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Create a Product You Would Buy That’s Missing in Your Industry

I got this great business idea from 37signals’ blog, Signal vs. Noise. Basically, you identify a product that you wish existed in your industry and then create it.

There are many benefits with executing this idea.

First, if you are willing to buy the product, then there are probably other people who will pay for it too.

37signals creates web apps that they use themselves. That’s one of their criteria for their products. If they won’t use it, they won’t create it. They were not satisfied with the existing chat software so they created their own chat software, Campfire, that met their needs. Not only did it help them communicate better, but other businesses find it useful and pay a monthly fee to use it.

Second, you won’t have a lot of competition.

My sister is fashion expert. One day she was looking for a kimono style dress. However, she couldn’t find one that met her specifications. She wanted something modest, feminine, not shiny, and without big, unflattering flowers. So, she decided to create her own custom dresses.

With her unique style and no prior online business experience, she’s already started getting orders for $200 dresses on her online store.

Third, there seems to be a flexibility with new products.

You will often attract customers who will find other uses for your product or service. So, your customer base is usually larger than what you had planned.

For example, Twitter’s slogan is “What are you doing?” But how many people actually use Twitter that way? I find that many people use it to share links and converse with other people instead of writing what their doing.

My sister recently was asked if she could design a wedding dress.  She never thought about doing that but because she has a unique product, someone felt open to ask her to use her skills in a slightly different way.  Not only did she get a new customer, but she can charge much higher for wedding dresses.

Finally, don’t just apply this principle to products.

You can use it on a more macro level.  Consider creating a resource blog post that you wish was on the web.  For example, on my gaming blog, I create in-depth strategy guides that help me play better.  I create it for myself to remind me of relevant strategies.  I find that many gamers also find it useful.

So, if you’re a designer or developer, maybe you’ve created some cheat sheets to help you with your job.  These cheat sheets would make excellent web content that can improve your personal brand.

Over to You

Have you ever created something that you wished existed in your industry?


  1. By PontusEteus posted on April 15, 2009 at 2:53 am
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    Good post, I try to work that way with most ideas. It’s alot harder to do than you might think at first though. You find something that would be useful, but then you start looking around and find that there are often solutions to that problem anyway.

  2. By Dee Barizo posted on April 21, 2009 at 6:04 pm
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    True, true. However, sometimes you can create a solution that’s solves the problem better than the other solutions.

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