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Here is the real secret: Become a domain expert.

You aren't going to disrupt SAP by building a better data organizer/dashboard. But if you truly understand the complexities of the domain processes you can build a product that has real competitive advantages that you can directly tie to actual ROI.

Secret number two: Look at smaller and more international markets.

Maybe you can't disrupt the help desk industry in the US but maybe you could in Brazil or India. The enterprise software market is starting to get more interest but in the next 20 years it will quite literally run the world. The biggest opportunities won't come from disrupting incumbents, instead they will come from empowering smaller markets to compete at a global scale.

Secret three: Become the connector not the producer.

Does Zapier want to be the next big enterprise software player? Probably. Does easypost want to eventually create APIs for every logistics process? They better be. Embrace the APIzation of everything and look for places were all that's needed is some glue and oil instead of trying to rebuild the entire machine.

Great insights. On your first point: That allows you to see blind-spots of people looking to big chunks miss. The little frustrations of the many (as opposed to maybe, the big frustrations of the few).

Which leads to the second point:

I live in a country that's way, way behind when it comes to using technology. The products are here, the infrastructure is here, but the services aren't.

It's a country where you can sell a WINDEV (:D) Windows app to a store owner to print his invoices the way he wants it and chage him $500. You'd only have to modify the logo and tweak it to sell it to others. (Most don't even have a logo).

It's a place where you could do small hotels an app for reception (check-in, check-out) for 2 grand and it would take less than two weeks.

I've read a piece by Paul Graham about finding startup ideas.. It said something like "Live in the future, build what's missing"..

Well, if you're living in the U.S leading the tech, you already are living in the future. Jump in the Time Machine and go back in time: Go somewhere else in the world. Build what's missing.

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