Awesome Ideas · Cofounder

Founding a startup, how do i find the right problem to solve (idea)?

Yegor Isaev Co-founder at GodMode, CFO at StudyFree, ex-Deloitte, ex-RDIF

April 6th, 2020

Hi everyone!


I have recently watched a series of Y Combinator School lesson where the tutor explains that it's the right approach to start a company by identifying the problem in the first play.


I get the idea as I need to find the problem then make a solution, search for a balanced product-market fit and scale it organically or by attracting outside investors.


But how do I find the right idea?


Shall I reproduce the ideas that have already been executed in other markets (i.e. Uber)? It seems pretty easy to take such an idea, reproduce the product and launch it in my home market? Examples of such startups: Uber -> Gett, Bolt, Whelly; Google -> Yandex, Opera; etc.


Shall I only seek those ideas that are related to my work experience? On the other hand, it looks like you can do something with added-value only if you have appropriate skills and experience in what you are going to do.



Shall I find a person that has some kind of special and work with him?


Best regards,

Yegor Isaev

Doug Slattery Founder of AECS Consulting Inc. Developing apps for IoT smart home & office. https://www.aecs-us.com

April 6th, 2020

Hi Yegor,


I'll tell you my story how I got my idea, which was totally unexpected.

Prior to my idea, I was looking for something to do part time leading into retirement that could supplement my income. More or less a lifestyle business that I would enjoy & occupy my time with. My goal was to be ready to retire at age 60. To me, retire means doing something else, not sitting on the couch in front of ESPN, the news and the weather channel the rest of my days.


At first, I was looking for something tech related to music production equipment as I'm a musician & have a passion for & history of playing live music. I had a few ideas I was kicking around for a while, but knowing the music production equipment industry, and the intense competition to market to mostly starving musicians, the business side of it wasn't appealing enough for me to dive in head first.


My idea really got a spark when my wife mentioned wanting to add remote monitoring capabilities to her hair salon that she leases rooms to other stylists. This meant putting smart home tech in her building that she could use at home. I bought some smart devices and started figuring out how to make them work in a way that my wife could use and figured out it wouldn't be difficult for someone with my skills to make a business beyond a lifestyle one. That's when I really dove in and committed myself to my project.


That was late 2015 and now we have a production prototype with a team putting their own skin in the game who believe in my (wife's) idea. I don't know if I'd be doing the same thing today without the spark from her.


To answer your question, if you don't have one now, just stay open & you may be surprised like I was.


Take care,

- Doug

David M

April 7th, 2020

You can also look at it in terms of a need that is not being met or could be met better. Do an opportunity evaluation. That will flush out whether or not there is enough there to write a business plan and build a business.

Alex Baz I'm looking for a co-founder for a personalization and behavioral recognition startup.

April 10th, 2020

You do understand that there is no "right idea", there is a good realization? The idea may be completely stupid and simple, but how you implement it, how you begin to position it for customers is the main thing.

"Uber for X" is not an idea, it's positioning, it's when you try to explain it with a simple and clear phrase.


Anyway, it'd be nice to talk to you. If only because I've now started looking for a co-founder in my startup who's personalizing and recognizing human behavior. If you're interested, let's get on with it.