For entrepreneurs, that first step is coming up with that game-changing idea. And that’s where most get stuck.
At Foundr, we get hundreds of emails from loyal readers asking us the same thing, “How do I come up with the right startup idea?”
It’s a simple question, but it’s actually hard to answer because not all ideas are the same. Taking a look at all the great success stories Foundr has been exposed to, I was able to track down 5 ways in which all great ideas are born.
Want to know what they are? Keep reading.
Startup Idea #1: Implement Strategic Foresight
By definition, an entrepreneur’s job is to create change whether locally or internationally.
As an entrepreneur, your job is to bring the world to a future that only you can see.
“The entrepreneur always searches for change, responds to it, and exploits it as an opportunity.” – Peter Drucker.
But how do you look into the future, outside of crystal balls and the odd visit to your local fortune-teller?
While it’s impossible to predict the future, what you can do is employ what management consultants call “strategic foresight.”
In the simplest terms, strategic foresight is essentially the ability to make informed and educated guesses. However, it’s more than just trying to predict the next market trend.
Strategic foresight looks into the past for recurring trends and which apply to the future. The goal is to take all the information available in the present and actively implement strategies to shape and inform the future you want.
Strategic foresight is either planning for the probable outcome or trying to manipulate it so that you achieve the preferable outcome.
You’ll be hard pressed to find a more perfect example of a successful idea borne from looking into the future than Indiegogo.
Indiegogo, today, is the largest and most popular crowdfunding platform in the world. Through our interviewwith Chief Development Officer and founder Danae Ringelmann, we learned how Ringelmann looked into the future to disrupt an entire industry and changed the world with the advent of crowdfunding for business startups.
As she said: “The SEC (US Securities and Exchange Commission) laws at the time that prevented peopled from investing online. But I said, ‘it’s probably time to change the law because the laws were written at a time when technology didn’t exist, the internet didn’t exist, the only time to protect people from risk was not allow them to engage at all.’ But with technology you could actually limit can expose themselves to.”
By rejecting the situation she saw—laws that didn’t permit people to invest online—she projected a new future based on the present technologies available. Such thinking Danae implemented is a perfect example of how strategic foresight comes into play.
Strategic foresight isn’t a matter of guessing or dreaming up new wild futuristic situations; it’s all about thinking critically, rejecting the status quo, and capitalizing on the opportunity available to you.
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