Signs of opportunity

opportunityAndrey Ternovskiy is a 17 years old high-school student from Moscow, Russia.

He created ChatRoulette in November 2009. It is a website for random video chat. Around the beginning of March 2010, Ternovskiy estimated the site to have around 1.5 million users. What is interesting is that Andrey created the site from his bedroom in 3 days.

I am not into random chatting but the idea here is not the chat. The idea is the opportunity.

Andrey saw and (most importantly) implemented what he thought was missing on the web. The success of the site suggests that there are takers for such services in the world.

His idea was not new. Omegle was already there when ChatRoulette launched. Omegle allowed users to text chat with strangers online. Seeing the success of ChatRoulette, it has now added video chat to its offering.

What are the takeaways here – that to create something big you do not need — age, experience, or money. Technology makes it possible to create a cheap beta version. Launch it and see what works. Modify as the need be; move on if it does not work. Everything you create may not find takers. But you will not know before you create it.

Tech Crunch, now one of the biggest blogs in tech space was created when Michael Arrington could not find a worthwhile source for finding information about up and coming startups. He created one.

What is the big idea?

You need not do the new, all the time. Wannabe entrepreneurs always think about starting and then scrap the idea, thinking that it is already being done by somebody. But you need not be the original one. You can just improvise and make something better. Better — quality, ownership experience, packaging, customer service — any of these can be your differentiator. You need to think about it.

Look at what Method Laundry in US has done. They have created a successful business based on their unique packaging and product quality. Doing so they have taken the market share from under the nose of big player like Procter and Gamble.

Opportunity is there at every corner that you pass. You just need to have an eye for it. Do not always look for new things — look at how you can improve something that is already being offered.

Look at parents — with less time — who want to do more for their kids. How can you help them?

Look at 21st century professionals — hard pressed for time — that is taking the toll on their relationships, health everything. Can you help them create more time? Can you give them a better idea than a to-do list; an application that automatically generates folders as you create files online based on content in them.

Like productivity at work – education, healthcare, relationships all need big ideas. Social networks like Facebook are ideas that have relationships at the core. Can you think of something beyond Facebook? I hope you are not scared thinking this big. Clock is ticking, why waste time thinking about small ideas. Let us make something big. Yahoo was big yesterday then came Microsoft and later Google. Now Facebook is the new big. Google — with Google Me – now is trying to catch up with Facebook.

Can you provide something better, bigger, or at less cost?

Look around. Do you see the sign?

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