When most folks encounter a problem, an inconvenience, or an unpleasant situation, they’ll assume these problems are “facts of life” and go on with their lives. At the most, they may even lament about it to others.
Not attentive entrepreneurs. They tend to identify problems and construe them as opportunities.
Serial entrepreneur Miki Agrawal tells the story of how she started WILD, New York City’s first gluten-free pizzeria, after becoming increasingly intolerant to processed foods:
It all started in 2005 when I started having recurring stomachaches. I realized I was intolerant to all of the additives, hormones, and pesticides that were being put in American mass-produced food. At the time, I had given up my favorite comfort food, pizza. In 2006, I opened WILD in New York City to offer people the best version of a pizza: made with organic, gluten-free flours & tomato sauces, and hormone-free cheeses & meats.
During that time, everyone thought “gluten-free,” “farm-to-table,” and “organic” meant “must taste like cardboard,” so it took a lot of education to get people to “get” it.
Embedded in Agrawal’s narrative is a great entrepreneurial thought lesson: You, too, can become better at recognizing unrevealed opportunities by learning to spot the subtle clues all around. The key question to ask is, “This product should already exist, why doesn’t it?”
Learn to Spot Hidden Business Opportunities
Besides WILD, Agrawal has applied the same ingenuity to found two other successsful businesses called THINX underwear and TUSHY bidet accessories.
Answer the following questions to check if some problem you’re aware of serves as a business idea worth exploring:
- What’s appalling in your personal or professional world?
- Is this thing so terrible that you want to do something about it?
- Does this bother any person but you just as much?
- Your proposed solution should already exist, but why doesn’t it?
- Could this solution be worth something for others who are dealing with similar problems?
Idea for Impact: “Fix-What-Sucks” Business Opportunities are Everywhere
All you have to do is look around your own life and find something that has been broken, and then fix it. Extend and expand. The world is always seeking better, faster, cheaper, and smarter ways to solve its problems.
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