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I would add, even better is to start with the delivery channel. If you've got ways to reach a market which spends money, you're yet another step ahead.

Interesting. Can you elaborate what you mean by delivery channel?

Delivery channel = A way to reach the market.

For example, maybe you have ideas for products in half a dozen industries, but in one of those industries you happen to have a good friend who works in it (and thus has contacts there) and know the editor of one of the industry trade magazines. Those are both delivery channels into that industry. Compared to another niche where you have no contacts, it is much better to build a startup for that niche where you have some way to reach the market.

This may be already implied in your mind, but a lot of people wouldn't get it from reading your article. They'd start listing out industries and then picking one of them. I'm suggesting: list out your deliver channels first, and go from there (as a kind of step 0 in your process).

For example, Stack Overflow had two excellent delivery channels to reach programmer communities around the world (Joel and Jeff's blogs). It's fair to say that those two channels "made" stack-overflow.

Yes, I think if you are considering multiple industries that make money you will automatically gravitate towards the most "practical" one where you have more familiarity. That said, in my opinion in any industry creating a delivery channel is not incredibly difficult but it does give you an unfair advantage while starting out.

This actually brings up a third alternative... start with the industries, as you suggest, but then, as part of your hypothesis-resolution (see http://swombat.com/2011/1/7/how-to-evaluate-and-implement-st...), try to create delivery channels into those industries that you like.

Then follow the one where you best succeed into building delivery channels.

Best of both worlds?

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