• Brian D. Evans Brian D. Evans Founder, Influencive. Inc 500 Entrepreneur.

Do you want a sure-fire way to come up with killer online business ideas that are sure to make money?

By the end of this post you will be able to come up with multi-million dollar online business ideas all by yourself. You won’t have doubt, and you’ll know how to come up with an idea that people will pay cold hard cash for.

My method works so well, it has been mentioned in other major publications such as Inc.

It’s not rocket science and it’s a heck of a lot easier than you think it is. For most of you, you are confused because you don’t know where to begin. And, after you begin you don’t know how to tell if your idea is good.

A lot of entrepreneurs in the media these days will brag of their success, but rarely give up the secret sauce. The secret sauce I refer to is how they come up with these great ideas and how to know if they are any good. And let me tell you, it’s not magic.

The most important factor in coming up with a multi-million dollar business idea is called Secret Words.

My Method to Come Up With An Idea

I call it Secret Words.

There are a certain set of words that you will find online on forums, support pages, chat rooms, review pages, Yelp, Amazon reviews, etc., such as:

  • I love…
  • If only…
  • I hate…
  • I wish…

Here’s the first and most obvious one:

“I love.”

This keyword is usually someone saying how they love a feature “I love the feature that lets me talk to my mom in Australia and sister in London at the same time.”

You can take this and run with it and easily figure out what people really like about a product.

You can use this in many ways, including making sure your product has the big feature that the competitor’s customers love.

“I love” doesn’t help us figure out new features as much, but these words do:

“If only.”

For example, “If only HootSuite allowed me to do X and Y at the same time, I would pay double the price!” That could be something that you could turn into your own social media sharing tool.

“If only” statements will make it pretty obvious what’s missing in existing products. “If only” they had that added feature then maybe people would spend even more money on the product.

If only is the epitome of the app industry and online startups. 

I consult with many app and online service or product based startups that got their entire start because a competing product reference to make something that people would pay a lot of money to use “if only” it had a certain feature.

One classic example was that for a long time many of the online social media post scheduling tools didn’t have Instagram support. Hootsuite won the race and won a lot of customers business for having the feature.

Product creators often get stuck creating what they want or think their customers want, rather than avoiding what they hate:

“I hate.”

Hate is a strong word.  Some people use it freely when referring to what they “hate” about a product or service. It’s a really great way to find out what people actually want on a program/app. If someone is out there publicly “hating” something and you can create an alternative that includes that missing feature, then you could be on to the next big thing!

“I hate” groups are often a great way to build a fan base too. From the “haters” of another product or service, you can create a die-hard cult-like following.

I’ve personally built entire businesses off of people’s hatred towards a particular missing feature on the competitors otherwise great products. The competitor didn’t fix what the people hated about their product, so I built an alternative that solved that “hate.”

In the early 1960s Enzo Ferrari and his cars were arguably the reigning superpower of luxury sports cars. Ferruccio Lamborghini took his complaints about his Ferrari all the way to Enzo, who didn’t exactly appreciate being given technical notes from a young tractor manufacturer. When Enzo told him as much, a rivalry was born and Ferruccio’s hobby of driving fast cars turned into a passion for vindication.

“I wish.”

Wishing for something that’s not there is a great way to figure out what features you could build into your product.

People “wish” for all sorts of features and extras that are missing from their favorite program, app, game, blog, etc. It’s easy to find these in support forums, comments and reviews.

They might say “I wish the vegetable steamer had a rubber handle that didn’t get hot.” Then you can go and make one with a rubber handle, if enough people are wishing for that feature!

One of my personal most successful websites started because I realized that people wished for a certain type of content that was not online anywhere else by any credible authors.  Since I was an expert on the topic, I started the blog that really helped me launch my first consulting business.

Key Points Not to Overlook

Often times your competitors might not be looking at feedback the right way. They just ask people what they want, rather than looking at what they “hate”, “love” “wish” for, or “if only” had in the product.

Sometimes just fixing what people hate can make a product 2-3 times better. But a lot of business owners make the mistake of not solving the “hate” and trying to divert their customers attention to other features. This can be a catastrophic mistake and open up opportunities for entrepreneurs like us to capitalize.

Another big secret is that people don’t often know what they want!

Find out what people wish, hate, love and if only you can track down those things, you’ll be able to create your very own product with features that you know people will pay more money for.

That’s the greatness of the internet. You can find out anything, including what people really hate, love, wish or “if only” they had on their favorite website, software, app, game, etc., by just reading around.

Have fun coming up with new business ideas with this method, the sky is the limit!

 

Brian D. Evans
Founder, Influencive. Inc. 500 Entrepreneur. Founder, BDE Ventures. Advisor to many startups and mentor to many entrepreneurs. Columnist at Inc.com, Entrepreneur.com, Huffington Post and others.