How did we find a business idea - part 1

by: Michal Szymanski

"How did you come up with a business idea?"

I really hate this question.

I always have the impression that the questioner expects answer like:

  • “I woke up one morning and became enlightened”
  • “I was walking down the street and suddenly realized that there is no such thing on the market.”

Every businessman realizes that it does not work like that. The business idea rarely springs from a flash of inspiration.

Usually it is a long process, repeatedly and painfully verified by the market.

In our case one idea always generated the another one. The way to the MDB idea looked like that:

Timeline of the birth and death of our business ideas

Stage 1: We had the first idea - let's call it X. It turned out totally missed, but after its business death left a new idea as its legacy - let's call it Y.

Stage 2: That new idea Y turned out to be as bad as previous one and also left the another idea - let me call it Z.

Stage 3: This next Z was slightly less unsuccessful. However, this project also failed and traditionally left the next idea - for simplicity let's call it Q.

Stage 4: The new idea Q turned out to be moderate success. It quickly evolved into the idea M, that became a prelude to success. After some hesitation the idea Q was finally rejected.

Stage 5: The idea M was not brilliant, but we found it the most promising of all what we had. We devoted a lot of effort to refine this idea and it repaid us with giving next ideas: the idea D and the idea B.

Stage 6: However, this time we did not abandoned the old idea for the next one. So we combined the idea M with the idea D and the idea B.

Stage 7: This is how MDB was created. But the story does not end here. Against all appearances, the MDB idea did not prove to be good enough. Further ideas were needed to put the company back on its feet.

The diagram above does not reflect, of course, the level of complexity in process of creating our business idea. Nevertheless, I hope that my message is clear - in our case the idea was not a flash of inspiration. From my experience, it happens very rarely.

The business idea is actually a chain of the ideas - full of branches and dead ends.

Dawid considering the "idea Q" - years ago, just before the MDB idea appeared

“Un, I see. Then will you say how did you come up with the idea or not ?"

Yes, I will! But I'm begging you to keep in mind what I wrote above.

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Michal Szymanski

Co-founder of MDBootstrap and BrandFlow. Entrepreneur, web developer, UI / UX designer, marketer. Dancer and nerd at the same time.

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