“Start with a high-level problem space that you’re passionate about, then narrow it down from there.”
By Jessica Mah (Co-Founder & CEO, InDinero)
inDinero specifically attacks idea #21:
21. Finance software for individuals and small businesses. Intuit seems ripe for picking off. The difficulty is that they’ve got data connections with all the banks. That’s hard for a small startup to match. But if you can start in a neighboring area and gradually expand into their territory, you could displace them.
I remember looking at this list in the winter of 2009, long before Andy and I had even considered applying to Y Combinator. We already knew we were excited about this problem space, but seeing our idea on PG’s list gave us extra validation that we were going after a problem that few had solved well. But it is so vague and unspecific that it forces you to still think through the specifics of your idea, and which specific problems you care to solve.
I remember putting together a bunch of finance-related ideas: helping people get out of debt, helping people with their investments, replacing QuickBooks, and we came up with a list of reasons for why each idea was terrible. And eventually settled on creating a financial dashboard for businesses.
If you’re looking for a business idea to work on, I’d start with a high-level problem space that you’re passionate about, then narrow it down from there.
About the guest blogger: Jessica Mah is Co-Founder and CEO of InDinero, helping small businesses better track and manage their finances. Indinero aims to provide its users with instant insights into the finances of their companies, leading them to save on unnecessary expenses and to earn more money. She started her first internet company at the age of 13, finished high school at the age of 15, and recently graduated UC Berkeley with a degree in computer science. Follow her on Twitter at @JessicaMah.