More Ways to Come Up With the Next Big Thing

You’ll have to forgive me; I’m using this forum as a way to think out loud. Hopefully you’re getting some sort of benefit from it as well. If not, feel free to point and laugh.

Anyway, on the way in to work this morning, I kept thinking about some other ways to come up with “The Next Big Thing.” I liked what I posted yesterday, but I felt like it came up a bit short, like it needed some extra juice.

Because I’m a super nerd, I bought one of those digital voice recorders about two months ago, and thought it would be a good idea to quickly blurt out any idea that came to mind. Here’s what I came up with.

Look inward: Yesterday I advocated taking a step back to observe the things around you, which is fine, but I think it’s probably a better idea to look “within yourself,” specifically try and think of what could make your life easier.

The reason why this is such a great way to attack the problem of finding the next big thing is because if you can come up with something that makes your life easier, I’d be willing to bet there are tens, if not hundreds, of millions of people who would be willing to pay to have their life made easier, too.

What is something that will be needed by everyone at least once?: This one’s probably easier said than done, but think about it anyway. These are the items that typically cost a little bit more, but allow you to have a little bit higher margin.

That was one of the reasons I felt, and feel, In My Memories is a solid idea; at some point we’re all going to be affected by the loss of someone close to us. While making money certainly isn’t my only motive, most businesses do want to make a little of it.

What is something that will be needed by everyone many times?: Again, probably easier said than done, but worth the investigation. These are the items that are typically small ticket items, but are sold so frequently, that the small margins quickly add up to big bucks.

This is how Wal-Mart was built. Whether you like or dislike the store, Sam Walton was obviously on to something, and if he were still alive, would be the richest man in the world.

Come up with products to support the current “Big Thing”: One of the people that posted a comment yesterday beat me to this, but it’s worth repeating. If you can come up with a good idea to “accessorize” the current in thing, you’re going to make a killing. The perfect example, which was in the comment, was the booming business that’s surrounding the accessories for iPods.

Anyway, feel free to post a comment telling me I’m completely off track and how you’ve got it all figured out… but leave some bread crumbs for the rest of us.


  1. Anonymous says

    Happy Birthday Brian!!!

  2. Thanks. Nothing like turning the old Quarter Century.

  3. I think a lot of people have made it by coming up with the next big thing. I also think a lot of people have come up with good ideas which could be the next big thing, but have not executed them properly. I think execution is just as, if not more important. I used to spend a lot of time trying to come up with a great idea, but everything seemed to be sort of pointless the more I thought about it. Now, I’m more of a believer that you should just pick an idea that is good and does something people need or want, and execute it. You can still think about the next big thing, but in the meantime you might be successful with a more modest idea, and learning the ropes.