September 30, 2017
Your perspective on problems is critical. Instead of treating a problem as an obstacle, it is important to treat it as an opportunity instead.
People often try to come up with ideas by creating solutions first and then seeing what problems it solves after. This process is the opposite of how to find a plausible idea.
A while ago, I began working on a web application. The code became extremely bloated, and the user interface was painfully slow. Instead of viewing this as an obstacle, I saw it as an opportunity. I set out to create a minimal, blazing fast user interface library that worked for me, and it turned into Moon.
It may seem like you can't find a problem with your daily life. That's because you need to change your perspective on things. A problem often won't be hard to find. Excellent ideas are always hiding in plain sight.
These unique ideas are ones that solve a problem that a lot of people have. In hindsight, these are the types of ideas that seem the most obvious.
Many creators automate tasks that they regularly encounter every day (especially developers). Attempt to find what's missing from your daily life. If there is a repetitive task that you frequently find yourself running into, ask yourself — Can I automate this?
Be aware of your surroundings. Instead of just dealing with the reality of something annoying you, notice it as an opportunity. Most will overlook any inefficiencies in what they do. Instead, it's crucial to see how the current situation can be improved.
Question everything about the world.
Why is this done like that?
Why does this have to be so inefficient?
Why is this step necessary?
After asking enough questions like this, your brain will begin to do it automatically. You'll notice more and more problems about your life. A constant stream of ideas will start to flow through your head.
A problem might seem too small to solve, but it usually isn't. A "little" problem can often be expanded or marketed to a select group of people. Don't dismiss an idea just because it seems like it only applies to you; there are almost always more individuals with the same problem.
After you've found the problem, analyze it. There are multiple questions that you should ask yourself.
Is there already a solution? Can it be improved?
How can it be more efficient?
How can a product help solve this?
What makes this problem worthy of addressing?
Once you start to answer these questions, you'll naturally find a solution to the problem. Your perspective of the problem changed, and it is now an opportunity for a product.
After you have a relevant problem along with a solution, write it down. Having the solution to a problem means that you have an idea, and you should always write these down no matter what.
Keeping track of your problems and possible solutions can help you find inspiration for even more ideas. On top of that, you'll be able to pick and choose what problem you want to solve and when you want to build it.
Find problems you face and turn them into an opportunity. An idea should contribute to improving lives by solving a meaningful problem that you are passionate about addressing.