4 best places to look for product ideas
Inspirations don’t come cheap. Still, there some places that will give you something for nothing in terms of ideation
This is definitely one of the “hottest” spots in innovation community. PH is a community in itself and if you’re up to developing a new app, Saas or actually any kind of software product, you should definitely visit Product Hunt first. PH consists of various sections, but as an “idea hunter” you will be most interested in two of them: Products section, where dozens of new products are launched daily (meaning, published for PH community to upvote new products and generate more public response) and Discussions, where product makers, mentors and other community members discuss most pressing issues, exchange ideas, run surveys, etc.
Browsing products you get the idea whats really trending and gets better response (more upvotes) from community. You should keep in mind, though, that this voting score can be slightly biased: if a product doesn’t get many scores it doesn’t necessary mean it’s a bad one. Launching on PH is a science and art in itself and not many product makers know exactly how it should be done to gain more response. However, if you see that a certain product gets many upvotes, it probably means that the product is good — PH community is more or less objective and you can’t gain “likes” here by paying for them.
Discussions are also very helpful as they give you an idea of what bothers product making community, read their reviews on existing services, see what they are looking for. Sometimes you’ll be surprised to find out that the idea that has just occurred to you — it’s already been implemented by someone recently and it hasn’t worked out.
If Product Hunt is a treasure chest for software products, Kickstarter is a great place to fish for ideas if you’re dealing with physical goods. Especially, if you operate outside the US. American consumer market is so mature that sometimes it seems everything that could be invented has already been out there. Only a small portion of product available in the US can be also obtained in Europe, thus you can get a pretty good idea what products will be available in the US soon by visiting Kickstarter and browsing through the offers.
Other crowdfunding platforms (like Gofundme, Indiegogo and other) offer space for charity projects as well making it harder for a researcher to choose ones that are consumer focused and trendy.
Well, the giant online retailer is also a good place to begin with if you’re operating in the field of physical products. Moreover, with Amazon you can get access to impressive data via software such as Helium10 , DataHawk and other. This tools help you to analyse great amount of things — including every product seller monthly revenue, all positive and negative reviews, search for niches by keywords or markets and clearly see, what customers are unhappy about with existing solutions to their pains. Also on the bright side of these tools is the fact that you can get a pretty good idea of what your revenue will be if you manage to come up with a product that everyone likes. Using software you can evaluate the market size (how many people are interested in solving this particular problem), average price and perspective niches to develop into.
Using Amazon as a starting point doesn’t necessarily mean that you’ll have to sell your product there. The point is, that there are a bunch of tools that you can use to get access to Amazon’s data for a very reasonable fee, while with other marketplaces market research and analysis will cost you 10 or may be 20 times more. On the other hand, there’re all reasons to believe that results for data analysis made on Amazon will be relevant for the country market as a whole. That is, if 300,000 Germans search for toilet paper holders on Amazon.de it’s safe to presume that this product will be popular in Germany in general, not only among Amazon.de buyers.
It sounds ridiculous but many founders actually don’t talk to their friends and family never looking at them as a source of inspiration. In reality, people most close to us are able to provide us with multiple awesome ideas. If you really LISTEN to what they complain about and not only nod every 5 minutes being fully absorbed by a new computer game/ book/ texting to other people. Just being attentive to people, listening to their pains might become a great source of inspiration. And as people who belong to your inner circle are usually more open with you discussing things that bother them, it makes sense not only to listen to them, but to actually catalogue their pain points.
Try this simple exercise: listen to your sister/brother or any other younger relative complaints for a week and write down every pain point she’s mentioned. Then make a small market research looking for existing solutions, then ask your relative directly, how does she solve her problem now. Don’t ask “what do you think might solve your problem” (as we all know, if we ask consumers what do they want, they will only talk about “faster horses” ). Be creative instead, show your sincere interest and ask what downsides and upsides of the existing solutions does she see.
The result is guaranteed: in a week you’ll definitely come up with an idea of a product or two.