Original question from Quora:

What are good techniques for thinking up new business ideas?

My Answer:

If you want a new business idea, look at where people are spending their time and their money. Then, get involved with those things somehow.

For example, every day something like 100,000,000 men shave in the United States. Companies like Gillette make billions in razors, blades, shaving cream, shaving gel, after shave, and so on.

And it’s not just Gillette, there are hundreds of companies involved in men’s personal grooming. It’s not just the products either, if you consider how many barber shops and stylists that are selling grooming services and products. Oh, and then there are blogs, podcasts, and men’s style magazines. Wait, and there are thing in a box subscription services like dollar shave club too.

That’s literally hundreds of businesses and billions of dollars in transactions made each year around men shaving. You could start a business doing all kinds of different things related to that simple daily activity.

The point is not to think of some new outlandish product or service at all. But rather, look at what people are already doing and see if you can provide value in that space. It could be as simple as making a better smelling soap or shave gel. It could be a different way to buy an existing product like a subscription instead of one time purchase.

It doesn’t need to be complicated or even new. It only needs to be profitable.

-Brian

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