How To Come Up With An Idea For The Next Tech Unicorn

The simpler your product’s concept is, the easier it will be to explain it to people.

I need to quickly note how simple and easy are not the same thing. A lot of things are simple but not easy (quite the opposite).

Here’s the deal: it’s a founder’s tendency to want to build something very complicated, as that’s where our mind goes first. We identify a problem. Then solutions. Then we might mix up 3 solutions into one OR think of 2 more problems and try to fit the same solution into that.

It’s just that truly beautiful and elegant solutions come as a consequence of subtraction, not addition.

We add, add and add, until we say that’s enough adding. Most stop there. You, however, will go one step further and subtract, subtract and subtract, until there’s nothing else to subtract.

Not only because you’ll end up with something simple and elegant, but because the future will show you what you need to add — not your assumptions which turn out to be wrong in most cases.

And that’s not me talking you down. It’s in the human nature. Most tech unicorns you see out there are what they are today (billion-dollar companies) because they pivoted at once certain point. 95% of them pivoted.

Uber is a simple concept. But it didn’t start like what it is today. They started with… well you see for yourself here what they started with — I’ve cross-linked another project of mine and you’ll find there the initial pitches of other tech unicorns.

As far as I remember, Uber wanted to start with limos. It was the future that revealed to them what their USP should be: the sharing economy and the rest of the story.

How can you come up with ideas for tech unicorns, then…?

That’s how a brilliantly simple concept comes to mind. Not by sitting in a chair with a pipe and thinking for a month, only to end up with:

I have it now. This is the idea.

No, dear founders.

That’s not how ideas come up. Ideas come up by doing. The more you do, the more you’ll be infused with the holy inspiration.

What you truly need is your drive (which everyone has, somewhere inside) and the get-stuff-done mentality. Plus the flexibility to pivot, but that’s not as important as the other two.


About Ch Daniel

I run Chagency_, an experiences design agency — we help SaaS CEOs reduce user churn. I write daily on this topic and in similar areas. Here are my best pieces.

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I’ve also founded an app that went 0-200K users in its 1st year — The Legit Check App. See everything I do here: Chdaniel.com

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Illustration credits: Margaret Scrinkl

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