In our last dispatch we talked about how “Things That Don’t Make Sense” can lead to identifying unmet opportunities for your business. Here’s another one:
The other day, while walking our dogs, it occurred to me that pretty much everything we come in contact with was thought up, created and manufactured by someone: The pavement I walked on, the traffic light I waited at, the street sign which told me not to jay walk, the dog leashes I held in my hands… All made by entrepreneurs like you.
Each of which providing an opportunity to make them better, rethink or even displace them with something else entirely. Take the humble traffic light. There are literally millions of those in the US alone (a major intersection has eight or more traffic lights; in a city like L.A. there are more than 10,000 intersections… you see how the numbers become very large, very quickly). Most of them look and feel like they are 30 years old — in the age of Nest Thermostats and Hue Lightbulbs there surely are a gazillion ways to make them better (or replace them entirely — with the advent of self-driving cars they might be somewhat obsolete?).
We (and this includes myself) tend to be attracted by the shiny new objects — the latest app, VR experience or Hololens-enabled productivity system. The problem with that is that these spaces are crowded (there are many of us who think alike), often nascent (i.e. little money is to be made or it’s a rush to be the dominant player) when in reality the world around us is abundant with business opportunities. We just need to look.