It was Richard Branson who said the best businesses are born out of frustration. Because every problem in life provides an opportunity and the likelihood is if you are finding it frustrating so are a bunch of other people.
The trouble is, most people simply look for a solution already ‘out there’, but if they don’t come across one they accept it and move on. Few decide to take action, but those that dare to, typically create great businesses; look at DollarShaveClub, Airbnb, Xerox.
Thomas Edison once said “Discontent is the first necessity of progress.”
Choosing the right business idea, isn’t about the money it will make you, but the frustrations it will help you and others avoid; because this is where you’ll find the greatest momentum and the money will follow.
Two of our favourite examples of recent businesses that started as a result of frustration are:
A business born out of the need for Adam Ewart’’s girlfriend to ship her stuff from university, more easily and cheaply, rather than having to travel on public transport with several large suitcases and incur extortionate excess and additional baggage fees with the airlines.
After scouring the internet for a solution for her, Adam came up short and realised the only way he’d solve the problems of high fees, long queues and negotiating travel with bulky/heavy bags was to do it himself. And he started sendmybag.com – allowing individuals (initially students) to send luggage, personal effects, parcels and sport equipment easily and more cheaply.
This business now ships over 250,000 bags a year.and is an industry leader.
Women of all shapes and sizes will understand the frustrations of founder Rachel, who couldn’t find tights to fit. Why? Because tights traditionally only vary by leg length, not body shape.
So Snag tights was born. Designed as a business to make comfortable, fun tights for everyone – they’re not even discriminating to plus sized women – although as their site quite rightly points out, it’s not really plus size anymore when over 60% of women are in this category, it’s normal! Anyway, the business engineers tights for body shapes from size 4 to 36 so really everyone!
In the last 2 years this business has sold more than 1.5million pairs of tights.
Over the next week write down every time you feel frustrated about a particular situation and then consider it as an opportunity and ask yourself how the problem could be solved if you were brave enough. We bet in a week you’ll have numerous ideas for great businesses and maybe, just maybe, you’ll pick one and take the next step – if you do, checkout our micro-course for ‘getting your idea off the ground’.
Suddenly frustrations are exciting!