Give them the fish
Last year I´ve worked with the book “$100 startup” by Chris Guillebeau. It has some great cases, strategies and insights by the way. It´s not kinda quick-read but shares some great ideas of starting a business and run a business.
One chapter is called “How to put happiness in a box and sell it”. It starts with a well known quote:
“Catch a man a fish, and you can sell it to him. Teach a man to fish, and you ruin a wonderful business opportunity” – Karl Marx
Chris Guillebeau gives a clever example: Restaurants don´t show their guest how to cook. They package happines and sell it. In this case happiness means having dinner in a relaxing atmosphere without stress after a busy week. That´s a sustainable business model.
He wants to spread the idea of business opportunities can come from everywhere.
A few common sources of inspiration for business ideas are:
1. An inefficiency in the marketplace:
Ever notice when something isn´t run the way it should be, or you find yourself looking for something that doesn´t exist? Chances are, you are not the only one frustrated and you are not the only one who wants that nonexistent thing. Make what you want to buy yourself, and other people will probably want it too.
2. New technology or opportunity:
When everyone started using smart phones, new markets cropped up for app developers, case manufacturers, and so on. But the obvious answer isn´t only the only one: Makers of nice journals and paper notebooks also saw an uptick in sales, perhaps in part because of customers who didn´t want everything in their lives to be electronic.
3. A changing space:
We can see businesses going out of business. When something is dying something can be born simultaneously. Chris Guillebeau gives a great example of a guy named Michael who saw a car dealership business going out of business, got a great deal for the property in a good location and opened up a mattress shop with a good business model. Even though he wasn´t really into this kind of business or branch he took the chance successfully. Something different or new may seem weird in the first place but could be the change your customers have waited for.
4. A spin-off or side project:
One business idea can lead to many others. Whenever something is going well, think about offshoots, spin-offs, and side projects that could also bring in income. There is nothing more to add to this one. Once the ball has set rolling …