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Are most business ideas accidental?

Who has purposely built something from the start with monetizing it in mind? It seems like all the information that I read about starting businesses happen accidentally. They were working on something and it happened to gain traction.

16 points_davebennett posted 3 months ago9 Comments
9 Comments:
two_almonds said 3 months ago:

I see that kind of narrative very often as well, and maybe it's just because that kind of story is more appealing to us in the audience. Regardless, not all businesses are like that (and I would wager that most are not). For example, I really enjoyed Sam Walton's autobiography. He started with a store, and managed to keep expanding his business. Retail is as old as time, and there was nothing "accidental" about Wal-Mart, just good business strategy and a strong relationship with the customer. It's a great read, I cannot recommend it enough.

segmondy said 3 months ago:

Most people Do you think people open restaurants, car dealerships, shops, bakeries, hair salons without monetizing from the get go? I reckon 99% of businesses out there making money started out with the clear intent of making money.

cubecul said 3 months ago:

I would actually bet that you can take any tier 3 product that you can find and make a better version of it (e.g., something like Wild Apricot[1], though this Indie Hackers story got around to it[2]) with the deliberate intent to make money off of it and you'd actually do quite well.

However, I personally experience doubt when I challenge myself to do this because I don't have a personal attachment to the idea, which, added to the arbitrary selection of the product to copy, leads to a "Well, why this one specifically? Maybe wait around until I find a better one"

[1] https://www.wildapricot.com [2] https://www.indiehackers.com/interview/how-i-learned-to-code...

diehunde said 3 months ago:

I don't think the business purpose is accidental, but the success (for crazy successful companies) is actually accidental.

quickthrower2 said 3 months ago:

I think the initial inspiration might be accidental. E.g. you work at a place, spot a problem then turn solving that problem into a business.

But once you decide to start a business, there has to be a money making plan from the start. Even if that money is further down the road because of initial R&D efforts.

sharadov said 3 months ago:

I think its more along the lines of you start with " a business idea" and pivot along the way to find "the right business" which works. When you start a business it puts you in an ecosystem of like-minded folks. A lot of times those folks give you ideas.

cfarm said 3 months ago:

Accidental is the wrong word. Usually it's very clear you can identify a problem, but it's rarely the case the way you first solve the problem is what people want. You eventually iterate to something that is.

krm01 said 3 months ago:

It's more of an evolution usually. A combination of external influences, bouncing around and form ideas that may or may not be solutions to actual problems.

ziari said 3 months ago:

It might seem that way, but it's probably due to selection bias in the media. Normal business ideas don't generate interesting headlines.