How to Come Up with a Business Idea?

How to Come Up with a Business Idea?

Jun 5, 2024

  Read time -  6 minutes

The Delusion

Have you ever found yourself wanting to start a business, but uncertain about the specific industry to enter? Perhaps you’ve seen friends and colleagues in a similar situation, debating on the subject.

These are the types of discussions you have over a cup of coffee or in a bar, where you’re trying to brainstorm a grand idea that others would pay for, imagining that sooner or later you’ll have a huge amount of money in your bank account.

Not only that, but people on YouTube, websites, and in bookstores provide advice on what business to start – exercising a thought experiments imagining hypothetical business ideas capable of becoming money-making machines.

Let me share my experience with this approach – more often than not, it doesn’t work.

It doesn’t, because this method typically involves envisioning a hypothetical business built on top of reality and this line of thinking is fragile as it’s susceptible to falling into delusions.

Business Relies on Pain and Necessity

Business ideas don’t emerge solely from imagination, they arise out of necessity.

You create a product or a service that an individual or a group of people are willing to pay for because it provides a solution to a pain point or urgent necessity they're experiencing in real life.

To clarify that statement, let me give a few examples:

  • You buy water because you’re thirsty.
  • You pay the car mechanic because you need the car to deliver food home for your family.
  • You purchase a nice pair of shoes because you want to impress people around you, presenting yourself in a way that brings you the benefits you seek.
  • You order a drink at the bar because you’re looking to relax from the stress you’ve endured over the last few days.


All of these examples, and many more, have their foundation in pain or necessity – all connected to certain feelings or emotions inside us for which we are seeking solutions.

As harsh as it sounds, the economy is built on dissatisfaction and the drive to fulfil certain needs.

So, if you want to come up with a business idea, you can sit and think, of course, but that won’t yield as favourable results as experiencing the pain or the necessity yourself. In other words, by simply living life, eventually, you will encounter situations where you feel pain or necessity. If a group of people face the same issues as you do, then you’ve most likely found a business opportunity.


Go on a trip, and during the process of organising it, you may find that many people, like you, have an issue with obtaining medical insurance for your destination.

Try ordering a nicely brewed coffee that can be delivered to your door…and you may discover that such a service doesn’t exist not only in your city, but in your entire country. Moreover, you might find groups on social networks where people ask about such a service.

Visit your local supermarket and try to find locally produced fresh vegetables and you may realise that there are none. After a short Google search, you may also find out that there are local food producers, but there is no physical market where you can find their products.

Final Thoughts

Simply put, don’t isolate yourself – experience life and opportunities will present themselves. You can recognise them very easily. It just has to align perfectly with the simplest definition of what a business is:

You create a product or a service that people are willing to pay for.

Also, bare in mind that it’s not necessary to personally experience pain points and situations like the ones I described above. Sometimes it’s enough just to observe. You can watch what issues others have and try to find a solution for them.

Key Takeaways

  • When trying to generate a new business idea merely by thinking, you’re often envisioning a hypothetical business built on top of reality. This line of thought is fragile, as it’s susceptible to falling into delusions.
  • If you want to come up with a business idea, live and experience life, and opportunities will present themselves.
  • A real business opportunity aligns perfectly with the simplest definition of what a business is: You create a product or a service that people are willing to pay for.

Curious About the Next Article’s Topic?

In my next article, I’m going to present a step-by-step guide on how to fail a startup. If all of your ventures have always been successful, and you’re curious about how to experience failure – the next read is for you.

Let me frame it differently. While everyone else is discussing how to achieve success, I’m going to cover the opposite – what actions would lead to your startup’s failure. If you’re interested, subscribe and stay tuned.


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