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The Zig/Zag Technique to finding an online business idea

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Think about the average guy approaching the average woman at a bar. What does he say?

  • “Hi…do you come here a lot?”
  • “Hi, my name’s John…”
  • “Hi…what are you drinking?”

These seem like normal things to say, right?

The problem is they’re NO DIFFERENT THAN THE 5,000 GUYS WHO’VE SAID THE SAME THING!

When you’re the same as everyone else, you might as well not exist. It doesn’t matter if you’re a man, a woman, a life coach, a stylist, an analytics guru, or a language tutor. Whether you’re trying to get a date or start an online business, if you’re the same as everyone, you’re doomed.

No matter how beautiful your website is. No matter how exceptional your guarantee is. No matter how much you care.

This is where the concept of ZIGGING and ZAGGING comes in.

Where others zig, you zag.

When done correctly, you instantly stand out, selecting the right audience, while the wrong audience fades away.

Let me show you a zig/zag example. Remember when I used to write exclusively about “personal finance” on my site?

EVERYONE ZIGS: Keep a budget! Say no to lattes! Cut back on everything and save until you’re 60.

RAMIT ZAGS: Um, no. None of you so-called experts understand human psychology. Focus on the Big Wins, automate your money (because nobody really wants to be a financial expert), and earn enough to spend, guilt-free, on whatever you want. And tell jokes about twins, my mom, etc.

Do you see what happened?

A ton of frugalistas hated me and wrote about how I was entitled, privileged, and an asshole. Most of their blogs are gone now.

But the people who mattered stuck around. These are the people who said, “Hey, wait a minute. That makes sense. I don’t want to live like a pauper. I want to go out with my friends and buy a round of drinks. I’m willing to put in the work — but show me what to do!”

A movement was born. And a highly profitable business, too.

YOU CAN DO THE SAME. When they zig, you zag.

Why I’m sharing the “Zig/Zag” concept with you now

Have you noticed how excited people are to finally hear me talking about creating an online business? I could open Zero to Launch tomorrow and a ton of people would join.

But I’m in the enviable position of not needing to make a quick buck — which means I can take my time showing you the nuances of how powerful an online business can be before I ever open a premium course.

Put another way, you don’t just need more information. THE INFORMATION IS OUT THERE! So why haven’t you already started a successful online business? Today, I’m going to make you APPLY it.

Today, I’m going to show you just ONE part of this zig/zag process.

Think back to the last time you saw an expert trying to sell something online– maybe it was a personal trainer, or a life coach, or even a productivity app. Do you notice how 99% of these websites are EXACTLY THE SAME?

These me-too promise to help you find “your inner self” or to “lose that stubborn weight.” Easy, fast, secure! And yet you’re wondering…how are you any different than the 5,000 other options out there?

Here’s the first step to differentiating yourself: Deeply understand the language of your market.

Notice how I never talk about “compound-interest charts” or “amortization schedules” or even “keeping a budget”? BECAUSE NOBODY CARES!

When you can understand people’s real language, you can connect authentically, instead of marketing AT them. It’s the difference between being a salesman and being a true trusted advisor.

Today’s exercise: Mastering your market’s language

Last week, I asked you to do a blue-sky brainstorm of 3 ideas you would love to create an online business around. You came up with some amazing ideas.

Now, I’d like you to go one step further and gently “test” your idea. (By the way, don’t worry if your idea is half-formed, or if you don’t even have an idea for your online business. I’ll show you how to do this, step by step, in the Zero to Launch course.)

An idea in a vacuum is delusion. But when you test it against the market, your idea may slowly reveal itself to be a PROFITABLE IDEA.

Here’s what I want you to do (20 minutes):

  1. Find 1 person — JUST ONE! — who might be interested in your idea. You can do this via email or in person. If you’re not sure, ask ANYONE remotely close to the idea, even your parents. We’re not aiming for perfection right now, just people.
  2. “Test” for language using this script: “I’m thinking of starting some kind of website around [YOUR IDEA]. When you talk to your friends about it, what do you say? What’s the biggest problem around [YOUR IDEA]?”
  3. Write down the exact language they use. Did they really say, “I want a solution that’s easy, fast, and secure”? No, they did not. WRITE DOWN WHAT THEY ACTUALLY SAY. “I hate how these jeans look on me” is a terrific response. “Every day I wake up, I just dread going to work” is another.

Share your results in the comments below.

Remember, your post should contain…

– Original idea:

– Revised idea (based on what you learned):

– What you THOUGHT they would say:

– What they ACTUALLY said:

– What SURPRISED you about this exercise?

99% of people who want to start an online business don’t even take this step. But Zero to Launch students know that if they put the work in ahead of time, their business is “virtually guaranteed” to work — and you can make 10x+ what others do.

*  *  *  *  *

P.S. Do you realize this entire post is zagging while everyone else zigs?

Zig/Zag #1: So many other people will simply shove information down your throat like a filthy Hometown Buffet meal. You don’t need more information — you need to apply it. Even taking 20 minutes sets you apart from the wantrepreneurs who talk about starting a business over and over…and never actually do anything.

Zig/Zag #2: Incidentally, last week, I had thousands and thousands of comments. People are literally emailing me, “Take my money!” And I could. But instead of maximizing short-term profit, I’m walking you through the nuances of online business over three weeks of free material. Do you see why? Short term, I lose out on profits. But long term, I’m actually showing you how to create an online business — how to find an idea, how to package it, price it, and market it — so you see that it’s possible if you follow a step-by-step system.

Zig/Zag #3: I gave a free presentation on never-before-revealed mistakes I made in creating my online business. Who else do you know who does this? Now, you can join my Zero to Launch private list — free — for case studies and your spot on the waitlist.)

Don’t Forget — Complete today’s exercise and share your results in the comments below. I’ll be reviewing all of the responses.

UPDATE — New Zero to Launch course reviews!

Check this out, several Zero to Launch beta students have posted detailed reviews of the Zero to Launch course on their own blogs. You can hear all about their experiences — including pros and cons, and who the course is right for — in their own words. I’ll keep updating this list as more reviews come out:

I’ve collected more Zero to Launch reviews, direct from students here. Check them out.

Want to learn more about Zero to Launch and get instant access to more case studies? Just join the Zero to Launch waitlist (takes 20 seconds).

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276 Comments on "The Zig/Zag Technique to finding an online business idea"

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Nick
Nick
2 years 5 months ago
– Original idea: Type II Titan (Recently found out I was diabetic and I’ve been regulating my blood glucose WITHOUT needles/insulin. – Revised idea (based on what you learned): Still the same idea, but WAY more insights based on what they said. – What you THOUGHT they would say: ‘The biggest hassle is pricking my finger everyday’, or ‘I don’t want to watch what I eat’ – What they ACTUALLY said: ‘I just want to have a body that isn’t trying to kill me.’ ‘Also, I feel kind of futile about controlling it sometimes, because I’ll do everything right and… Read more »
Brittany
Brittany
2 years 5 months ago
Absolutely Ramit! I’ve haven’t had the full fledged conversation yet with someone… I’ve tried, but finally I’ve finally got someone scheduled. I’ve learned so much already… To name a few- One, I should ask about them and especially if it’s a good time for them to talk, consider them and catch them in a good mood if you can. Two, I’m uncomfortable discussing my idea with strangers. And THREE!! This is major. I’ve realized I hear people ALL THE TIME complain about the exact problem I’d like to help them solve. <<< Sounds a bit crazy to realize the value… Read more »
jeanne
11 months 30 days ago

Hi Nick,
I think that is incredible that you have zagged in your life in regulating this yourself without just doing what everybody else does. And so wonderful you can share this with others and save their health. I wish you the best with that.

Sincerely
jeanne

Wilding
Wilding
2 years 5 months ago
I’ve started 3 online businesses in the last 3 years. The first was incredibly generic and sadly made me around $8 an hour. But since I’ve been reading Ramit’s blog since 2008 I quickly realised my mistake. So i zagged with a higher value offer, targeted a better market using their language and I immediately started earning around $20 an hour. And for my third business I decided to sell something people desperately need and literally used their exact language to do it. In fact I created 100+ page files of this language for my marketing and I’m almost making… Read more »
Diandra
2 years 5 months ago
Original Idea: Stop Cheating on Paleo Revised Idea: Focus on Paleo principles. Change language so I don’t exclude people who still want to improve their eating habits without feeling limited in food choices. Turn guidelines into tiers based on experience with Paleo. L1 – never tried eliminating grains and dairy L2 – tried before and want to get back on track What I thought they would say: That’s great! I know so many people who would throw money at you. Perhaps I’m in a vacuum because I talk to clients all day who complain about staying consistent with Paleo. What… Read more »
Brandon Carroll
2 years 5 months ago

If you had a class that told me how to eat paleo and helped me setup meals each week (literally like gave me a list of stuff to buy at the grocery store), I’d pay for that.

Weekly Google Hangouts.

I bought Whole30 (the book), but I haven’t executed on it.

Diandra
Diandra
2 years 5 months ago

Brandon, thanks for your thoughts. Unfortunately, there is alot of legal gray area surrounding nutrition… and I admit, I’m struggling to wrap my head around it. A Paleo class/group that keeps people accountable will be a good starting place.

Margaret
Margaret
2 years 5 months ago

I’m going through these ZtL prompts while doing E1K too!
It’s dovetailing rather nicely for me 🙂
Also – I’m a “want to be healthier” but not “want to be full-paleo” girl – if you gave me a super-easy, super-basic recipe/meal guide on eating paleo a few times a week at a low barrier cost, that would get me and probably people like me in the door. If that’s a demographic you’re ever interested in courting, that is 🙂

Diandra
2 years 5 months ago

Margaret, the E1K class = mind blown… not sure why I was dragging ass starting a business. Thanks for the info! At a lower cost, I’m not sure how much support I would be able to provide since that involves more time on my end so people would need some semblance of motivation and autonomy. In my experience, clients I’ve tried to transition to Paleo need alot of structure and accountability… but maybe the steps I provide are falling short.

Jules
Jules
2 years 5 months ago
Diandra, have you thought about segmenting by WHY people want to follow a Paleo diet? I’m someone who would have absolutely zero interest in following a strict Paleo diet if I didn’t have a medical reason. As it is, I have small intestinal bacterial overgrowth and have to follow a FODMAP-elimination diet (hopefully switching to just low-FODMAP eventually). Although I’m not quite in your target demographic since Paleo alone wouldn’t cut it for me, I’m SURE that others could relate to the emotional rollercoaster I’ve been on while trying to adapt to all of my new rules. I normally eat… Read more »
Victoria
Victoria
11 months 23 days ago

Hi Diandra… Have you thought about setting your business up as a Private Membership Association? This way, you won’t have a lot of those legal concerns because what ever the private members decide to do is up to them. As long as you do no harm to anyone, you are free to provide nutritional information, in the form of classes, to your private members…just a thought. 🙂

JB
JB
2 years 5 months ago
My parents are getting older and needing more health care, prescriptions and GOOD coverage. Asking a couple of friends, they mostly just take whatever their former company offered or got a “Friend” to help them figure it out. I really thought they would say it was important enough for them to do the research and get the right coverage but they actually said it was confusing and expensive. I sense a fear about their actually getting older and needing more medical care and a refusal to really pay attention. These folks have some money because they worked all of their… Read more »
Dia
Dia
2 years 5 months ago

Ramit,

I’ve been following you for about two years now. I’ve enjoyed and employed the materials, motivation and perspective. I have kept my day job, but am now also earning $100/hr doing consulting on the side (up from $30/hr). This “zig/zag” is exactly what I needed to be thinking about in terms of “what’s next” and how to create value, because it is making me NOT think about how to make money so much as to focus on how to have fun figuring out how to solve a problem. Thank you!

fel
fel
2 years 5 months ago
Original Idea: “Built to Last: How to Survive (And Eventually Get Out Of) Your Long Distance Relationship” After I had wrote that, I had the thought that people might not want to “survive” their LD relationship or “get out of it, i.e. move in together”. I knew the language was off. Revised idea: “Built to Last: How to Make Your Long Distance Relationship Work” Before I talked to 4 people about this idea, I thought about what people might really want and made an assumption: That they simply wanted their relationship to be healthy and to WORK. What people actually… Read more »
Adana
2 years 5 months ago
– Original idea: How to use energy manipulation to get what you want. – Revised idea (based on what you learned): Everyday uses for sexual energy. – What you THOUGHT they would say: I want to learn how to make energy balls and fields. – What they ACTUALLY said: “Basics. Directing it with intent. Healing minor physical ailments. Manipulation. Fighting. Defense… I’m most interested in your technique for sexual applications and using sexual energy and such. YOUR unique twist.” – What SURPRISED you about this exercise?: That my test subject immediately thought it wouldn’t gain much of an audience. Which… Read more »
Christel
Christel
2 years 5 months ago

I would love to learn about energy manipulation! However, it isn’t important enough for me to pay for the knowledge.

You could try selling your designs through cafepress.com …. not nearly as profitable as doing it all on your own I guess but at least it would get you started and you wouldn’t have to invest in inventory right off the bat.

Jason
Jason
2 years 5 months ago

So, you want to build your t-shirt business but you feel like it’s selfish because it doesn’t help anyone? Why not build a model like Tom’s Shoes – where when a t-shirt is bought you donate another one to a person in need? Or make some of the profits go towards a charity organization?

Sounds like you know what you want to do – why waste time testing something you don’t?

Kim
Kim
2 years 5 months ago

Are you sure your subject really was in your target audience? If they think not many people would be interested, and they weren’t intensely interested themselves, then you might not have found your audience yet. Maybe you had someone who prefers to self-teach, or doesn’t want to spend enough money on learning that it would cover a class?

Triscia
Triscia
2 years 5 months ago

Adana,
I belong to another business community where a young lady has the same idea of promoting T-shirts that ‘help’ people. Look up Micaela Passeri and her ‘I Love Who I Am’ T-shirts. Great ideas, great designs. Hope it helps.

gia
11 months 16 days ago

I am an energy healer/teacher and focus a lot of my teaching on energy integrity vs energy manipulation. I HATE this idea of teaching people how to seduce/manipulate others through sexual energy. Humans have been doing this already for eons including in sales. Teach them how to use their power appropriately…please.

david
david
2 years 5 months ago

Original idea: Success in Golf through stories

Revised idea: Email marketing for golf course instructors (they have no clue)

Thought they would say that they wanted to hear tips from more known golf pros and businessmen.

They actually said they wanted help getting traction and helping their teaching business grow.

I was surprised at how simple but deep his response was. His business needs revenue not tips. It’s hard hearing what a customer wants and canning/tweaking what you were going to offer to what they need.

Matt
Matt
2 years 5 months ago
Hi Ramit, Thank you first and foremost for the work you have done and continue to do, i’m a huge fan. I purchased the book years ago but no courses yet so I’m in your debt already but if you have any suggestions for my business I could really use any additional help or suggestions. fyi – I’m working full time on this now though I really just rep another company as I haven’t established my own business. original Idea: Help home and business owners connect with local Tri state solar companies and understand their offerings and the market. I… Read more »
Martin
2 years 5 months ago
– Original idea: A blog based on real estate and deciding between owning/renting after recent personal success. – Revised idea (based on what you learned): More of a coaching service where you actually run the numbers with someone and walk them through the whole process. – What you THOUGHT they would say: I want to save lots of money, make the right decision, and not be freaking broke in the future because I made a horrible mistake with real estate. – What they ACTUALLY said: “I just want to move out. I don’t want to throw money away on rent.… Read more »
Kevin
Kevin
2 years 4 months ago

Martin, I would love to learn about real estate and deciding between owning/renting. I am currently a real estate agent and fairly young, 21. I would like to hear about your personal success in real estate. Let me know.

Brandon Carroll
2 years 5 months ago
– Original idea: A course with just 20 young professionals (22-30), where I will help them on a small group basis understand financial planning and plan their future, but I will also help them on a 1to1 basis. Revised idea (based on what I learned): I was told, “Yes there is a need for this, but I’d explore the real nature of the need.” And then, as I explored further, I was told, “Tell me what tools to use and how to develop habits” < — similar to what you did Ramit, but just on a much smaller, personal level.… Read more »
Brandon Carroll
2 years 5 months ago
Ramit, I have had three of my friends tell me they would pay for a class (revised). Your book is great, but there are other great resources out there, too. I worked at Vanguard with high-net worth clients for almost 2 years, and I am one step away from being a CFP(R) and I know all sorts of calculators to use to help people know how much to save. Also, I am still licensed (Series 7 & 63). I would help them automate their finances using modern technology and not get overwhelmed with their investment options. Also, on FB, from… Read more »
Doug
Doug
2 years 5 months ago
Original idea: Create a “How to play golf and lower strokes” Revised idea (based on what you learned): eBook: “How to learn to play the game of golf without changing your swing” What you THOUGHT they would say: “I want one, that’s a great idea” What they ACTUALLY said: “Oh my god, If you were going to a charity golf tournament. That would be so helpful so someone doesn’t embarrass themselves on the course.” “When I was playing golf on my vacation, the caddy told me to think of hitting it in a hula hoop, and I was like Ohhhhh,… Read more »
John
John
2 years 4 months ago

I have to decline golf invitations in business because I’m so bad. These are potentially high value opportunities. I would pay a lot for a course that could help be learn which set of clubs to buy, and shows me how to practice like in my backyard. Teach me to golf in my backyard. Haven’t golfed in a decade and no way am I taking the time to go to a course or driving range.

M. Arts
M. Arts
2 years 5 months ago
Ramit, I accept today’s challenge. I have twoonline mini- businesses. Each of them are doing poorly because I am not doing my homework. Your blog entries hit the nail on the head!. Business Idea 1: Elegant yet MiniARTS Rustic Cast Stone Signs for Home Business Need: My grandparents live in a neighborhood with no signage. At night, it is practically impossible to find their home. Good forbid if there is a need for a 911 ambulance call or fire incident; good luck finding the place. Comments from one friend: But, there is so much competition. How will you zig/zag to… Read more »
Josh Frets
Josh Frets
2 years 5 months ago

Original idea: Make a book & dvd with my guitar teaching system.

Revised idea: Serialize my teaching approach with a subscription-based daily email. Tiny sequential guitar lessons delivered daily to your inbox.

I ran a test with this already. I signed up about 40 friends and gave them the first 30 days for free, then asked for their feedback. Got some raves and some areas that needed attention. Revised parts of it. Been writing two posts/week for a while now to improve my writing.

Told some parents of students and they were eager to sign up.

Kimmoy
Kimmoy
2 years 5 months ago
This was a fun little experiment Ramit! My idea – I picked creating a web app or calendar that helped people stay in touch on a regular basis. I asked – What is the biggest problem with staying in touch w others ( fam, friends, co-workers, or biz contacts)? What I expected – That they were too busy and often putting it off or just plain old forgetful. The responses were: 1. I feel like I don’t fit in with others so I don’t feel compelled to stay in touch. 2. I think God is keeping me separate from others… Read more »
Jason
Jason
2 years 5 months ago

Sounds like people are connected with the people they want to be connected to in life. Also, #2 made me laugh out loud- hard. It reminded me of a story about a past relationship when a girlfriend in high school told me “God told me to break up with you.” The next week she wanted to get back together because she had “passed the test.” I was over it.

MANNY
MANNY
2 years 5 months ago
My Initial idea: How my family started and sustained a small Mexican Food restaurant that earns over 150k per year. What I thought they would say: “TOo many Mexican Food Joints already.” or “People would just go online for free info rather than pay you” Co-worker response: It sounds like a cool Idea. I wanted to open a Danish restaurant but had no idea where to start and soon gave up. I needed to know where to handle all the permits and health and saftey bull crap and just was in the dark with all the info. COns: He said… Read more »
Margaret
Margaret
2 years 5 months ago
– Original idea: Create resources for 23-36 year olds in office jobs who want to start managing up and transforming their work places without being on the management team. – Revised idea (based on what you learned): Create resources with tactics for approaching your boss, guiding principles for workplace managing up, and links to the kind of data you can use to back up your suggestions to management (studies, recent articles, reports on buzz-word books, etc.) – What you THOUGHT they would say: “My boss is awful, he doesn’t have any idea what he’s doing and he doesn’t respect me.… Read more »
Diandra
2 years 5 months ago

Online course titled ‘My Boss is an Asshole: Being Heard in Corporate America.’ I hear the same complaints you listed from my clients all the time. Would you include any information on how employees can figure out “Whats in it for Me” for their boss?

Chris
2 years 5 months ago
– Original idea: To make an online feedback system for my campus’s Dining Hall. I noticed a general lack of anything regarding feedback collection, so I thought about designing a mobile phone application that allows students to take pictures and write comments. – Revised idea: Before I even start making the app, I need 3rd party validation, so I set up a note-card collection bin where students could leave their feedback on the dinning hall. I made one test card so that the students would know to leave the cards in the bin. Sure enough, after a few days comment… Read more »
Jason
Jason
2 years 5 months ago

This is an interesting behavior indeed! Thinking about it, if I saw a “general comment” box I would automatically assume it was set up by a superior or someone with power- Even if I were the lunch workers. I would just assume no one told us about the change in policy. Very neat project!

I don’t know how that translates into a business, but certainly it sounds like a study you would read about in a Daniel Pink or Malcolm Gladwell book.

Ashley F.
2 years 5 months ago
Original Idea: Learn-at-your-own-pace Business Writing Courses Revised Idea: Practical Business Writing Courses for Professionals What I THOUGHT They Would Say: “There are already sites that offer this.” “I don’t need to know how to write for my job.” What they ACTUALLY Said: “Absolutely a great idea. You are very talented and clearly know what you are doing and many people have no clue how to do it.” “I hate that my writing comes off as so unprofessional, especially as a manager.” What Surprised Me About this Exercise: While I thought the market was pretty much saturated for products like this,… Read more »
Krishnan
Krishnan
2 years 5 months ago

Great idea. One of my respondents suggested a similar one (my propsal is an interactive graded (easy-to-super tough) punctuation and usage course for journalists with 1-2 years’ experience in India).

Cat
Cat
2 years 5 months ago
Original idea: How to needlefelt a 3-dimensional sculpture from a 2-dimensional design (tutorials only) Revised idea: Tutorials + service to make the sculpture as well What I thought people would say: I thought that responses would be along the lines of asking how much wool a project would take, what safety measures were necessary in order to not stab themselves, types of wool. I also thought that people would be really excited to learn how to think about and translate their own ideas into their own projects. What they actually said: – “for me, it’s simply non-interest. i’d much rather… Read more »
Tom
2 years 5 months ago
I ran my idea by one of my current tutoring clients. Original idea: Accelerated AP courses for high school students who want college credit without having to go to class Revised idea: Same thing but possibly less emphasis on “accelerated” What I thought they would say: I thought students would talk about how slow and boring class is, and how they’d much rather just get the credit without having to go through a year-long slog of lectures. What they actually said: “It’s good because you can move at a different pace. You don’t have to wait for everyone to understand… Read more »
Ashley F.
2 years 5 months ago

I like this idea. As you said, it’s interesting to see the honest feedback from those who don’t necessarily have a stake in the project. I love how much insight you were able to get from just asking a few simple questions to current clients.

Jon
2 years 5 months ago
Original Idea: how to develop a coincident indicator for derivatives markets (mainly forex),see how it can be traded speculatively for profit, and how to teach other people to do the same or do it for them. Revised idea: It takes a lot of automation in order to make the indicator make the real-time calculations. It takes a 100% mechanical system just to trade consistently, let along profitably. It also requires large capital, because it is easier to eat when you can make 10% of 1 million vs even 100% of $1,000. After developing the indicator, I setup a squeeze page… Read more »
Tony
Tony
2 years 5 months ago

This sounds so overly complex

Garrett
2 years 5 months ago
Hey Ramit, and fellow readers- I already have an online business, but I’m looking to solidify the foundation and tune it up into 6 figures and beyond, so I’m taking part in this because I find it uber useful, like most of what I find on this blog. My original idea for this exercise was to create a new course, workshop, or website on radical self transformation. Here’s how I worded my idea to get some feedback: “Help me out. I’m thinking of making some new workshops about self transformation. When you talk to your friends about it, what do… Read more »
Garrett
2 years 5 months ago

Addition to my last post, as even more people have responded now to the question:

I’m surprised at how willing people are to express themselves about the topic, and also how I got most responses from people I didn’t expect to be in my target market, and now I can see exactly how my marketing materials have failed to attract these people on the levels they want, and also exactly how I can make changes to improve them.

Thanks Ramit. Awesome as usual.

Nicole L.
Nicole L.
2 years 5 months ago
– Original idea: Training your dog to get you a beer (Well, technically my original idea was training your small dog to listen to you…but that wasn’t specific enough and was boring!) – Revised idea (based on what you learned): Training your dog to get you your craft beef (Same idea, but more precise targeting to craft beer consumers.) I had thought that it would be a good idea to target home-brewers since they seem to appreciate the novelty of beer overall, but I learned that most have a tap…so that would have been a bust! – What you THOUGHT… Read more »
Henry
Henry
2 years 5 months ago

I think you are on to something here but too narrow. Dog training is super hard to most people and if you can teach people how to teach their dogs how to get a beer I am assuming you can teach them how to teach their dogs basic training. I would assume this would be a good market. Something like:
“”Good dog” starts with “Good owner”: Ill teach you how to be that “guy””

teresa willis
teresa willis
2 years 5 months ago
I’ve been considering perhaps starting a blog about all the experience I have helping others particularly through disease, dealing w/ doctors, hospitals, & death, and also sell some of my photo cards on it which could pertain to these situations, and other items people need for personal healing work. But, then I thought this is mixing too many items together. My revised idea is still the same, but perhaps expand it so there’s room for a discussion board and list good websites/resources. What I thought they would say is, `It’s too morbid, nobody wants to listen too or talk about… Read more »
Henry
Henry
2 years 5 months ago

I am thinking about doing a class but haven’t completely figured it out yet but after reading the posts here I have gathered a little more.

Idea: Course to help you avoid the quarter life crisis using your current skills to fulfill your life and your pockets!

Tim
Tim
2 years 5 months ago
(…woops, accidentally posted this on yesterday’s post at first…) Wow, there are a lot fewer comments on this post than the one where you come up with ideas! 🙂 This simple exercise was a really big eye-opener, and it’s only with one data-point: my wife. Original idea How to Earn Top Grades in School Revised idea(s) I combined programming (the other idea I had, How to Program) with this idea to become more specific. *A++: C++ practice tests to ace your first programming test * Bubble Sort: An Algorithm for Getting Programming Job Offers What I Thought Would Be Said:… Read more »
Jason
Jason
2 years 5 months ago

For most adults going back to school, it’s simply about completion of the degree and not so much about the grade you get. At least, for me, that’s how I think. There are classes that I HAVE to take and hate them, so my effort is simply enough to get by. I couldn’t care less about my GPA as long as its passing. The classes I do care about, I naturally get better grades simply because they interest me enough. I just don’t see, for myself, much use in a 3.5 GPA as opposed to a 2.9 GPA.

Tom
2 years 5 months ago
Tim, I think your updated ideas are on the right track. A couple of insights that might be helpful. 1. In my experience so far, if you can focus narrowly in one subject area that students commonly experience pain over (think Organic Chemistry, Calculus, etc.), you can pretty quickly become the go-to resource for a small market if you develop the most effective techniques. Maybe there’s a corollary for programming? What’s the programming weed-out course they use in college? 2. Surprising but true – most students only peripherally think about grades. There are select few who are overly fixated on… Read more »
gia
11 months 16 days ago

Years ago my father, who was horrible at taking tests, said he read some trick on how to pass tests and that after that he never had to study to pass his tests. I have a son who is horrible at taking tests…and he can’t memorize. I would pay big bucks to know that system (or any system!) that my father learned…back before there was internet..on how to pass ANY tests without studying!

Will
Will
2 years 5 months ago
I emailed my list and got these responses regarding diet and fitness solutions thus far: “My biggest dieting problem is incorporating habits and variety. I can stay eat the same thing every day for awhile, but then develop food intolerances. If I incorporate variety, it’s harder to stay as healthy.” And this insight too- “the diet needs to be simple without 100 separate emails or thing you can add on like supplements. It all needs to be in 1 place, coherent and track-able. To be honest your style of writing and presentation of your thoughts is pretty poor, i’m finding… Read more »
Jason
Jason
2 years 5 months ago

WOW! That is some deeply honest stuff! Sounds like you need to be honest with yourself and really take this into consideration. This person is flat out telling you why your program doesn’t work. You should read Derek Sivers – his blog is all about small posts but always to the point and very rewarding to read! Listen to this honesty and apply it – don’t take it into “review.”

Will
Will
2 years 5 months ago

Of course. Just not sure if he is the customer I want

Le Pop
2 years 5 months ago
Original idea: Develop a website that helps you build outfits based on your current wardrobe, style and occasion. Revised idea: Develop a website/app/consulting service that helps you build original outfits with elements from your current wardrobe AND suggest key items to add/buy. Available as an automated service or with a “real stylist” 24/7 available. What I thought they would say: I would hate to upload all my clothing items to a database. I can do that myself by trial and error. There are apps that record outfits and outfit inspiration. What they actually said:” I often find myself without any… Read more »
Jason
Jason
2 years 5 months ago
Guys are much more willing to be told what to wear than I imagine women would be. I think women, for the most part, enjoy the pride that comes with a nicely displayed outfit. It’s almost like an art for my gf. Whereas for me, I’m constantly just looking for pinterest or my gf to basically tell me “this works” or “that doesn’t work.” I just want to look good. Other guys aren’t going to tell me about my “ensemble” or that “I love those jeans on you.” The reward isn’t there for guys like it is for women. We… Read more »
Jules
Jules
2 years 5 months ago

Oh man, I’d be interested in this and I’m not a guy. I’d put in the initial effort if it were easy to use. It actually does sound like an ideal service for guys, though.

The problem I have with a lot of online tools is that they show outfit pieces with no model, or the model is a size 0 and looks photoshopped. I would want to see what someone shaped like me would look like in different styles.

JJ
JJ
2 years 5 months ago
About 2 years ago, I decided I needed some graph paper but didn’t want to buy it at the store, so I created a PDF with it and printed out lots of copies. It worked great and a few weeks later, on a whim, I decided to try selling that PDF online. I made about $100 from it over the last 2 years net of expenses. It’s nothing, but keep in mind I only invested about 1 hour creating it, and managing customers is very simple (send them the PDF and charge them.) Maybe it’s a barrier but I’ve initially… Read more »
Tony
Tony
2 years 5 months ago

Have you asked people questions? If you were to ask me – my response would be that there are already quite a few websites that offer these PDFs for free. Why would I pay for that?

Marbey
Marbey
2 years 5 months ago
Initial Idea: Guiding parents in setting up a college fund. – What you THOUGHT they would say: I don’t know where to start. I don’t know where to put the money. – What they ACTUALLY said: How do I prioritize this with all the other expenses? What’s the catch? I know I should do this but I can’t with my current situation. – What SURPRISED you about this exercise? The inverted bell curve: respondents immediately asked about the “catch” in the business OR were willing to give their insights; not many who thought about the catch AND gave their insights..… Read more »
Enoch Ko
2 years 5 months ago
– Original idea: How to build ridiculously easy-to-maintain Excel financial models that will make your boss thinks you’re a genius! – Revised idea (based on what you learned): Same basic idea – but need to be much more niche/focused on a specific group subset. – What you THOUGHT they would say: Want to make easy-to-maintain Excel models, want to impress their boss. – What they ACTUALLY said: Struggle to work with data in different formats / want to be able to use macro because they heard it’s useful in building reports. – What SURPRISED you about this exercise? From speaking… Read more »
Eric Taylor
Eric Taylor
2 years 5 months ago
– Original Idea: Web page design service, you give us the basic inspiration and we design and code everything for you – Revised idea (based on what you learned): Web page CODING service only, you give us the specifics of the layout and look and we just crunch out the code – What you THOUGHT they would say: “I don’t know how to make the website I want” “I have the basic idea in my head but I want it to look good” “I don’t know anything about being creative or design, so I want someone to do that for… Read more »
jason
jason
2 years 5 months ago

I think this actually represents the market well. I know developer/coder friends whose biggest complaint is clients who say “I’ll know it when I see it.” They seem to lack the ability to properly convey what it is they “see” in their heads to the developer/coder and I would imagine this causes quite the frustration for both parties. Not to mention the time it wastes for the coder/developer. Perhaps a way to bridge that gap would be worth looking into as a niche.

Ravi
Ravi
2 years 5 months ago
– Original idea: “How to age like fine wine” – helping high functioning older 20s-30 year old men who have career and other areas of life down and still want to formulate better habits and learn about the latest medical advances and research to help them with long term health and happiness gains. – Revised idea (based on what you learned): How to destroy unhealthy cravings you’ve been fighting for years and outlive your whole family – What you THOUGHT they would say: I need a holistic plan for moving forward with my life as I’m getting older, I want… Read more »
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Krishnan
Krishnan
2 years 5 months ago
Original idea: An interactive course for journalists with 1-2 years’ experience in India’s English papers that will cover punctuation and 100 common usage errors. Revised idea: Expand the course to all journalists since even veterans make some of those mistakes because no one has told them all these years. An online quiz based on the person’s skill level, from easy to super hard. What I thought they’d say: That all this stuff is available on the internet. What they actually said: Respondent 1: There are free apps available which do so already, I use them, just to keep things fresh… Read more »
Silvino
Silvino
2 years 5 months ago
My idea is less than half-formed, but I’ll give it a try: – Original idea: Show people how can take advantage of the technology published on the web to build prototypes (for business ideas, or just fun), only with few basics ideas. – Revised idea (based on what you learned): Show people the existence of free technology they might want to use. – What you THOUGHT they would say: Well, as said, almost everything is on internet for free, so why anybody will pay me?. Also about the lack of interest in learning something which seems difficult – What they… Read more »
Alex
Alex
2 years 5 months ago
Original Idea: Teach guitar without teaching all the details of keys and scales Revised Idea: Still the same. What I thought they would say: They do not want to learn the keys, scales and tones and all the music theory behind guitar. What they actually said: They said they want to know how to play guitar but feel like they have to know the music theory behind guitar playing. It was different because they did not say they did not want to learn it, but the idea of music theory scares them from even starting. What Surprised me about the… Read more »
Jason
Jason
2 years 5 months ago
One of the reasons I never played guitar is because it always hurt my fingers to play. I also never fully grasped the difference between a chord and a note on a guitar. I have a musical background (I played saxophone for 7 years in school) and yet those two things are enough to keep me from learning. I always put it off as “someday I’ll get some lessons and learn a few songs.” In the book “The First 20 Hours” he talks about learning the same way you seem to be supporting it. He learned a few notes/chords first… Read more »
Jason
Jason
2 years 5 months ago
– Original idea: Becoming a Personal Trainer/Behaviors Coach – Revised idea (based on what you learned): Seems as though, making this even more personal or investing in a support system is the way to go to help both of these people out better. I revised my idea through ideas that I began to have about problems/issues that I hadn’t considered before. – What you THOUGHT they would say: I assume any time losing weight or hiring a personal trainer comes into play the first two answers will always be 1) not enough Money 2) not enough Time. So, to me… Read more »
Cynthia Belmer
2 years 5 months ago
Hi Ramith and everyone: – My original idea: Creating a course on getting liberated yourself from the past to create the life you want. It is based on my upcoming book “Meeting Freedom”. – Revised idea: Still the same 🙂 – What I thought they would say: Letting go of being stuck in the past and the need to feel significant and express my voice freely. – What she actually said: I want to be happy and not live in my past or worry about it at all. wish to be a NEW person where I can take that lesson… Read more »
Cynthia Belmer
2 years 5 months ago

Oops sorry! Ramit and not Ramith 🙂

Lucienne
Lucienne
2 years 5 months ago
– Original idea: Website Dinner for 4 with two being Fido & Kitty – database of recipes for all members of the family – Revised idea (based on what you learned): Be more specific in who the customer should be – What you THOUGHT they would say: Good idea you could expand it in this way… – What they ACTUALLY said: “People are Lazy! Scoop, Scoop, Kibbles in a bowl – This might become the tag line if I can find recipes that follow this action. Like Ground meat for tacos – once cooked before adding seasoning scoop scoop for… Read more »
Jason
Jason
2 years 5 months ago
– Original idea: Losing weight / eating healthy ebook/guide – Revised idea (based on what you learned): The original idea still seems to be okay, but I would perhaps make it an actual plan. What to eat. Do this now. Then do this. Then do this. – What you THOUGHT they would say: Staying motivated. Finding time. – What they ACTUALLY said: Persistence. Then followed by planning and knowing what to do (eat) “I think for me it’s replacing bad foods/drinks with “good.” That’s probably the biggest for me.” (substituting, what to eat) “Will power! Commitment! Motivation! I have such… Read more »
Shanae
Shanae
2 years 5 months ago

I was thinking of an online test prep website for teachers. It would include videos, flashcards, and quizzes. I talked to a few teachers and others and they thought it was an awesome idea.

Some issues they said were: Marketing, how will you ensure that teachers will know about the site? Time; it takes a lot of time to develop this material.

I don’t know what I thought they would say, but everyone I talked to were impressed with what I presented, and thought that it was totally doable.

JJ
JJ
2 years 5 months ago
Another idea: A “smart” wallet that detects and records the fingerprints of everyone who touches it. It uses a GPS to even pinpoint the location where the wallet has been touched by someone else. (You register your own fingerprint with it so it’ll disregard that, and maybe even require your fingerprints to open.) The data of fingerprints collected by the wallet can be used to Crowdsource the places where people are most likely to be pickpocketed and/or if it’s the same thief. Then a map could be built with “hot zones” of pickpocketers to warn tourists. Others’ objections: – It’s… Read more »
DEV
DEV
2 years 5 months ago
– Original idea: The best way to get Good grades yet spend less time on books for Students studying Professional Courses (mainly Engineering and Management) in Private Colleges / Institutes in India. – Revised idea (based on what you learned): Both generalized and Personalized counseling on nailing down good jobs and to stay motivated and also get good grades (a mixture of my 1st and 2nd idea) and some more. They lose motivation and that hampers study and everything. – What you THOUGHT they would say: ‘Cool, Could you teach me get good grades without missing out on life’ –… Read more »
Liz
Liz
2 years 5 months ago
– Original idea: Creating a statistics course for psychology researchers. – Revised idea (based on what you learned): Offer ways that will allow a higher response rate to experiments. – What you THOUGHT they would say: To complicated to teach online, need an expert etc. – What they ACTUALLY said: They wanted someone to do it for them, didn’t really care about learning to do the stats. Poor response rate was a pain point, wanted to know the best ways to set themselves up to have the most people respond as possible. – What SURPRISED you about this exercise? The… Read more »
Daniel Reifenberger
2 years 5 months ago
– Original idea: Course teaching people how to drive targeted traffic to their website from reddit – Revised idea (based on what you learned): Same idea, but with radically different positioning – What you THOUGHT they would say: I want highly targeted traffic to my site – What they ACTUALLY said: 1. I’m not as familiar with reddit as I’d like to be 2. I’m in the process of starting a blog, so I’d like to learn the tricks on reddit that would help me build my audience and email subscribers. 3. I’ve used reddit before to validate ideas and… Read more »
shawn
2 years 5 months ago
– Original idea: Build a business dojo that teaches how to build businesses based on incorporating concepts from Aikido – Revised idea (based on what you learned): Getting students (clients/customers/etc) will be the focus. Building a community seems like the fastest way to find out what people want. Build a community so that they can tell you what product to build My opinion on this is that people probably think they aren’t creative enough to build a product and get stuck solving the wrong problem first. It seems like the first problem is identifying a market that you can relate… Read more »
Helen
Helen
2 years 5 months ago
– Original idea: CV Checklist – A website to help people avoid the basic mistakes of job applications and use the information they do have to give them the best chance of getting short-listed for a job interview. – Revised idea (based on what you learned): It’s about confidence and support. Writing an application can seem terrifying if it’s something you’re not comfortable with, but the feeling of getting past that barrier and getting it done is positive. Having the support of someone who you know is completely on your side and going to help you do the best application… Read more »
Omar
Omar
2 years 5 months ago
I do not have a website or product, so I’m following along with the instructions. My goal is to develop information products related to Stress Management. I asked 5 people from my office: 1) their biggest frustration around stress, 2) the effects of stress in their lives, 3) Solutions they’ve tried, 4) Imagine a life without stress. I got answers from 3 (had toremind 2 of them), and I will try to adjust the answers to your format bellow. – Original idea: People get frustrated because of stress – Revised idea (based on what you learned): People get stressed because… Read more »
Kevin
Kevin
2 years 5 months ago
-Original Idea: Teach People How to Cook Healthy Mexican Food to impress their friends. -Revised Idea: Sick of Eating Take Out, want a home cooked meal that is healthy, but don’t want to spend a ton of time in the kitchen—I’ll teach you how. -Originally Thought: I thought they would say cooking for health is the most important reason why they would want to learn how to cook. – What They Actually Said: People seem to want as painless, super quick way to make a healthy meal. Health is secondary to speed of making the healthy meal. -Cooking in would… Read more »
Michelle
Michelle
1 year 2 months ago
Your last bullet point is spot-on. When I was a young mother, eating out was a luxury so I developed some mad cooking skills–after 25 years of cooking every day, I can replicate (and most times improve) nearly anything in a restaurant. But, now that the kids are grown and I have a decent income, the last thing I want to do on a weeknight is deal with the chore of cooking and cleaning the kitchen. I balance the cost of meals in a restaurant with the value of my time and efforts. Paying $50 for a meal and not… Read more »
AD
AD
2 years 5 months ago
– Original idea: How to Cook Low-Sugar, Low-Carb Mexican Food (basically, diabetes-friendly). I thought this would be an e-course. – Revised idea (based on what you learned): A video course on the same topic that starts from square one–not just “here are the recipes” but “here are the basic gadgets you need.” – What you THOUGHT they would say: I thought they would want easy recipes without hard-to-find ingredients. This was partially true, but not the whole story… – What they ACTUALLY said: menu ideas, easy recipes that don’t require fancy equipment, basic kitchen gadget list, simple lingo, and recipes… Read more »
Jane
2 years 5 months ago
– Original idea: Tired of looking in your closet and finding nothing to wear? Refresh your existing wardrobe without buying anything new. – Revised idea (based on what you learned): Too busy to go shopping? Wardrobe refresh: 6 quick and easy steps to reinvent the clothes already in your closet. – What I THOUGHT they would say: Great! I don’t want to spend money on new clothes, so I’d love to be able to refresh what I already own. – What they ACTUALLY said: I could definitely use help, but not sure if I would pay for a course/material on… Read more »
Daniel
Daniel
2 years 5 months ago
I don’t exactly have tons of great business ideas, so I just fell back on my interest in Paleo eating so I could do the exercise. – Original idea: Help people make easy and healthy home cooked Paleo food. – Revised idea (based on what you learned): Same, but with detailed shopping lists and simple instructions. – What you THOUGHT they would say: I don’t have time to cook food, which I would have interpreted as ‘I’m not interested in doing it.’ – What they ACTUALLY said: “I have a hard time knowing what to keep in my fridge, and… Read more »
Mark
Mark
2 years 5 months ago
• Original idea o Create an Arduino course for 4th to 5th grade teachers who want to incorporate technology into their classrooms but have no clue how. • Revised idea o Create Arduino courses for 4th through 6th grade teachers who want to incorporate technology into their core material but have no clue how. • What you THOUGHT they would say o Don’t even know what choices there are and don’t know how to teach technology. • What they ACTUALLY said o Not a lot of resources for teachers interested in integrating technology in their curriculum. Biggest obstacle would be… Read more »
Mike
Mike
2 years 5 months ago
Original Idea: – Create a short (4-5 session) course on exam prep for High School Seniors and College Students Revised Idea: – A work smarter, not harder approach to exam prep and also including a session on exam technique (how to pinpoint where the money-marks are) What I thought they would say: – I need help managing study time – I need to learn how to focus whilst studying What they actually said: – I need help managing time during exams – which questions to tackle first etc – identifying key words in exam questions – We need help to… Read more »
Colin
Colin
2 years 5 months ago
Original idea: a step by step guide to make side income more than main income Revised idea: compilation of testimonies from people that achieved the goal What you THOUGHT they would say: i don’t know where to start What they ACTUALLY said: pyramid scheme. mentorship. does it really work? can i earn a living right away / can it really replace my main source of income? What SURPRISED you about this exercise?: how natural it was to formulate a tentative solution to my friend’s response. my internal dialogue was, “oh, you think this way? humm… maybe if you saw proof… Read more »
Ela Florante
2 years 5 months ago

“When you’re the same as everyone else, you might as well not exist.”

All I can say is “The truth hurts!” whether you like it or not. Very sad thing to say.

AJ
AJ
2 years 5 months ago
— Original idea: I have been thinking of starting some kind of a website around two works of art I am producing. The two works of art are a YA (young adult) narrative poetry book and an Afro Hip-hop EP. The function of the website will be to: i) be some sort of trusted online resource for young adults of the Nigerian/African diaspora in various circumstances and stages of development; and ii) offer courses to NGOs that work with young adults who seek ways to better reach and serve such young adults. — Revised idea (based on what you learned):… Read more »
Rahul
Rahul
2 years 5 months ago
– Original idea: Website for women to meet new female friends – Revised idea (based on what you learned): May not be what is wanted/scrap the idea. – What you THOUGHT they would say: Yes, I have real problems meeting female friends. Please sign me up. – What they ACTUALLY said: “I would never do this through a website. You have to see the person, you can’t feel it through a website. I would do this through a hobby and meet girlfriends that way e.g. dancing, Spanish lessons. This is how I met my female friends here and what I… Read more »
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Aleks
Aleks
2 years 5 months ago
– Original idea: College Admissions Consulting – helping students prepare for admissions, including essay edits and devising a step-by-step plan – Revised idea (based on what you learned): Maximizing your college experience (most parents feel like the first 2 years are so exploratory, and students don’t know what they really want to get out of their classes, or what they want to do after) – What you THOUGHT they would say: I wanted parents to say that they need help with guiding their kid through the application process and making sure they go in the best school – What they… Read more »
Alan Gaskill
2 years 5 months ago
ORIGINAL IDEA – a course in theme park design, from “blue sky” to conceptual design for American art students. REVISED IDEA – a course in applied imaginative problem solving for young Chinese architectural students. WHAT I THOUGHT THEY WOULD SAY – “It takes SO LONG to get good at this stuff.” WHAT THEY ACTUALLY SAID – “I think the skill that requires the most to become a entertainment designer is the drawing skill and imagination. Both those people spent a lot of time in practicing drawing during their career life. Drawing is something time-consuming People complain about having no time… Read more »
Pamela
Pamela
2 years 5 months ago
Original Idea: Customer Service Training (I need a better title, I know this) Revised Idea: Not sure at this point What I thought I would hear: A LOT of stories of how awful the state of service is and how desperate businesses are to find a solution. What I actually heard: Basically crickets, the only real responses I got were family who would support me looking for Big Foot if that’s what I wanted to do! What suprised me: Honestly, the lack of interest. I’m confident that I have an idea that the world desperately needs. My thinking at this… Read more »
Pedro
2 years 5 months ago
– Original idea: Teach web development by recording myself creating a website. Would package the whole thing and sell it. – Revised idea (based on what you learned): Basically the same, but the project size can be doubled. – What you THOUGHT they would say: Do like everyone else is doing and record a project with 5min videos that together be a 3h project. – What they ACTUALLY said: Do a big project and dive deep. Do a 15min to 30min videos and a 10h project. Explain every inch of it. – What SURPRISED you about this exercise? That the… Read more »
Stephen
2 years 5 months ago
Original Idea: Begin sharing various lifestyle and relationship concepts I’ve discovered with guys who follow me for dating advice. Revised Idea: More specific, yet in multiple directions – how to “keep” a girlfriend; how to have a happier marriage; how to have a healthy lifestyle What I thought they would say: “Yeah lifestyle advice would be cool” or “I just want dating/pickup advice” What they actually said: “Healthy lifestyle=healthy relationships” “Yeah maybe start by branching out. Also, maybe something like How To Keep A Girlfriend… Not much alternate advice out there on the topic other than traditional Mars and Venus… Read more »
Jason Lee
2 years 5 months ago

Differentiate or die. Well said.

Russell
Russell
2 years 5 months ago
Original Idea: Brain Break: An app to help you study Revised Idea: Brain Break: An app to help your kids study What you THOUGHT they would say: “I love that, I need to study more” “why has no one thought of this before” What they ACTUALLY said: “I would probably just use it once and then ignore it”; “What for?”; “I would use something like that for my kids” What SURPRISED you about this exercise? That they told me exactly what they wanted. Everyone asked was like that is a kinda cool idea, but that was it. Then one person… Read more »
robin
2 years 5 months ago
Original Idea: Online art tutorials for children and a private group online to share it and get feedback. Revised Idea: Online videos of different age levels. teaching art basics, using a variety of materials. Create a materials list, but also offer a way to purchase the items. What I thought they would say: “I am afraid to have my child go online to learn with others.” What they actually said, “Starting a website” < from my techie guru son "I would have a child as young as 5 take a class like that. I would supervise them." It was suggested… Read more »
MacKensie
MacKensie
2 years 5 months ago
My idea is to create a blog and products geared toward helping people move to a new city or country. I did this challenge by e-mailing a few friends with questions, some who have moved a lot and a few who are contemplating their first big move. A lot of their answers are within my predictions (good confirmation for me) but one surprise was almost everyone voiced fears about not knowing anyone in the new place. This is not a fear I ever shared so it was off my radar, yet it’s clear from the responses that it’s a biggie… Read more »
pisces
pisces
9 months 19 days ago

Mackensie, I’ve moved both interstate and overseas with my husband. We knew nobody either move. It’s very daunting to land in a place where you don’t know the place you’re in or anyone there. I would have loved what you’re offering – especially on how to make new friends in a foreign place.

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Josh
Josh
2 years 5 months ago
– ORIGINAL IDEA: Financial planning and strategies specifically aimed at the needs of young people newly entering their (first) career and/or family life, especially for those who don’t have a financially-capable parent or mentor in their life. – REVISED IDEA Same idea, but very different tactics. I was right about people in this age group hurting financially, but I was wrong about what they’re ready for. I was planning to start with how to invest, how to pay taxes, how to buy a home, etc, but it sounds like the immediate need is much more basic – managing and escaping… Read more »
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Marie @ My Personal Finance Journey
Marie @ My Personal Finance Journey
2 years 5 months ago

When I read your blog title, I was given the eagerness to read your blog because of the word “Zig Zag”. The “zig/zag” technique is very helpful especially about in terms of what should be done next or how to make value. It inspires me to solve problems in a fun way more than making money so much.

Arindam
2 years 5 months ago

The story of chemistry teacher is very inspiring.

I just started something related to field inspired by U

Arindam

Tanya
2 years 5 months ago

– Original idea: A platform for artists to sell art

– Revised idea (based on what you learned): A management service for artist

– What you THOUGHT they would say: I dislike the business part of being an artist but want to learn if I could and it was easy

– What they ACTUALLY said: I just want to do my art and that’s it.

– What SURPRISED you about this exercise?The numbers of artists that want to sell their artwork but don’t want to learn how to either

Sneha
Sneha
11 months 16 days ago

I have a friend who has started an online business in Australia and her website is a platform for artists to showcase their art. You could get in touch with her to see how you could use that for your target market.

http://www.thecraftgallery.com.au/about-us/

Deborah
Deborah
2 years 5 months ago
– Original idea: Servicing 2 categories of businesses in the film and television industry: 1. For Creators, Producers, Financiers and Distributors – How to have the best experts in entertainment legal and business affairs on retainer worldwide; and 2. For Specialist Entertainment Attorneys – How to access a worldwide stream of clients. – Revised idea (based on what you learned): How to get access to industry legal experts on developing, financing, producing and distributing your motion picture or new media project worldwide and get your project packaged and sold. – What you THOUGHT they would say: It’s too big an… Read more »
Micaela
Micaela
2 years 5 months ago
Late to the party, but I just had my idea 2 days ago. – Original idea: “Mantra Cards” for women struggling with/recovering from disordered eating habits. These would include positive affirmations and ideas for relearning a relationship with food and exercise. – Revised idea (based on what you learned): I got a lot of very positive feedback. Initially, I thought of actually producing the cards myself but with their insights, I learned I don’t even need to do that- I can simply provide them as a PDF to download & they would be willing to pay for it and print… Read more »
Rebecca
2 years 5 months ago

I got data points from 19 women who are married or engaged.

Original Idea:
Site for wedding venues where you can search by actual price (not just $ or $$$)

Revised Idea:
Same, except in addition to budget being a key factor, they really cared about capacity of the venue as well. This was different from my own experience so that surprised me.

Also, some of the other key factors that I knew, but was overly focused on price: the vibe/feeling, a place that has character, meaning, etc. And many wanted indoor/outdoor spaces.

Nigel Chua
2 years 5 months ago
1) MY TEST Original idea: To help health and wellness practitioners start and grow their own profitable freelance and/or clinics (like how I’ve done before, growing from a small $60 start up to one in the high six figures now). The test was done in Singapore, with people already in/thinking of starting their own freelance or clinic business. I decided to email 8 people whom I think may be interested in what I’ve to share (also, it increases the chances of people responding and I’ll have more data) 2) REVISED IDEA (based on what you learned): (Based on 1 email… Read more »
Beth
Beth
2 years 5 months ago
Original Idea- natural makeup line and skincare using edible ingredients Revised Idea- natural, vibrant, powder tints used for lips, cheeks, eyes made with fruit, flowers, and herbs What you thought they ‘d say- sounds awesome! What they actually said- “I love natural lip balms and lotions because I have sensitive skin.” “natural foundation doesn’t have very good coverage” “There’s a lot of competition like Lush and the Body Shop” What surprised you- Every suggested big brand of “all-natural” makeup, every time I look at the ingredients, there is something used that is definitely not edible, and no one makes natural… Read more »
Beth
Beth
2 years 5 months ago

Oh, also one person said “I don’t want to have to put my makeup in the fridge, it might pick up smells of other food,” hence why I am now developing a powder form of tints that will last at least six months without refrigeration.

Rusty Gray
Rusty Gray
2 years 5 months ago
– Original idea: Film Quality Animation Tutorials Online that address stumbling blocks at 1/1000th the Cost of Traditional College – Revised idea (based on what you learned): Animation Tutorials Online focused on the most common sticking points: Spine Movement Tackling Lipsync General understanding of Overlap and Follow Through Shooting Reference and getting into Character – What you THOUGHT they would say: After contacting 16 students from the #1 animation school in the world I figured they’d make broad statements like ‘ my overall body mechanics skills are lacking’ – What they ACTUALLY said: I have trouble animating relaxed arms. Timing… Read more »
Aaron Zalonis
2 years 5 months ago
Original idea: Paleo and/or Slow Carb guide to ethnic grocery stores – Revised idea (based on what you learned): (same idea, but tweaked -marketing to the local foodie population in Raleigh/Durham.) – What you THOUGHT they would say: Little enthusiasm: “That’s nice. Cool.” – What they ACTUALLY said: Lots of enthusiasm: “I really like your idea and want to help”, “This is the kind of thing I would love to be part of”, “I am ready to invade ethnic markets and ask lots of questions.” (I never thought people would want to help with this.) – What SURPRISED you about… Read more »
JoAnn Jordan
2 years 5 months ago
I sent my 6 (activities) x 5 (props) = 30 minutes of fun! idea to a mom, a CNA, and a caregiving professional. I heard back from the mom and the caregiving professional. The mom thought: Sounds good to me…especially on days you can’t be outside, would make for an easy activity. Her concern was: Are the 5 props easily stored away or will they break quickly? The caregiving professional responded: “love the idea! The biggest problem I see is that caregivers don’t spend a lot of money, but maybe because this is something fun, they’d be more inclined to… Read more »
Nathan
2 years 5 months ago
Original idea: Interviews with DanceSport gurus. Topics about how they got started, their journey to success, how they think about training and competing, etc. Action: I asked three friends who are ballroom dance competitors, “I’m thinking of starting a website around what you don’t learn in lessons, but that you need to know to get really good at dancing. What are the biggest things you don’t learn in your lessons that you’d love to know from the top professionals?” Results: I thought they would be interested but I different sets of responses. One was immediately very interested in these kinds… Read more »
Chris B. Behrens
Chris B. Behrens
2 years 5 months ago

Nathan, let me PERSONALLY validate your idea – I myself would be a customer – I was Googling for almost exactly what you’re talking about on my phone last night.

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[…] have a relationship with them, and now it’s time to find out how you can help them. I shared some basic validation scripts earlier. Be sure to check out the impressive results in the […]

Buttsoup
Buttsoup
2 years 5 months ago
HERE’S A ZAG THAT WILL PROVIDE YOU WITH A RIDICULOUSLY PROFITABLE IDEA! Don’t start with your own idea! Your idea probably sucks! Start instead by: 1. picking a niche that you are interested in 2. talking to as many people involved in that niche as you can (many ways of doing this…landing page + ppc, emails, cold calls, your own network, in person) 3. asking these people about the most painful problems or activities in their day. What are their dreams and what’s holding them back? What are the most frustrating parts of their day? What are the $10, $100,… Read more »
Audrey
Audrey
2 years 5 months ago
I had an idea for a product, so I actually went up to random people at the mall to ask them what features they would like to see (under the cover of “doing a project for school”) – Original idea: A different type of diaper bag – Revised idea (based on what you learned): I learned that this is a horrible idea. – What you THOUGHT they would say: I was asking mothers (or rather, women who had young children with them) I thought all the pain points would be relatively the same. WRONG! – What they ACTUALLY said: There… Read more »
Katie
Katie
2 years 5 months ago
– Original idea: financial literacy for HS seniors planning to leave home for college (parents are the clients) – Revised idea: financial literacy for a much younger audience! – What you THOUGHT they would say: this is a great idea because: they don’t teach this stuff in schools, my kid needs to learn this stuff before leaving the nest, it would help my kid keep their student loan debt under control. – What they ACTUALLY said: “this should happen younger than the teen years” & “Teens is much too late to be teaching this stuff in my opinion” (i’ve only… Read more »
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[…] to start, learned how I went from a $4.95 product to a multi-million-dollar business, done some basic idea testing to see if people like our business ideas, learned how to conquer self-sabotage, and learned about the systems to build an automatic […]

Simon
Simon
2 years 5 months ago
– Original idea: Sell specialized studies for a nitch market through a web page – Revised idea (based on what you learned): I could make it a recurrent revenue instead of a just pay per study business model – What you THOUGHT they would say: I want to earn more contracts, save myself the costs of getting good leats etc. – What they ACTUALLY said: I want to grow my company, achieve my financial goals and work for the future – What SURPRISED you about this exercise? I thought it would be more cold, business oriented, but I realized this… Read more »
Carolyn
2 years 5 months ago
Three years after my son was born I started a website for women who are trying to start a family over age 40. I write about how I got pregnant at age 45 after being told I couldn’t. (And without consciously trying, lol, we thought that ship had sailed). It’s an affiliate site and never made more than a couple of sales. About a year ago I stopped paying for ads and let it sit. But I still get 1 or 2 autoresponder subscribers a day trickling in. (Same number I had when I was running ads). They’ve started commenting… Read more »
Carolyn
2 years 5 months ago
Okay, submitted my comment and THEN read the directions. LOL. We all mess up, right? So my original idea was to teach women from personal experience and research how to get pregnant at an advanced maternal age (over 40) when doctors are saying they can’t. I thought women would be happy to pay for the affiliate products I was offering, like recordings of experts speaking on the subject, pregnancy hypnosis courses, and the like. Instead all but a few bypassed those options. Instead they wrote to thank me for giving them hope and for offering a positive outlook in a… Read more »
Marie Valgarðsson
Marie Valgarðsson
2 years 5 months ago
Carolyn, I think you should just model yourself on Ramit. He gives so much….nobody would do that unless they genuinely cared about others. His honesty is refreshing! I could go on and on….and I guess that is his ‘hook’ in a way. So you follow all his great advice, do all your homework and take your idea as far as you possibly can. But you are still stuck and are desperate, so you finally decide that NOW is the time to get that personal help that can only be gotten by buying one of his courses. You both win. You… Read more »
Monica
Monica
2 years 5 months ago
My online idea is to create a ebook on for teaching children about geocaching. I went to the bookstore and asked the attendant if there were any books on it. She looked it up and said there were several books but none for children. Then she asked what was geocaching. I mentioned that it was a modern day treasure hunt using a gps. These cache’s are listed on a website (Geocaching.com) and they are all over the world. Some right in your neighborhood. I’ve taken my god children geocaching and they loved it, but there are no books on how… Read more »
Jordan
Jordan
2 years 4 months ago

I’d love to do this with my nephews.

Mike
2 years 5 months ago
A little late on this one: Original idea: INFP Career guide (INFP is one of 16 types in the MBTI personality test) New idea: How to choose/change a career when you’re an INFP who’s older than 30 and makes more than 100k (I’ll pretty up the title later 😉 ) What I expected them to say: I don’t know what I want to do. I feel like I’m dying in my current job. I can’t decide on a major or future career. I don’t care about money, I just want to help people. What they said: “I rarely talk to… Read more »
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[…] Get them to tell you in their own words (yes, ZTL teaches this, […]

Natalie
Natalie
2 years 5 months ago
– Original idea: Teaching fitness classes online & an online weight loss/healthier living programme/course – for long term results. – Revised idea (based on what you learned): +Making the course more personal yet hopefully at the same time reaching more people. Giving people the tools they need which they can apply to their own lives. +More focus on changing habits. +Perhaps focusing on tiers too; depending on how far someone wants to take the healthy eating, there could be options as to which programme they take part in. +Would have to provide something in which people could communicate with me… Read more »
Cesar
2 years 5 months ago
First of, I just have to say i’m very excited about Zero to Launch. Now, my original idea (asked 5 friends, 4 replied): Freelance website service for people looking for professional, high quality, custom made music or jobs related to music. Revised idea: Digital/Contemporary Music Freelancing. What I thought: Sounds good. What they actually said: Just one of 4 replies: ” I would love that idea personally I would definitely use it, ive been at a loss sometimes trying to find musicians… Its a great idea in general cause theres nothing really like that now, the only thing that would… Read more »
Yolanda
Yolanda
2 years 5 months ago
– Original idea: Creating a card game that would lead people to challenge their daily relationships, improve their couple, their family or their relatives relations in a fun, entertaining and engaging way. The idea is to heal those group of people. – Revised idea (based on what you learned): Creating tailored-made card series that would lead people to challenge their daily relationships, improve their couple, their family or their relatives relations in a fun, entertaining and engaging way. Develop it for a larger audience (target niches), provide a challenging and high quality content that could fit a higher layer of… Read more »
Gerald
1 year 11 months ago

My idea was to start a lifestyle brand foe men who want to become better men and live legendary lives.
Bases on feedback i received decided to seperate buainess model to include motivational advice along with a men’s clothing line.
I thought they would want just clothing to represent their lifestyle choices.
What they said was that many men do not know how to be men anymore and that i should also give advice as well.
What surprised me was that people that i spoke to believed that this message of self improvement was something different that was not apart of the fashion industry.

Company Registration Dubai
1 year 11 months ago

Learning how to earn money online as an affiliate isn’t easy. But there are lots of people worldwide that are making over $1,000,000 a year doing it. Most will not be a successful unless they have some formal help and training. Affiliate stores are web stores where people purchase items on a site, but through a third party.

Kamal
1 year 11 months ago
-Original Idea – Online project management course – The One Hour PM – accellerated learning for non-PMs, 10 lessons broken into 6 minute chunks – What you THOUGHT they would say: I’d love to learn about project management so I can step up in my career – What they ACTUALLY said: I’d love to learn, but I’m too busy with my job to learn how to work better. – What SURPRISED you about this exercise? Many people would like to learn how to improve and be more effective, but just don’t have the time (not a surprise), but are willing… Read more »
Witcliffe
1 year 11 months ago

1 . IDEA : Help with relationships and relationship issues

– What you THOUGHT they would say: No , not much people would want to look for help online.
– What they ACTUALLY said: That’s a great idea ! People always look online for things like that.
– What SURPRISED you about this exercise? Most of the persons I asked said the same thing.

Viktoryia
1 year 11 months ago

– Original idea: Online Photography School
– Revised idea (based on what you learned): Online Photography School which will inspire, give tips and tricks on particular subjects and share information from my personal experience, oppose it to teaching basics (a lot of free resources online), maybe offer personal coaching.
– What you THOUGHT they would say: useless
– What they ACTUALLY said: they said what I thought – that I should do it
– What SURPRISED you about this exercise? I actually did ask some people even before I knew about exercise, just this time I gathered more opinions, and they were all positive.

Hugh Scott
Hugh Scott
1 year 11 months ago
ORIGINAL IDEA: Online course for the family’s that suffer tragedy in there life’s REVISED IDEA: Online course helping parents and young people to deal with the suffering of losing a loved one this can effect peoples life’s dramatically as i have experienced losing my father as a young adult i can help others and guide them back on track and help them move forward and be the person there loved one would have wanted them to be. WHAT YOU THOUGHT THEY WOULD SAY: That no body would come to a silly web site for help WHAT THEY ACTUALLY SAID: That… Read more »
selorm hadzie
1 year 10 months ago

i want help people to quit from alcoholic addict but it seems things look very difficult how do i break through this idea

Elki Hass
Elki Hass
1 year 8 months ago
Original Idea : Organization skills 101 for the disorganized Revised Idea: Basically the same but with an unusual niche Thought they would say: Great idea I always need help What they said: R said at first sign me up then became less enthusiastic M said every good housewife should know this and am I targeting a specific group? M & R were more interested in how to start a website and how much would it cost . Surprised me that R is really all over the place on certain things like structuring her day versus her home. l am not… Read more »
Roxanna
1 year 8 months ago

Very quickly this web page will be famous among all blog viewers,
due to it’s good articles

Hash
Hash
1 year 7 months ago
Original Idea: – How to pass any business class in school with a B grade or higher without going to class. Revised Idea: – How to complete group projects and pass exams with a B grade or higher without going to class. Or – How to minimize time spent in class and time spent studying while passing the classes with A or higher what i though they would say: – I don’t want to miss important information the teacher might give – I don’t want to lose participation marks or group project marks What they actually said: – ” Maybe… Read more »
Estate Agents in Barnet
1 year 6 months ago

An outstanding share! I have just forwarded this
onto a frieend who hass been conducting a little hoimework on this.
And he actually ordered me dinner simplyy because I stumbled
upon it for him… lol. So allow me to reword this….
Thank YOU for thhe meal!! But yeah, thanks for spending some time
to discuss this matter here on your site.

Robin
1 year 6 months ago

Original idea:
An online course on home base fat loss for busy executives (require them to purchase equipments)

– Revised idea (based on what you learned):
Short 10 minute workout that takes up little space with no equipment
which they can use when travel as well

– What you THOUGHT they would say:
Want to lose weight, get healthy

– What they ACTUALLY said:
Want to look good in clothes, even better without clothes,more energy, get hot dates

– What SURPRISED you about this exercise?
My assumptions are so wrong and need to be validated. I am not speaking from their point of view and pain points.

Lee
Lee
1 year 6 months ago

Original idea:
Website for musical transcription into different notation systems

– Revised idea (based on what you learned):
Start with one notation system to start, primarily numeric

– What you THOUGHT they would say:
A supportive response

– What they ACTUALLY said:
Need to determine whether friends have interest in this sort of service. Those who already know music don’t need this. It would take time and effort to program software application

– What SURPRISED you about this exercise?
The precautionary attitude

C. Smith
C. Smith
1 year 6 months ago
– Original idea: I’m thinking of starting some kind of website to help people around home and office interior design. I’d like to help people not only beautify but also utilize their space wisely ! – Revised idea (based on what you learned): I reached out to one of my friends and learned that I need to listen and ask my customers’ concerns and needs first. Originally I was only thinking about how I can “fix” the space and make it look nice with aesthetic. I did not realize that there might be other more important concerns that my clients… Read more »
Lee
Lee
1 year 6 months ago
Original idea: Coaching plans for junior section coaches – talking through drills and skill development. Revised idea: A series of coaching videos specific to each age group that gives a coach a ‘Season in a box’. It would help coaches who do not have much time to plan their sessiins and would give them practical support in how a skill can be developed. What I thought they would say: I don’t need anyone to tell me how to coach my team What they actually said: It is a real ball ache having to come up with new stuff to keep… Read more »
Rey Jr
Rey Jr
1 year 2 months ago
– Original idea: Introduce people to online marketing.. the opportunity to make your own business online..“I will start as an affiliate” – Revised idea (based on what you learned): Start with the benefits of online marketing. prepare their mindset. I will find a way to defeat the negativity inside them..:) – What you THOUGHT they would say: That’s great.. I want to have my online business too.. I want to learn that.. (excited or more positive response) – What they ACTUALLY said: That is hard.. It’s a scam.. just take online survey..lol – What SURPRISED you about this exercise? People… Read more »
JT
JT
1 year 2 months ago
– Original idea: I was focusing on a niche cooking website involving online cooking videos, tutorials, and content. – Revised idea (based on what you learned): I brought this idea to my best friend (he’s a trained chef). What was incredible is based on our brainstorming, my idea went into a totally different direction…instead focusing on teaching kids about healthy eating habits and where their food comes from. – What you THOUGHT they would say: I thought he would go right along with my idea…after all he has always wanted to be the star of his own cooking program! I… Read more »
Ashley Ching
1 year 2 months ago

– Original idea: Help people overcome their issues with eating

– Revised idea (based on what you learned): Include a disclaimer that people need to consult their doctors for any changes made

– What you THOUGHT they would say: Who are you to help people with this? You still have problems yourself.

– What they ACTUALLY said: Aren’t you liable for anyone if something happens to them? You’re not a doctor, so it could be dangerous.

– What SURPRISED you about this exercise?

Ashley Ching
1 year 2 months ago

[Continued]
This is a cause I strongly believe in, but I’m not sure if I could put in a lot of time into this, because the topic is depressing. However, progress I can make in other people’s lives may make it extremely rewarding.

Michelle
Michelle
1 year 2 months ago
Original idea – making online tutorials that would allow people to learn some of the horticultural techniques behind vegetable gardening, without having to commit to undertake a professional qualification. The tutorials would give backyard gardeners a deeper understanding of why some things work while others don’t, and give gardeners the confidence to make decisions based on their own situation. Revised idea – I timidly thought about another idea the whole time I planned the gardening tutorials. One that I feel much more excited about, but also scared of screwing up. I would like to create tutorials for professionals who want… Read more »
Heidi McLain
1 year 2 months ago
Original idea: I’m thinking of starting some kind of website around being a “Confident Wine Consumer.” When you talk to your friends about it, what do you say? What’s the biggest problem around buying wine or just talking about wine? Responses: “I think matching food and wine is a perennial question.” ” Being able to afford it.” “I think a website like that would be excellent. I would love a section dedicated to – if you love that, you should try this. That would help me be more adventurous. And, I still haven’t tasted a good Chianti.” Accurate tasting notes,… Read more »
Heidi McLain
1 year 2 months ago

Revised idea (based on what I learned): No real change in my idea

What I THOUGHT they would say: “I’m overwhelmed by the choices. I don’t understand the wine ratings and wine reviews. How do I find wines with low sulfites?”

What surprised me about this exercise: That consumers don’t “get” how to pair wine with food.

Cynthia
1 year 2 months ago
– Original idea: Web Design and Web Development Company – Revised idea (based on what you learned): Add services, like monthly maintenance, some minimal training on using a CMS and think about other ways to monetize on a smaller scale. – What you THOUGHT they would say: That’s great, are you sure you want to do this? – What they ACTUALLY said: Are you still going to get work outside of your company? How are you going to do it? – What SURPRISED you about this exercise? It was a bit scary telling someone about my intent with my own… Read more »
Shu Fong
1 year 1 month ago
– Original idea: Sell a monthly subscription-based children’s activity package (such as learning skills and craft ideas) online – Revised idea (based on what you learned): A practical concern on materials and sourcing. – What you THOUGHT they would say: I like your idea, and I can implement ideas to put together for the activity box – What they ACTUALLY said: “Monthly subscription box? What kind of package u mean? Materials package? Materials and services package? I don’t understand” – What SURPRISED you about this exercise? After explaining what the idea is about, my friend who is a kindergarten teacher… Read more »
Nouamane
Nouamane
1 year 1 month ago

-Original Idea : Memory Enhancement using Mnemonic Techniques
-Revised Idea : Short terme Memory Enhancement
-What I THOUGHT they would say: good Idea, a have a problem with retaining information at school or college, I want to improve my memory because I forget stuff alot, like groceries and to call someone, or to do stuff.
-What they ACTUALLY said:” I want to be able to do basic math calculation in my head quickly( short terme memory stuff), I want to memorize alot of information quickly and easily

NOUAMANE
NOUAMANE
1 year 1 month ago

[Continued]
What surprised me about this exercise: I got different responses from each person. And the interesting thing is that my idea can be used to answer all of their needs.

Paul
Paul
1 year 1 month ago

Original Idea: How to lose weight without smoke and mirrors (burning more calories than you consume)
Revised Idea: Same basic idea, but with additional information provided in terms how they can track calories in and out.

What I thought they would say: I can’t lose weight no matter how hard I try

What they said: You mean there are no expensive pills or injections

What Surprised Me: How many people have no idea how many calories a day they consume or how many they burn.

Anne
Anne
1 year 1 month ago
– Original idea: High quality vehicle decals – Revised idea (based on what you learned): High quality vehicle decals that can be customized along with lower quality decals that aren’t permanent. Would want to use established tattoo artists for designs – another way for them to sell their flash art. – What you THOUGHT they would say: That’s bad ass – I would love to embellish my Mustang – What they ACTUALLY said: Would it mess up my paint job? Are they temporary or permanent? Could an individual install their own or would you need to have a professional? –… Read more »
Ben Jones
Ben Jones
1 year 1 month ago
Original Idea: Most males in North America haven’t the slightest idea of how to be men. With a lack of positive role models or ‘initiation rites’, many males withdraw into a fantasy life of video gaming, porn, gadget fetishism as well as phobias of interacting with real human beings. Some males go the opposite direction and vent their frustrations though becoming ‘players’ or ‘bad boys’ and seeking to use women and other men as interchangeable pleasure objects. A scholarly study into masculinity reveals that there are several well-defined aspects of what a man should be. What I thought they would… Read more »
Laura Shaffer
Laura Shaffer
1 year 1 month ago
Original idea: Cooking classes for those who don’t have time to cook Revised Idea: Building good cooking habits around your time schedule What I thought people would say: “I would love to learn how to cook, but I don’t have time!” “Cooking is too difficult and time-consuming for me to tackle.” What they actually said: “I’m just cooking for myself so I tend to waste so much food. It’s better to just order out/snack/make frozen food.” “I have basic cooking skills but I don’t know where to start.” “Recipes are always catered to families and include many ingredients I don’t… Read more »
Nancy
1 year 1 month ago
There is a lot of information in health and nutrition, although there doesn’t seem to be concrete implementation of habits that ties the interdependent relationships of all the areas of our life; mental, physical, emotional and how our internal world effects our external world. My ORIGINAL Idea: Bring those areas together, the psychology behind how and why we do things and how to bring balance into our life, reduce stress and break the barriers that limit our abundance and building our life in a sustainable way Revised Idea: Same, but based on conversation can see where I can adjust and… Read more »
Micheal Peters
1 year 30 days ago

Thanks to you Ramit, ive launced my online business(http://ibmaglobal.com) and im now making 2000usd a month from it 🙂

Rodney
Rodney
1 year 13 days ago
Original idea: I have a facebook fanpage about college student jobs. I dont post much. I rarley check my facebook these days but for some reason I get about 3-4 likes per week even tho I dont post information much. Last time I posted information was in June. I want to start a website based on resourses that help college students find jobs and scholarships – Revised idea (based on what you learned): See whats the best place to start – What you THOUGHT they would say: Great idea, students are looking for jobs and scholarships – What they ACTUALLY… Read more »
Phil
Phil
1 year 10 days ago

Original Idea:
A mobile application that automatically photoshops bodies. People looking to lose weight will see their ideal body, as will people looking to gain muscle.

Revised Idea:
A mobile application that doesn’t photoshop bodies directly, but gives general ideas on what a body shape could look like.

What you THOUGHT they would say:
That sounds like it would be a great motivator.

What they ACTUALLY said:
Can you really do that? Is that even achievable? That seems too difficult.

What SURPRISED you about this exercise?
I am biting off more than I can chew. But perhaps I already knew that.

Matt S
Matt S
1 year 6 days ago
– Original idea: Launch a Udemy class teaching a Data Analyst Toolkit – Revised idea (based on what you learned): Don’t use Udemy as a platform, and control the whole user experience. Maintain control of the customer list. – What you THOUGHT they would say: Bring up the point that I am in a saturated market, or that classes on Udemy is not the best channel – What they ACTUALLY said: “Maybe, but I like owning the entire experience, not selling through another platform. Why give away margin? And why not maintain control of the customer list?… ” – What… Read more »
Shawn
Shawn
1 year 5 days ago
– Original idea: Educating people about the role of superior nutrition in preventing and reversing chronic diseases such as heart disease, Type II diabetes, and cancer in some cases. – Revised idea: Educating people about the role of how holistic nutrition in preventing and reversing chronic diseases such as heart disease, Type II diabetes, and cancer in some cases. Use of the term “holistic” suggests that there is a difference between the information provided by me and that offered by the typical dietitian/nutritionist. For some people, it will immediately eliminate the belief that they already know the information I am… Read more »
jeanne omlor
11 months 29 days ago
I’m a Business Coach and my idea is a online course (with a high touch, meaning there are group calls with me) that teaches coaches and small business people who have already been in business for at least a short while, to get past the $5K to $10K mark upwards to $300K to $500K and higher level, serving people online and offline because they don’t totally want to operate just online. I must say that i did not merely corner one person. I sent a nice email out to my list. No response. I asked the questions very clearly on… Read more »
gia
11 months 16 days ago

I also had a hard time asking my question which was based on something I want to create about weight loss. How does one ask someone without saying…so…you’re overweight, obviously….

As for your question. I’m not sure you’re interpreting what the silence means. I wonder if your peeps thought if they answered they were then going to get pitched the program. Perhaps they didn’t get you were just collecting info and not actually going to launch at them as well. What exactly was the question you ask them?

Yolanda
Yolanda
11 months 29 days ago
– Original idea: Facilitate the transition process to migrate to the United States – Revised idea (based on what you learned): I am not sure if there is a niche big enough or profitable for this idea based on what they said. – What you THOUGHT they would say: It would be great to be guided in such as overwhelming and confusing process. – What they ACTUALLY said: ‘ok, sounds good, I think’ ‘What’s that?’ – I gave some more information. – ‘hmmm. Good for you’ ‘That would have been great to know when I moved here 3 years ago’… Read more »
Victoria
Victoria
11 months 23 days ago

Hi Diandra… Have you thought about setting your business up as a Private Membership Association? This way, you won’t have a lot of those legal concerns because what ever the private members decide to do is up to them. As long as you do no harm to anyone, you are free to provide nutritional information, in the form of classes, to your private members…just a thought. 🙂

Mel
11 months 23 days ago
Original Idea: Write personal reviews via a VLOG of the latest and greatest fitness gear in a funny, catchy manner. If the equipment is good, I’ll promote their products using PPC and promotion giveaways and highlight their business and products on my site. Promote my “service” to companies and have them send me what they’d like me to test/review then offer them space on my site for a fee. What I learned: The folks I asked seemed genuinely interested! I always hated wasting money on stuff for fitness that ultimately turned out to be useless. What surprised me: There was… Read more »
Robert K.
Robert K.
11 months 23 days ago
Original Idea; Start a savings & credit cooperative/ Micro finance; Provide an online platform for depositors to save, borrow, invest, earn interest, own homes & support commercial farming. Revised Idea; Get More education on financial management What I thought they would say; very good idea, I expected more enthusiasm What they actually said; . The first advice is you need some few lessons in the evening for management and atleast finance to be credibal you ought to have some paper. But you need to first understand what you are getting in to. I know you are brilliant you just a… Read more »
Gabriel
Gabriel
11 months 23 days ago

-Original idea: Small micro-lending firm

-Revised idea: Same idea, with more detailed approach to e-commerce.

-What you thought they would say:
It’s too complicated to reach the intended audience with such business focus.

-What they actually said: Its cool, its a brilliant idea. It makes it more convenient and easy to access.

-What surprised me:
They actually like the idea because most tend to use/surf the internet alot.

Sneha
Sneha
11 months 16 days ago
Original Idea : A blog around how to learn from your mistakes Revised Idea : Same but change it by focus (for example how to learn from your mistakes in your career or how to learn from your mistakes with your relations, etc) What you thought they would say : Eh! it is too generalized and no one will read it. What they said: It is a good idea. Go for it. Everyone will read it. What surprised me : I figured that my friend stepped right where I thought she would saying everyone would read it. The idea is… Read more »
Skyler
Skyler
11 months 16 days ago
– Original idea: How to raise your kids with your spouse (and not work a day job) – Revised idea (based on what you learned): Mom and Dad both raise kids and both choose to work if and when they want – What you THOUGHT they would say: Somebody has to provide for the family, money doesn’t grow on trees. what about medical insurance? – What they ACTUALLY said: Its possible but will take some hard work. Do you really want to stay at home and raise your children? somebody has to bring home the bacon – What SURPRISED you… Read more »
gia
11 months 16 days ago
Original Idea: Create an online course to teach people how to lose weight using energy techniques Revised idea: Emphasize fun while focusing on inspiring and uplifting….from hopeless and helpless to happy and empowered! Be happy with the body you have…and lose weight! What I thought they would say: Too weird! Nothing works for me! What they said, “Traditional ways don’t work, meaning dieting and the “don’t eat this, don’t eat that.” “The traditional ways don’t take care of the reason why the weight is there in the first place. And they are not fun.” “For me, it has to be… Read more »
gia
11 months 16 days ago

P.S. And what surprised me was….

That just answering the questions from my homework helped my friends get new insights into themselves!

Amber
Amber
11 months 15 days ago
Original idea: website around how to stop paying rent/mortgage and pay for a life of full-time traveling & adventure Revised idea (based on what you learned): the same What you THOUGHT they would say: funding/money/job that is location independent What they ACTUALLY said: while they did cite funding, many of them did – I posed this question on facebook to my friends, but also in this amazing worldschooling families group I belong to, so i got a ton responses, what can i say I am an overachiever and I require diverse unique perspectives when considering things. They also, just as… Read more »
Wynelle Cowdery
11 months 15 days ago
I did exactly as you asked only I spoke to at least 3 different young people in 2 different countries. Very interesting exercise. I did this particular exercise in Spanish as we work and help lots of Spanish-speaking young people however, I should mention that I want to do this in both languages, Spanish and English. Original Idea: Helping young people discover their purpose in life. Revised based on what I learned: I am a Christian and we work with young people in ministries worldwide so after testing my idea with some teens and young adults~ they told me that… Read more »
Jason
Jason
11 months 10 days ago

Original Idea:
Online Graphic Design business

Revised idea (based on what you learned):
It sounds like the labor of love type of business

What i thought they would say:
That’s not going to work, try something else.

What they actually said:
That’s a great idea, you should start promoting it and make an actual business, so i can team up with my brother since he is a photographer

what surprised you about this exercise:
I actually pulled it off with out being shy about my idea

Donald
Donald
11 months 2 days ago
Original idea: creating an online school for last-year students in high schools for preparation for university entrance tests Revised idea (based on what you learned): there is no need for hiring many professors to give lectures as some entrance tests are the same for different universities (in my country) What you THOUGHT they would say: ‘your idea is okay but not possible in our country’; ‘I’m not sure whether it would work here’; some of them doubt that I can do that. What they ACTUALLY said: ‘That’s a wonderful idea ’cause of flexibility it would give to the students.’ ‘It… Read more »
Abasi-Ifreke
Abasi-Ifreke
11 months 2 days ago
Original idea: how to stay cancer free and increase your life expectancy. Revised idea: based on what I have leaened What I thought they would say: cancer is deadly. Something must be done about it. What they actually said: Government should encourage research institution funancially and as well give them an enabling environment for thorough research to be done to curb the manace cancer. Drugs should be made easily accessible to those living with it.people want to really stay cancer free and perhaps live longer. Agitating to know what tip guides they should follow to attain this feat. What surprised… Read more »
Maream
Maream
10 months 30 days ago
Idea: Nutrition Info for different goals (mass building, weight loss, or maintenance) Key Verbs: “I hate thinking about food all day long. It’s hard enough when your dieting and ALWAYS hungry and then you have to constantly be thinking and planning on top of that. It like -geeze, why do I bother?” and: “why is it so confusing? grams, calories, carbs, fats, proteins. Is there even serving sizes for antimicrobials? Just tell me what to eat, when to eat it, and let me get on wtih my life.” Expectations: people would want more info on the particulars of how much… Read more »
Milos
Milos
10 months 3 days ago
Original idea: Making a website for a friend, who owns a small fast food restaurant. Person I talked with: My mother; my best friend from school. Mother’s response: “Wow, I didn’t know you can come up with an idea like that, so early. I think it is amazing. I hope you can make that web site. I know it would come great for me and my friends when we’re returning from work. I’m sure a lot of people would find it helpful.” Friend’s response: “Hahaha… yeah right. Wait… you’re serious?! Ok then… well… I think it could come handy… and… Read more »
Alexander
Alexander
9 months 28 days ago
Original idea: Make a simulator racing application with JGTC cars for touch phones that isn’t too costly to play. Revised idea (based on what you learned): Make a blitz (focus on speed) racing application with generally modern and luxurious cars that isn’t too costly to play. What you THOUGHT they would say: “Sounds cool! Maybe I might want to play it some time.” What they ACTUALLY said: “I just want a fun, action-packed racing game with generally fast, modern, and luxurious cars.” What SURPRISED you about this exercise? I learned that in the process of making ANY product, it isn’t… Read more »
fatin
fatin
9 months 28 days ago
Original idea: Making modern gypsy accessories. Revised idea: I guess the same ! What you THOUGHT they would say: I thought she would tell me something that is different in this field. What they ACTUALLY said: She told me that she likes the idea a lot because here in Palestine we don’t make these things a lot, and when she knew that this business would be universal she told me that everyone does something different even if you don’t feel it!! What SURPRISED you about this exercise? :After doing the exercise I found out that for my local society, this… Read more »
Bahirathan
9 months 27 days ago
Original idea: My native country Sri Lanka , there are lot expats living in western countries and those people are not getting original Sri Lankan clothes in respective countries they are living so my idea is building a website and marketing Sri Lankan clothes and accessories to expats Revised idea (based on what I learned): I don’t have revised idea , I want to put my idea into practice and check whether it is working or not What I thought they’d say: Here lot of shops are available nobody would buy What they actually said: I asked one of my… Read more »
Rodolfo
Rodolfo
9 months 23 days ago
– Original idea: An online course on: “How To Achieve Your Ultimate Fitness!” – Revised idea: “How To Get Better At Maintaining Your Health” – What I THOUGHT they would say: Yes! Give me all the secrets and technical info to achieve my ultimate fitness! – What they Actually said: I would like to maintain what I have and not loose any of my current abilities. I would like to get better but mainly what I want is to be consistent with less ups and downs in my health and fitness. – What SURPRISED me about this exercise? What surprised… Read more »
Marti
Marti
9 months 20 days ago
Original idea: How to understand your doctor’s advice in layman’s terms. Revisd idea: How to create an online business as a health care advocate (need a better descriptor here) – What I thought they’d say: Great idea. A lot of need for it but there could be liability issues. – What they actually said: You would not be able to contradict the doctor’s advice. Why wouldn’t people just go online and check WebMD? – What surprised me: How quickly I was able to brainstorm a modified version of the first idea. We had a great discussion around marketing the service… Read more »
Dean Yeong
9 months 7 days ago
Original Idea: Help male entrepreneurs and busy executives to achieve peak performance (tiptop energy level, focus and productivity) and get into great shape. Revised Idea: Nothing much has changed. But have better perspectives. What I thought they’d say: – I need higher energy level, focus and productivity – I just need decent shape with healthy body What they actually said: – I feel tired and low in energy after my busy schedule and have no time to workout – I want to get in really good shape fast – Getting in good shape will help me to feel more confidence… Read more »
Sven Imholz
Sven Imholz
9 months 16 hours ago
Original Idea: I want to teach people who know nothing about photography the absolute basics. No technical stuff just shooting on a basic mode and learning how to frame your subject. This is great to increase the quality of pictures on social media. This could even work on phone photography. Revised idea (based on what you learned): I asked someone who is not interested in photography who could have been my target audience. She thought it was a great idea. I had to focus on phone photography more than camera photography. What you THOUGHT they would say: – I totally… Read more »
Nicole Cormier
Nicole Cormier
8 months 22 days ago
Original idea: I’d like to open a Fitness & Wellness Centre that focuses on the mind and body with no fads or gimmicks. Just exercise and peer counselling, with books and vitamins for sale. – Revised idea (based on what you learned): I didn’t do a revision, because I haven’t received any negative feedback. I’ve even posted it on my Facebook wall and my friends are all saying things like, this sounds great, I’d go there, this sounds like a good idea. Would you mind giving me your thoughts on my original idea. Maybe an outsider I don’t know, who… Read more »
Lydia
8 months 22 days ago
Original Idea – I’m thinking about starting an online academy where students can learn about how to live a worshipful lifestyle and express it artistically. Revised Idea – I’m thinking about starting an online academy where students learn how to live a life of worship, as well as learn how to use the arts as a tool to express their worship. What I Thought They Would Say – worship is a lifestyle; People don’t know how to worship; how the worship arts are taught is done backwards where the focus is on performing rather than worshipping. What They Actually Said… Read more »
Jonathan
8 months 21 days ago
Original Idea – How to be successful in what you do daily and strategizing the life you want and actually taking the steps to live it. Revised Idea – How to strategize the life you want and live it in a world where there are so many shiny objects. Going back to the basic principles of success in life – What it takes on a daily level. What you THOUGHT they would say – “Umm yeah man, I just don’t know what to do, so I avoid thinking about it much” What they ACTUALLY said – “Distractions that keep them… Read more »
Preet S.
Preet S.
8 months 16 days ago
Original idea: Educate women about what fitness truly is and help build self-confidence through it. After following Ramit’s advice I reached out to 2 different groups of people. 1st group totally professional people I deal with for work (IT) and 2nd group were my friends. I presented 3 options as my ideas. 1. Finance 2. Relationship Advice 3. Fitness The response I received was interesting. My 1st group which were the professionals they choose “Relationship Advice” and my 2nd group which are my friends choose “fitness”. Revised Idea: Relationship Advice for both men and women with a focus on fitness… Read more »
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[…] When we shared these steps with IWT readers, the insights people got were incredible. […]

Luis
Luis
7 months 29 days ago
Hi Ramit, Below are my results. Thanks for the material you have made available. It really helps with the learning process. Luis. Original Idea: Offer an online Automated Unit Test (AUT) course for software developers coding in C++ on a Linux/UNIX environment. Revised Idea: Based on this one interview, I would have to modify my approach from focusing on specific “how-to test ‘x'” techniques to how to create a sustainable AUT environment/process, which will generate the desired quality (benefits) in a scalable way for time to come. Priority of marketing and course subjects needs to be based on what will… Read more »
Barbara
Barbara
6 months 28 days ago
Hi Ramit, that was amazing! I got some unexpected feedback to potentially revise my idea (even though I asked just one person). I had some difficulty first, to ask the question RIGHT to test for LANGUAGE. “What do you say to your friends?” Got them into some sort of thinking mode and they gave me their ideas, but NOT THEIR PROBLEMS or concerns. Maybe I should give them more hints at what I want to hear, like: WHAT DO YOU REALLY SAY? Or: Do you even talk about that at all? Second question was easier, but I had to add… Read more »
Matthew Kaddatz
6 months 22 days ago
– Original idea: Popular Diet Cliff-notes – Revised idea (based on what you learned): Diet of the month club – What you THOUGHT they would say: That they would not pay for it and that it would be too confusing – What they ACTUALLY said: It would be great to get simple easy to execute on diet advice each month. The variety of changing it each month would also be good because restricting diets is never fun. It also exposes you to different things. – What SURPRISED you about this exercise – That idea started as something very un-inspired and… Read more »
Megan
6 months 15 days ago

Original idea:
Customer service coaching/training for tech companies

– Revised idea (based on what you learned):
Customer service coaching/training for SMALL, niche companies

– What you THOUGHT they would say:
I hate calling Tech support for xx app, they are never helpful

– What they ACTUALLY said:
Bike shops: they know how to sell bikes but not how to help after you’ve made the purchase.

– What SURPRISED you about this exercise?

It never occurred to me that the places that need help with customer service are the businesses who literally only know one thing: how to sell their one product!

Leslie Alston
6 months 15 days ago
Hello Nick: Original Idea– I want to build a website like Amazon, but it is dealing with Beauty. Health and Wellness. All types of Beauty products for Men and Women from different vendors as well as all types of Health and Wellness products as well. Revised Idea — Keep my original idea, but add recommendations from Doctors or Health Professional for Health and Wellness products and add recommendations from Models and Beauty Professionals. What I thought you was going to say? — I thought people would be more supportive, but all I could hear was if am I going to… Read more »
shashi
shashi
6 months 14 days ago
Original idea: -Site for products like newborns, Surprisingly it was difficult to find in stores inspite of living in metropolitan city and finally got it shipped from a far located town for amazing price . Stationary leather cover bound diaries only for its unique appearance – Revised idea _Newborns product idea is better since I have found sources already m sure will many takers for the product too – What you THOUGHT they would say: -I thought my folks would be excited about it and would be partner. – What they ACTUALLY said: -though they agreed to be partner and… Read more »
Jacqueline Heath
Jacqueline Heath
6 months 8 days ago

1

Jacqueline Heath
Jacqueline Heath
6 months 8 days ago

1 15 minutes of fun every day for tired and stressed out people.
He said ‘Fun means too many things to people. You’d never be able to get people to do it. They’d think it was one more thing they had to do so it wouldn’t be fun any more.’
Now I’m thinking that I’d have to narrow it down to specific types of fun and teach people who found it enjoyable how to do it in 15 minutes a day.
I’m not sure what niches I could get into here. I’ll have to ask more people for their feedback.

Jeffrey Anderson
Jeffrey Anderson
6 months 8 days ago
After watching what I was sure to be a winner of a software company with a dynamic product, I was disappointed to learn that instead of focusing on the superiority of their database they chose another avenue – fast growth. Convinced of the product’s market superiority – my original “idea” – I came on- board at the same time that many others were departing the company. The fast growth formula that the company used proved to be unsustainable. This is where my revised idea “took seed”. This company “built a better mousetrap” with their patented software. I expected to hear… Read more »
Ayanna
5 months 29 days ago
– Original idea: A course for parents whose child(ren) won’t practice their musical instruments, teaching them how to get their child(ren) to enjoy practice. – Revised idea (based on what you learned): Practical tips that work for parents who have tried EVERYTHING and still can’t get their child to practice. – What you THOUGHT they would say: I would love a course like that because I’ve spent hundreds if not thousands of pounds over the years on lessons without any real progress, enthusiasm or commitment from my child. – What they ACTUALLY said: That has been the BIGGEST bane of… Read more »
Brian
5 months 23 days ago

– Original idea:
online course on how to travel the world and do what you love for recent graduates

– Revised idea (based on what you learned):
How to travel the world and teach, and then come back home and not be lost

– What you THOUGHT they would say:
Aren’t there classes like that already?

– What they ACTUALLY said:
Wow, that would be super cool. I’ve always wanted to travel but I don’t have the money, and I’m a terrible teacher.

– What SURPRISED you about this exercise?
I was surprised to find out that someone would actually pay for a course on that. Super exciting

Jeremiah
Jeremiah
5 months 22 days ago
Original idea: Teach golfers how to shoot lower scores without changing their golf swings Revised idea: no revision yet What I thought they would say: do people really care what they score they shoot or are they just playing for fun, why can’t I just take a lesson from a local pro, isn’t there a ton of free stuff online about golf What they actually said/asked: That’s a cool idea, how would it work. Do you think there are enough people out there who would want to do something like this? What surprised me: That I didn’t just get laughed… Read more »
Tam
5 months 16 days ago

The question was what do you think your missing out on not having a mentor?
They said
I don’t know what i don’t know
I know i could be better if o had a mentor
Is costing me time and money, I’m sure i could reach my goals in half the time

Matt
Matt
5 months 16 days ago
– Original idea: online course for people wanting to modify and customise their motorcycles. Having started a side business in this field after I did the E1K course a few years ago, I am maxxed out on hours I can put into my “local” business, on top of my “day job”. I run training courses “in person” but this is only useful for a few people at a time in my city. I can help hundreds or even thousands of people around the world if I take my existing material online. – Revised idea (based on what you learned): hasn’t… Read more »
Filipa
Filipa
5 months 14 days ago
– Original idea: How to integrate new people in a company (I talked to my sister who works in a multinational in the field of healthcare) – Revised idea (based on what you learned): (1) Integrate new members in health teams (course for institutions and for individuals who are applying for the jobs); (2) How to communicate health information (prepare oral presentations for congresses or seminars, prepare scientific posters) As I have a background of +10 years as academic teacher in the healthcare field this was closer to what I have been doing. – What you THOUGHT they would say:… Read more »
Filipa
Filipa
5 months 9 days ago
Hi Ramit, My name is Filipa and I am a mom of 4 children between 4 and 10 years old. During my maternity leaves after birth I was totally prepared for all it needed to make the baby survive, mainly breast feeding, dipper changing and put the baby to sleep. I thought I would have lots of time to take good naps, to make my house shine, to organize some paperwork I had at that time… Unfortunately, those were tough times and those months simply passed in a blink of an eye. I was also feeling guilty for not providing… Read more »
Aislan Luiz Wendling
5 months 2 days ago

Original Idea: Offer free and paid courses

Revised idea (based on what you learned): Offer free and paid courses and paid services

What you THOUGHT they would say: I prefer to buy an specific online course

What they ACTUALLY said: I prefer someone to do it for me

What SURPRISED you about this exercise?
Most people want things done without move a finger (at least here in Brazil)

Steven
Steven
5 months 2 days ago
Original idea: Teach people how to develop drive. Revised idea: Teach people to develop intrinsic motivation. It seems this is more specifically what many people lack in many areas of their life. What I THOUGHT they’d say: If I don’t feel interested in doing something, I won’t be motivated to do it. What they ACTUALLY said: I have trouble developing drive.. “If there are too many people around, I can’t focus” “If I don’t enjoy something or don’t find something applicable” “I don’t have enough to do. If I dont have much to do, I am more likely to keep… Read more »
Christian Brown
5 months 1 day ago
My original idea was to sell a one year learn to play guitar program for professional males between the ages of 30-45. What I said: I’m just after some feedback on a learn to play guitar product I’m thinking of producing. It’s for professional men aged 30-45 who don’t have time to see a guitar teacher, but have 20 minutes, 5 days a week to practice. My system is structured so that it tells you what to do every night of the work day week for one year. I’ll teach you via videos and pdf documents, and prove to you… Read more »
Michelle
5 months 21 hours ago

I thought my biz idea is pretty generic. So I browsed through all the comments to see if anyone has done the research and perhaps could save me some time. None! Off to ask friends now. Will be back to report later. Thanks for the great exercise, Ramit.

Anastasia Culurides
4 months 27 days ago
Original Idea Link parts of personal stagnation with exterior home elements. Examine what area of peoples life they would like to modify and guide them in terms of resources and give them guidelines of what to change in their home environment to help manifest their desired change. Do this with a printed guide. Revised Idea Not revised yet. What I thought they would say Not many people would be interested as it involves initiating change which most people aren’t terribly motivated to do. What they actually said ” Business idea sounds interesting, but I’m not sure exactly how it would… Read more »
Anastasia
4 months 27 days ago
Original idea Design therapy, working out your bullshit through interior design concepts that help harmonize your life. Revised Idea Take design out of title. As an interior architecture and designer, I see our environments as a direct indicator of how we are doing mentally and spiritually and how environmental elements can affect our moods and well being. I want to help people design their lives. Particularly, women with kids in a family where two adults are working 40 hour work weeks and trying to run a house hold and be personally fulfilled. I feel like I have been there and… Read more »
jake
jake
4 months 26 days ago

Kevin, as I was reading through the comments I noticed you had said you are a 21 year old Real Estate Agent, I want to ask how is it? I’m fairly young as well (22) and have constantly thought about going into the real estate career, but I always hear the horror stories of the new, ambitious, young kid getting taken advantage of by the more experienced guy. Do you think this is true? What is your own personal experience with the career?

Ayo
Ayo
4 months 26 days ago
Original Idea: To train people in the Banking/financial services industry and write books that simplifies study and enables them get certified. Revised idea: Coaching to achieve succes with a road map and empowering people to become savvy in Banking and finance. What I thought they would say: I thought it would be exciting to hear because when I wrote my qualification exams, I couldn’t find a place to attend tuition in my area and the only place I knew was far off so I had to discipline myself and read the recommended books with the syllabus outline while relating it… Read more »
Joash
Joash
4 months 25 days ago
Hi Really enjoying the material. Original Idea: How to review healthcare to get the best service. I work professionally and I realize what people want to hear and receive when they enter a medical facility Revised Idea : To get people to review health personnel online, especially cancer patients and once a review is made, patients can access material in the form of a newsletter for a minimum monthly fee. The medical personnel subscribes and get recognized as a truly skilled employee by wearing a badge after approximately 50 excellent reviews of service What you THOUGHT they would say: I… Read more »
Aditi
Aditi
4 months 24 days ago
– Original idea: Help in loosing weight – where do start. Small steps to add on as daily habits for a busy mom with kids, full time job, travelling husband, who does not like to cook. Control of your weight makes such a huge change in self esteem. – Revised idea (based on what you learned): – What you THOUGHT they would say: There is plenty of advice out there – lots of websites, pinterest. – What they ACTUALLY said: Surprised me – they said they would read what I would have to say. I lost 30 pounds in 3… Read more »
Nirwana
4 months 19 days ago
I have watched your video on the idea map. At this point of time, I can tell you that I am in the don’t-know-what-I-want stage and how can I teach anybody anything. But previously on WhatsApp group that I joined: – many working wives are exhausted that they have to work and be a mother at the same time, too many chores despite having helps (maids) or without. I received many questions on how to work from home/ online business etc. They want more time with kids. -Hence, I maybe want to do How to start a business for unhappy… Read more »
Omar
Omar
4 months 19 days ago
Original Idea – Want to get more people to take the plunge and learn online – with an eye towards getting them moving on a degree Revised Idea – Still thinking about doing the same idea, but there are a lot of steps I took for granted that might be the exact stumbling blocks I need to address in order to offer potential clients any value. What I THOUGHT they would say – Thought there would be a big emphasis on cost of school, as well as in what jobs would be available as a result of their chosen degree… Read more »
Sara Virtanen
Sara Virtanen
4 months 19 days ago

Hey Ramit,

The link to Maria’s review of Zero to Launch is dead.

Talia Koren
Talia Koren
3 months 14 days ago
Original idea: Course for meal prepping & cooking lunches for the workweek Revised idea (based on what you learned): more of a focus on portion sizes and nutrition possibly What you THOUGHT they would say: I don’t know what to make I don’t have enough time to cook and meal prepping is overwhelming I’m too tired to cook healthy meals I don’t know how to balance protein and carbs Not sure what to buy at the grocery store What they ACTUALLY said: “Meal prepping would be an intense help for me to not overeat” “I struggle with cooking in the… Read more »
Hamayun Rasheed
Hamayun Rasheed
3 months 14 days ago
– Original idea: An app that looks at someones grocery shopping habits and alerts them when things they buy are on sale at their local supermarkets. – Revised idea (based on what you learned): Yes they definitely seem interested in such a service. Could save them a ton of cash. Would save the hassle of travelling to various supermarkets in order to find the best/cheapest price while ensuring the product quality. – What you THOUGHT they would say: Yes,we have no idea about what the latest prices of our favorite products are. We always have to visit different supermarkets in… Read more »
Joanie Dhillon
3 months 7 days ago
Ramit, First of all the email with a re-direct to this post with how you framed the comments is brilliant! What better way for you to gauge your market as well :-). So, I’m a sales trainer & peak-performance mentor who helps frustrated sales reps or those just wanting to get to the next level, become the industry’s top 1%. I work in a very specific niche market and I’ve had great success branding myself and marketing organically. I think the best way to connect with your market and find out who is an ideal customer or not, is to… Read more »
Raymond
Raymond
3 months 7 days ago
Original idea: A book on a non religious approach to sex addiction, but with an emphasis on guiding people to helpful resources without having to go through an anonymous group that’s going to drill in their head that they are sinful, incapable of succeeding without God and addicts for life (it’s the consensus). However, I want to be real and not sugarcoat or push them to become vanilla because 99% of all the help is religious and causes you to hate yourself or encourages you to be some wide eyed fitness junkie who obsessed over holistic medicine (“mm, aged algae… Read more »
Raymond
Raymond
3 months 7 days ago

Excuse the grammar, I wrote this on a buggy cellphone on a cricket network plan in a small security guard shack that used Christmas lights for lighting.

Linny
Linny
3 months 18 hours ago
ORIGINAL IDEA: To take photographs of people and turn them into photographic art. Art that they could then put on their walls so that instead of having pictures of people that they do not know on their walls, they could have pictures of friends, acquaintances, and family. For example, most people have family pictures, people just standing in groups smiling or one person smiling. My idea is to take pictures of people for example, pretending to being a matador fighting a bull, holding the red cape with bull charging and turning that into a painting. You put that on your… Read more »
John Sedivy
2 months 29 days ago
Original idea: “I’m thinking of starting some kind of website around helping others reduce stress and improve their health through meditation.” Revised idea (based on what you learned): “I have a website where I can teach you how to quickly and easily shut out the noise of your daily life while bringing more relaxation and peace into your life and family for better health. This easy, three step method will take less than 10 minutes per day and can be done anywhere, any time, without having to purchase any equipment or supplements. The only thing you need is your mind.… Read more »
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[…] “When everyone else zigs, how can I zag?” […]

Marianne Hunstone
Marianne Hunstone
2 months 17 days ago
Marianne – Original idea: – to deliver groups or presentations involving staff and clients to motivate success. revised idea:- to explore with potential clients in the same way so that they learn how to deliver groups or presentations. Eliciting information and having involvement to motivate self belief can be used in company’s with clients in any setting including sales and any kind of group therapy. What you thought they would say :- I don’t like speaking in groups i feel nervous what they actually said:- I want people to be absorbed and involved in discussions and also enjoy and have… Read more »
C Yates
C Yates
2 months 17 days ago
bespoke songwriting coaching – Original idea: bespoke songwriting coaching – Revised idea (based on what you learned): Songdoctor ( I think!) – What you THOUGHT they would say: help me my song better – What they ACTUALLY said: the first thing my guinea pig said was ‘is anything interesting in my song?’ It was much more about the fear of expressing herself and whether anyone actually cared, than the direct nuts and bolts craft of improving a song. – What SURPRISED you about this exercise? That for many folks, it is so frightening to put a song out in the… Read more »
René Vidal
2 months 17 days ago
Original: Teach mental toughness skills online Revised: Idea validated, yet streamlined based on feedback (need) – mental toughness problem, definition, barriers, cost, etc. – mental toughness (daily) process – mental toughness accountability (self-regulated + external) Thought: Idea would be validated with a “but” or “reason” why it won’t work Actual: Idea validated with impressive clarity around biggest problem: “people don’t continue their training to keep mental edge sharp” and solution options: create step-by-step process with accountability measures Surprised: I was “gitty” in sending emails and launching research. Beyond initial testing, this process helps re-connect with network and I’ve shared test… Read more »
Roy Inzunza
Roy Inzunza
2 months 16 days ago

1. Original idea.- Time Management, Paleo Diet, weight loss, and Crossfit Online Course.
2. Revised idea.- I will create Separated On line course of each subject.
3. What i thought they would say? I thought they woulds say that i don’t know anything about online business.
4. What they actually said? That´s you! talking and teaching about Paleo diet, weight loss and Crossfit. You just need to learn asking the right people.
5. What Surprised me? That i doubt more about me than they do.

Brandon Lin
Brandon Lin
2 months 15 days ago

Original idea:”How to have a great art career.”

Revised idea:”Timeless principles in success though hobbies”

What you THOUGHT they would say:

“You just lucked out and born with a silverspoon”

What they ACTUALLY said:

“Can anyone actuallly learn to be an artist?”
“You weren’t born with that skill?”

– What SURPRISED you about this exercise?

I judge myself too harshly because i let the harshest opinions stick with me while not seeing who its coming from.

Joel Cherrico
2 months 10 days ago
– Original idea: I asked people this question across Facebook groups: “I’m working on an article about artists who are using new technology to craft thriving businesses and true fans. Any suggestions on artists who should be included?” – Revised idea (based on what you learned): Create online coursework that teaches artists basic structures for selling their work and thriving in business. If I could become an artist who sold $10k+ in art per month or wrote a NYT best seller (and I believe I’m on that path) then they would be happy to receive this info. – What you… Read more »
Johnny
Johnny
2 months 3 days ago

Original idea: teaching art.

Revised idea: giving artistic tips and advice through an online art blog.

Thought they would say: wait until you get your diploma, focus on your job.

What they actually said: that’she very good you can teach other people how to draw

What surprised me about this exercise: I was expecting a negative response but got a positive one showed me that if you overthink instead of taking action/risk you would get nowhere

Ryan
2 months 2 days ago
– Original idea: A blog/cookbook/recipe site for flexible dieters – folks who count and manage the macronutrients in their food. The goal would be to give them access to the carb, fat, and protein numbers in the recipe’s that I share. – Revised idea (based on what you learned): I think the idea remains the same. His response gave me a better grasp on how to communicate the idea, but ultimately the idea itself lives on. – What you THOUGHT they would say: I thought he would say that struggle with flexible dieting is the work that is needed to… Read more »
Harton Ramphethu
Harton Ramphethu
2 months 2 days ago
-Original Idea-a site base on handmade craft seller -Revised Idea- bringing closer the artwork to other people. -What you thought they would say- Can you give me details how you site will be operating. -What they actually said-I love challenges so regarding that i like the fact that it would be exposing you to a lot of individuals and an industry that I ain’t familiar with. So it being a challenge and something taking me outta of comfort zone I would do it. -What Surprised you about this excise- Getting feedback from people really helps and can as well give… Read more »
Jyotirmay
Jyotirmay
1 month 26 days ago
Original idea: To help people who are unsure about keeping pets, by renting out pets on a monthly basis. E-commerce website. – Revised idea (based on what you learned): Still the same idea, but inclined more towards making it like olx and etsy – What you THOUGHT they would say: “Umm your target audience is way low ” “You don’t have the seed fund ” “transportation of pets is a hassle ” – What they ACTUALLY said: ‘not a bad idea. Let’s do it ‘ ‘your target audience is low. But I’m in. Let’s do it ‘ ‘it can be… Read more »
Tiera Nicole
Tiera Nicole
1 month 26 days ago
Original Idea- “How to find the perfect match on dating sites/apps” Revised- same What I thought they would say- I thought that most people either wouldn’t respond or would deny using online dating sites What they actually said- That the main problem was trusting that what someone says in their profile is the truth. And also living up to this perfectionist pressure. What surprised me- How unhappy people are regarding their experiences with the sites/apps because I did find love on a dating app and we are planning our future (marriage and kids)… I believe that people may need assistance… Read more »
Damilola
Damilola
1 month 26 days ago

I would like to set up a website about network marketing, what do you think ?

The Response from my colleague: “The only thing keeping me from doing this business is because nobody has been able to give me a satisfactory answer each time I asked how it works”

Edvards Rūdolfs Daniels
1 month 25 days ago
-Original Idea: A framework on how to easily valuate a company. Meaning that framework helps to calculate the future value of a company’s stock. And based on the finding make a good investment decision. (What I have done is that I took a complicated process on company valuation and made frameworks and excell files that does all the math in your favor. But it still requires some knowledge which numbers to take and where find them.) – Revised idea: Idea the same, but got a insight how to develop the system and the frameworks. Also got a suggestions to make… Read more »
Victoria
Victoria
1 month 16 days ago

Original idea: Help create world class pediatric orthopedic physician assistants and nurse practitioners.
Revised idea: Offer online courses and seminars to master pediatric orthopedic clinical practice and office politics
What I thought they would say: I thought the would say I’ll learn on my own. I don’t see a knowledge gap to address.
What they actually said: “Yes, I’m interested. Sign me up. The only thing that is an obstacle is cost. I’m a new graduate and do no have much money. ”
Surprised: I’m surprised how open and excited they are about the project.

Eden Fernandes
Eden Fernandes
1 month 12 days ago
– Original idea: Online Classes for students who can’t “Mug up” answers – Revised idea (based on what you learned): Same as original as people seem to like the idea. – What you THOUGHT they would say: I didn’t really think that far ahead since I never imagined sharing this idea with anyone, ever. – What they ACTUALLY said: Thanks for coming up with it now. Where was this when I was struggling? (For real, my brother said this.) – What SURPRISED you about this exercise? I’ve always wanted to help kids. The education system is so messed up. There’s… Read more »
George
George
1 month 12 days ago
Original Idea: How to get jacked abs for men and women through fasting Revised idea: How to get fit and healthy for whatever lifestyle you feel like living for the day/ month/ year/ decade. What you THOUGHT they would say: What do I need to do to get a six pack What they ACTUALLY said: I know I need to workout and eat right, but I have no idea how to do it consistently. Plus, I don’t actually care if I get a six pack. I just want to be healthy and ripped if possible (time-dependent) What SURPRISED you about… Read more »
Jurgen
1 month 12 days ago

Original Idea: Creating Bespoke Software
What I THOUGHT they were going to say: “I need something that works and can cater for A, B and C tasks …”

WHat they ACTUALLY said: “I just want something that’s simple and won’t drive me crazy..” and “I just need something to keep my mind at ease”

What SURPRISED you during this exercise: People don’t really care about how innovative technology is, they just want something they can actually understand and not have to go through a month’s worth of mind boggling exercise to understand how to use a software that is supposedly tailor-made for them.

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[…] The rest of this one can be found here: The Zig/Zag Technique to finding an online business idea […]

Jammie
1 month 4 days ago

My original idea was adhd in teens. I’ve decided on How to deal with your ADHD teenager. My daughter has ADHD and has had it since she was five and now she is fourteen. I know a lot about it and have lived it and have the personal experience to go with it. My friend said it was a good idea. I know there are a lot of sites about ADHD teens.

Peter Lopez
Peter Lopez
29 days 16 hours ago
Original Idea: How to prepare your business for sale. I am a business broker. I’ve asked a couple of friends whose opinions I value and I am happy to say theri replies were very positive. “Peter, That sounds like a great idea. You would need to build a step by step process to filter out people as well as qualify actual sellers and buyers. In addition, you would want to create a flow chart that would guide buyer and seller through the process.” and… “Hello Peter That’s not a bad idea. I think there is a big opportunity but potential… Read more »
Aaron
Aaron
28 days 1 hour ago
Original Idea – Create online content that teaches middle school to high school students faith building, leadership, and self improvement in a way that they can relate and learn. There are so many resources that focus on adults and many of us will say why didn’t I know about this years ago. I want to change this by introducing successful principles to this younger age group. Revised idea – Not much changed except maybe adding how a parent can learn to do the same I thought they would say that it would be difficult to get a middle/high school student… Read more »
Maurice
Maurice
21 days 20 hours ago
just did this in “real time” as instructed. My original idea I’m thinking about creating a website that would cater to business development and career coaching (tapping into my 23 years headhuntunting exp.) i.e Interview techniques, how to get your foot in the door, etc Revised data Having a hard time with this one. Maybe laser in on 1 silo or vertical I sent it out to a sampling of friends and I thought most would say that although I have exp. In the market it is quite saturated with this type of offering. What they said? My very first… Read more »
Danny
Danny
21 days 14 hours ago
Hi Ramit, hope all is well man Here are the answers to the Zig/Zag email… See answers below Original idea: A meditation/self development/Quality of Life Business on helping people relieve suffering and finding their passion and purpose in life, combing both together. Revised idea (based on what you learned): Still the same idea but a emphasis on taking the mysticism away from meditation and conveying it in a very practical and modern way, Maybe not dwelling to heavy on the spiritual side of meditation but using that as the foundation to connect to yourself, know who you are so you… Read more »
Clarissa
Clarissa
8 days 10 hours ago
Hi Ramit! I have had a bricks and mortar store, designing couture wedding gowns for 15 years, but there are endless frustrations I have with this model of business and I am ready to turn it into something entirely different! My original idea for an online course is to teach brides how to have their wedding gown designed, made by a home dressmaker, and styled like a professional, without paying couture prices (10k and up). I presented this idea to a girlfriend and she loved it. She also suggested I add personal coaching/styling as an added option. I expected her… Read more »
Antoniya
Antoniya
8 days 7 hours ago
I’m currently doing a free pilot with 3 people for what was supposed to be my Etsy coaching, but thanks to the participants’ feedback I think I’m going to shift the concept a little bit. I’ve also completely changed my target group depending on the people who signed up for the pilot from my email list. – Original idea: How To Have a Successful Etsy Shop – Revised idea (based on what you learned): How to start an Etsy shop the right way crash course and ongoing Etsy support mastermind/group – What you THOUGHT they would say: That they just… Read more »
Abigail
Abigail
2 days 56 minutes ago

– Original idea:
Study tips made easy. Learning how to visualize or use techniques on how to study.
– Revised idea (based on what you learned):
Students want an option where the train their brain to remember after what they have read something once.
– What you THOUGHT they would say:
I thought they would laugh.
– What they ACTUALLY said:
They would try it.
– What SURPRISED you about this exercise?
How desperate people are to make it easier to study.

Um Abbas
Um Abbas
1 day 22 hours ago

Original idea: I want to start a website for coaching.
My thought about what the person would say: Yes do
What d person actually said: Great n thumbs up
There was no surprise, I got the reply I xpected

Gus
Gus
1 day 14 hours ago
Original Idea: Constructing an online coarse for increasing strength using a minimalist approach. Minimum reps and time for maximum results. Revised Idea: The same idea with one caveat, include how to deconstruct supplements by explaining the ingredient list, what works and what doesn’t. What I thought they would say: Sounds good but nobody would take such a coarse. What they actually said: It would be to hard to differentiate such a coarse on the crowded Internet. Try to make the coarse unique. What surprised me about this exercise?: How valuable feedback can change and improve an idea and help you… Read more »
Teri Nelson
Teri Nelson
23 hours 45 minutes ago
Hi, btw loving your emails. Learning so much. So my original idea was to start a website that holds new encouraging videos and blog posts that will help overwhelmed, frustrated women. My purpose is to empower women to discover their true worth and purpose in life through one on one coaching sessions they can book from my site. So after reaching out to about 10 of my girlfriends, the responses led me to revise my idea a bit and write a book that I will sell on amazon , but also to create an online coaching program with prerecorded videos… Read more »
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