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Ask HN: Where to get ideas?
7 points by white on Apr 18, 2011 | hide | past | web | favorite | 8 comments
Hi everyone,

I am confident that I have no problems to execute any idea. I have a team that is very engineering oriented and very responsive, and I'm engineer-made-to-product guy myself. I have a good enough networking to take of. However, I feel I lack ideas to work on right away. I should acknowledge that I'm picky about ideas. I'm looking for B2C with millions of users. (I'm not sure if this means picky or not, though. :)

I heard that ideas worths nothing or very little, however, I tend to believe that idea is at least 30% of success.

Any thoughts? Thanks.




Ideas are not 30% of success. The reason ideas are worthless is because literally any idea you have come up with many other people have come up with too. Almost nobody bothers to execute. My recommendation would be to pick something you are excited about.

Here is one, real time product insertion into uploaded videos (or even network TV/movies). Let people make their videos with blue screened objects or backgrounds and then have technology that lets advertisers insert real time advertising into the videos (meaning the advertising is not permanent but changes each time). One time the person is holding a can of coke, another time pepsi. One time the background says macys the next time it says bloomingdales

Another one that some people have started on is real time traffic mapping. Work with onstar (others are using the GPS in phones) to write software that maps the speed on every road 24/7 where there is an onstar vehicle.

something like craigslist but using a hackernews style rating system

facial recognition that can go through my whole library of pictures and tag every person. Read the techstars book to find out who has the technology to make it happen


Let me put it this way - a good idea is 30%. A bad one - is none. That's why there are a lot of crappy ideas, and people are constantly looking for something good.



Ask rich people what problems they have. Ask business people what problems they have. Ask business owners what problems they have.


Make a text file and just dump notes, everyday or every other day, on anything that frustrates you (or others) that you can vaguely imagine being a successful startup. Keeping count with each note of how many times you get that "Ugh, I wish someone had solved this problem!" feeling can also help narrow down things when you’re looking to build something.


Take a look at things that exist today. What do you wish was significantly better?

What's broken that you have the skills to fix, or to at least investigate further?

In general, I think people should start by building things for themselves.



Alex, I checked out your profile and your sites. I think we might be a good fit. I'm Chris Norstrom (http://www.chrisnorstrom.com) and basically I'm up to my ass in ideas. I've only posted a fraction of my creations online, my startup ideas I keep offline.

I'd love to chat with you on Skype if you can, I'm in St. Louis, Missouri but am planning on moving to the Bay Area soon.




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