was a higher calling. 

Successfully healing myself ignited a passion for introducing technology to others and broadening their horizons. This experience inspired the creation of Innovative Wellness Consultants and Quantum Energy Wellness Center, ventures I co-founded with my sister. 

My unique process for developing business ideas is rooted in the transformative power of resilience, faith, and unconventional thinking, highlighting the importance of daring to explore beyond the conventional to discover innovative solutions.

Amber Moseley, CEO and Co-Founder, IWC

Identify Gaps for Digital Solutions

Developing a new business idea involves identifying a gap in the market for a digital product that caters to individuals. For my demographic, that meant following a lectin-free diet. 

After extensive research to understand the needs and challenges of this audience, I leverage my background in education and technology to develop a comprehensive meal-planning platform that offers personalized recipes, grocery lists, and tracking tools.

While there are many businesses and potential ideas, this process can be reverse-engineered by anyone hoping to start something new.

Daniella Stein, Founder, Lectin Free Meal Planner

Choose Reinvention Over Feature Addition

With a wealth of experience spanning two decades in developing software products for renowned tech companies, I ventured into the entrepreneurial landscape eight years ago. During this time, I successfully established three startups from the ground up, each offering distinctive products and services. Amidst these experiences, I gleaned a valuable lesson—one that often eludes many first-time founders.

A Common Pitfall: The tendency among new entrepreneurs is to perceive a missing feature in already successful products as a promising startup idea. Having fallen into this trap myself, I’ve observed that this inclination is deeply rooted in their background as product developers within large enterprises. In such environments, success is typically measured by the features created and admired by customers. However, this approach proves insufficient when launching a new startup.

A Common Wrong Strategy: Most first-time entrepreneurs often follow a three-step process that frequently yields poor results. They build a product based on the missing feature, design a user-friendly UI for simpler onboarding, and integrate with other products. Unfortunately, this strategy tends to attract new users within the core use case but falls short of bringing the wider market into using the product, resulting in slow, non-explosive adoption.

The Right Strategy (Reinvent): One strategy that yields exceptional results is reinvention. Ensure that your startup is solving a problem dramatically better than current methods. Target the first users as the disgruntled and powerful users of the legacy product. Once you have an approach that ‌solves a problem ten times more effectively and garners user love, shift focus to building the supporting infrastructure, including UX and integrations.

Illustrating the Strategy: Through my current venture in the API test automation space, I offer a clear example of this approach.

Intesar Mohammed, Founder and CEO, PerfAI, Inc.

Fuse Passions for Novel Concepts

My entrepreneurial journey began with a fusion of my passions for technology and fashion. Early inspirations from cyberpunk culture and video games led me to explore how these elements could intertwine with fashion, challenging the notion of a linear career path.

The key to developing a new business idea, I’ve found, lies in bridging disparate fields to create something novel. For example, my venture into 3D-printed clothing and collaborations with NVIDIA and Intel showcases this interdisciplinary approach. At the Parsons School of Design, I further honed this blend of fashion and technology, leading to my current focus on digital fashion and 3D cinematics.

My advice to aspiring entrepreneurs is to embrace your diverse interests. Don’t limit your creativity to a single niche. Explore the intersections of your passions and be open to unconventional paths. The most groundbreaking ideas often emerge from the fusion of seemingly unrelated fields.

Snezhana Paderina, Art Director, Expert, and Innovator in the Field of Fashion Tech, SNEZHANA.NYC

Involve the Audience in Product Development

We involve our audience in our development process. A business development process is about recognizing and fulfilling unmet needs. We rely on heavy feedback to create the right products. 

Taking our customers on the journey with us makes them more inclined to purchase from us. As a result, the products meet their needs perfectly. We use social media to provide options and discuss the pros and cons of different features. 

Polls and comments guide our decisions. So, our company surveys consumers to gauge deeper insights. The final product is precise in meeting our audience’s needs.

James Koskela, Founder and Owner, Zero Day Gear

Meet Gut Instinct With Market Research 

Developing a new business idea is always an exciting journey. At Venture Smarter, our unique process involves a blend of innovation, market research, and a touch of good old-fashioned gut instinct.

We keep our ears to the ground, constantly scanning the business landscape for emerging trends and opportunities. We believe in the power of data, so our team dives deep into market research, analyzing consumer behavior, industry reports, and competitor strategies. This helps us identify gaps in the market that we can fill or areas where we can bring a unique value proposition.

Once we’ve spotted a promising concept, we gather our diverse team of experts. We’re big believers in collaboration because, let’s face it, great ideas often come from bouncing thoughts off each other. Each team member brings a unique perspective, from tech whizzes to marketing gurus, ensuring we consider every angle.

The real magic happens during our brainstorming sessions. We encourage wild ideas and crazy possibilities. It’s during these sessions that we refine and shape our initial concept, filtering out the impractical and honing in on the gems. It’s not always a linear process, but that’s the beauty of it.

My entrepreneurial story started with a passion for leveraging technology to solve real-world problems. I’ve always been fascinated by the intersection of innovation and practical application. When I founded Venture Smarter, I wanted to create a space where brilliant minds could come together to turn groundbreaking ideas into tangible solutions. The journey has been filled with highs and lows, but the thrill of building something meaningful and impactful keeps me fueled for the challenges ahead.

Jon Morgan, CEO, Venture Smarter

Use Problem-Solving as a Business Foundation

My unique process for developing a new business idea starts with identifying a problem or gap in the market. I believe that every successful business is built on solving an existing problem or meeting an unmet need. 

I am always on the lookout for areas that can be improved upon or where there is a lack of solutions. Once I have identified a potential opportunity, I conduct thorough market research to understand the target audience, competition, and potential demand. This helps me validate my idea and determine its feasibility. 

Next, I brainstorm different ideas and solutions to address the identified problem. This stage involves a lot of creativity and out-of-the-box thinking. I also seek feedback from trusted advisors or industry experts at this point to gather more insights and refine my ideas. 

After finalizing my idea, I create a detailed business plan that outlines the objectives, strategies, financial projections, and timelines for my venture. This serves as a roadmap for turning my idea into a viable business.

Amy Mangrum, Founder and CEO, House Buying Girls

Learn Industry Intricacies for Entrepreneurship

I worked in advertising for 10 years before starting Brill Media. The process involved learning the intricacies of the digital advertising business, noodling on opportunities for about 1-2 years while working at other agencies, and then looking for the right time to go out on my own.

It’s never easy to start a business, and it always feels like there is a safer option. One of the common trends in my entrepreneurial journey was that to get ahead, I had to take a few steps back. When I started the business, it took years to find the right product-market fit. That time cost me lots of money in the short term, but it paid off in the long term.

The differentiating factor was ultimately taking the capabilities reserved for large brands, spending tens of millions of dollars per year, and deploying them to small and midsize businesses.

Slow and steady was key to the success of Brill Media, along with a long-term outlook and a vision of where the business would go.

Robert Brill, CEO, Brill Media

Plan Strategically for Market Needs

Developing a new business idea is a multifaceted process that involves both strategic planning and a deep understanding of the market. My approach, refined through years of experience in the digital marketing and entrepreneurship sectors, can be outlined in several key steps:

Identifying Market Needs: The genesis of a successful business idea often lies in identifying unmet needs within the market. This requires diligent research, including market analysis, customer feedback, and competitor studies. My ventures have often originated from spotting a gap in the market or a specific pain point that customers experience.

Conceptualizing the Solution: Once a need is identified, the next step is conceptualizing a viable solution. This involves brainstorming sessions, feasibility studies, and initial prototype development. The aim is to create a unique value proposition that differentiates the business idea from existing solutions.

Validating the Idea: Before proceeding further, it’s crucial to validate the idea with potential customers. This can be achieved through surveys, focus groups, or a minimal viable product (MVP) launch. The feedback gathered at this stage is invaluable and often leads to iterations in the business model or the product/service itself.

Building a Business Plan: With a validated idea, the next step is to develop a comprehensive business plan. This plan outlines the business model, market strategy, financial projections, and operational framework. It serves as a roadmap for the business and is essential for attracting investors or partners.

Bruno Gavino, Founder and CEO, CodeDesign

Provide Market Feedback and Rapid Product Iteration

As the founder of many successful and failed startups in the technology space, I’ve learned that shipping a product quickly is extremely important. I’ve spent years trying to make something perfect for a market that didn’t exist, whereas my most successful companies have come from putting something out in less than a week and iterating after proving the market need. 

Bindr, my most recent startup, got hundreds of signups in the first week and now has hundreds of thousands of people finding us. The first version hardly worked, and in under a year, we’ve sent out hundreds of updates to build better solutions for our users.

Brandon Teller, Co-Founder, Bindr

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