Number 1 is define or establish your passion and then you want to pair it with other industries. For example; you like running and have extensive experience working in retail businesses, start thinking of a business that intersects at these points. As a guide but not a rule , it might play out something like this –
1. Starting a physical running gear store.
2. Turns into – how might I scale this ?
3. An online running store.
4. Research any sort of similar online businesses.
5. Pick the top 5 or so and try to identify a gap that they don’t address for customers.
Look for the niche, but be wary of solving a small rare problem (Watch Des Traynor on this). A small problem but one that occurs commonly is what you’re looking for. You will find that the larger startups get, they tend to leave behind “breadcrumbs” of customers that have not been entirely captured. This is also true in the fact that, companies establish their markets and the users that don’t convert, are most likely already looking for their niche product elsewhere.
Passion + Experience = MVP / Initial Solution
Generating ideas involves launching an MVP or Prototype, even if it’s only for you to grow your own thinking on the solution. WordPress or similar are great ways to make this happen, and free. When you start doing this, a lot more will fall into place, the seeds are now planted for what will eventually become the branding and marketing strategy for your startup.
Some good resources to help you get creativity flowing –