How to Have Unique Business Ideas
By Steve Gillman
I love to hear about or read about unique business ideas,
especially when they are put into practice. Perhaps you like
to read about them as well. But how do you have new ideas of
your own? There are dozens of techniques for brainstorming great
business ideas. I'll briefly present just one here.
A few years ago, when the Internet was still young, you may
have heard about the young man in England who decided to finance
college by selling one million pixels of advertising space on
his web page. Buyers could purchase as many pixels as needed,
and have the image or word they formed link to wherever they
liked. The cost? One dollar per pixel, and the link stayed there
There was a minimum of 100 pixels, or $100. The publicity
this idea generated made people want to buy a spot on this page.
After all, people were going there by the thousands every day
as they read about the site in the papers or heard about it on
television. It really was just one page, but within a few months,
this enterprising young man achieved his goal of selling a million
pixels at a dollar each.
Copycat sites that tried the same thing - there were many
of them - didn't seem to have the same success. The publicity
generated by novelty is by nature a short-lived commodity. Some
of these copycats probably did make some money, though,
and this gets us to one of the surest ways to generate unique
business ideas that make money: Take someone else's idea and
make it your own.
I'm not suggesting copying anything directly, but every good
idea can lead to many others. In this case, for example, someone
might have tried creating a website with one hundred of the most
outrageous photos of famous people, and allowed advertisers to
buy a link from any photo to their own websites. Or perhaps an
entrepreneur could have covered a page with ten thousand random
words and sold the words (linking them as desired by the purchaser).
I think that one has actually been done a few times now, but
at the time of the "million dollar website" this was
still a new idea.
Now, to use a non-Internet example, let's consider a simple
business idea that has worked well for some: temporary tattoos.
What other unique business ideas might come from this concept?
Thinking about other "temporary" art is the most obvious
start. How about temporary car paintings that come off easily
with soap and water? As a publicity stunt to promote a business
a person might make a huge picture in the desert by moving the
sand around. A service that mows designs and picture into people's
lawns might make some money.
The basic process here is to start with any idea that catches
your attention and use it to stimulate new ideas. In general
you should just let the ideas come as freely as possible at first,
even if many of them are silly or seemingly worthless. later
you can pick out the interesting ones and work with them to see
if their is a possible business to be created.