Creating and Developing Business Ideas for the Web
99Designs uses the crowdsourcing business model to connect business owners with designers. Here is how it works: the business owner creates a design brief outlining their specifications and sets a budget for the project, then designers develop mock-ups and the designer is selected by the business owner.
The process parallels what happens in the real world. A company announces a call to entry (to maybe 8-10 agencies), then after the first round of mock-ups, the company creates a shortlist (of about 2-3 companies). Based on the final entries, the company awards the best agency with the project. Essentially, 99Designs has replicated the real-world process in the digital space. In doing so they have created an efficient and effective business model.
Business ideas are born in many different ways. Some entrepreneurs deliberately think of problems to solve while others are “struck by lightening” so to speak. To get you thinking (consciously and / or subconsciously) about creating business ideas for the web, consider those processes that happen in the real-world. For instance, Wikipedia is just the digital answer to an encyclopedia. Or, eBay is just an online auction house and Amazon is your local Barnes & Noble. All of these ideas already exist, it’s just re-applying them to the digital space.
So what real-world services have not been already championed online? Consider buying groceries. What if you could order your groceries like you could a pizza — just using the web. It would be the Amazon of groceries. Have a central warehouse where all of the food is stored, then keep an online database of your stock that is then reflected on the website (so customers are not ordering something that is not there), then charge a small fee for delivery. It’s quite simple, really. However, there is not a clear leader in the market for online grocery buying. Opportunity? Maybe. You’d need to do some market research before you implement, but it could work.
For some, brilliant business ideas come naturally while others take time to develop. There are strategies for creating and developing business ideas — particularly since the explosion of the web. Just like 99Designs, consider those services that are widespread in the real world then see how you can apply them to the digital space.