The other day, I was sitting with a bunch of college students at Starbucks, we were discussing startup businesses. They were brainstorming of what type of business to get started. A guy in an ice cream truck pulled up and the driver ran into Starbucks. I joked as he ran by,”don’t you sell any coffee flavored ice cream?” Everybody laughed as did the driver as he briskly rushed the door open and ran . “Perhaps he is just using the restroom?” We all laughed again, and saw him get pick-up his pre-made coffee he should have ordered with his smart phone Starbuck’s app.
As he was leaving he told us while we sat at the outdoor table that he did promote coffee flavored ice cream. I asked if I could purchase a round of ice cream for the group. He cried and said;”Now, I’m delivering Amazon Packages, as a delivery contractor, my brother is using all his vans, so I’m helping out, we’re really busy – Prime Day Delivery!” What a cool small business owner. We all laughed again, he was so busy that he simply needed more caffeine to complete his hectic day.
Our group then went back to brainstorming on what a smart business might be for a startup. I laughed and said:”Hey, you’ve got to be observant, we only saw a man in a friggin’ ice cream truck delivering online packages because they didn’t have sufficient vans or people to assist, that means there’s demand in the market not being met.”
- How could you deliver better?
- How can you streamline the shipping business model?
- How could you revolutionize the package delivery company?
- How could you locate other underutilized vehicles and people to deliver?
And, I then reminded them that Amazon now has a market value of $1 Trillion. I asked them about other observations they just needed?
- Why can’t that ice cream guy deliver Starbucks?
- Why not begin a drone business to deliver Starbucks and Amazon?
- Why not figure out how to solve those delivery challenges with software, apps, drones, mix?
I reiterated;”Let’s face it, you know there’s unfulfilled demand in the marketplace for new delivery firms and better options when you see an Ice Cream truck delivering online packages as an Amazon Contractor”
I explained that you must observe everything and think. I explained that we can’t be too busy here brainstorming that we stop observing, the clues are everywhere, right in front of our noses. If you’re at a loss for ideas, look around, read the newspaper, listen to people complain, think about things that would make problems go away for people – then try to develop solutions for these challenges – solutions which you could turn a profit in providing.